Family Affair: Karl Monies Takes Over the Iconic Danish Jewellery House

The renowned Danish artist takes over the reins as Creative Director of the namesake, luxury jewellery brand Monies, which was founded by his parents half a century ago and became a part of a one-of-a-kind Scandi natural aesthetics.

Karl Monies Karl Monies

It’s one of the brands that one immediately falls in love with. Unique style, top quality, and a beautiful story that lays behind each and every stone that Monies use. Founded in 1973 by a couple of goldsmiths Nikolai and Gerda Monies in their native Copenhagen (the couple met during their studies, found a mutual passion for the beauty of design and since then they have never felt apart), Monies is a Danish national treasure, with boutiques in Paris and Milan. But their jewellery looks nothing like you could have imagined from a conventional point of view: Monies necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings speak volumes, and instead of gold, diamonds and colourful gems, they work with wood, fossils, ebony, mammoth tusks, pearls and a selection of semi-precious stones. All are ethically sourced, of course, by the founders themselves when they travel for holidays to the most exotic destinations or come from the best dealers of raw materials from all over the world (when something new comes on the market, they are the first to know). So, when you buy a piece, you are sure that it’s one-of-a-kind.

An insider brand, Monies worked for several fashion houses: Karl Lagerfeld used to be a fan and featured their creations in his collections for Chanel. So did Miuccia Prada, who collects Monies necklaces, and collaborated with Monies on several occasions for her Prada catwalk shows. As did Donna Karan, who has an eye for beautiful jewellery pieces, as well.

Entering the new era, the Monies duo decided to give the reins of their company to their son, an acclaimed ceramist and artist Karl Monies. “This decision to enter the family business has been one of the biggest in my life”, he says, because it’s one thing to help his parents grow the business, and the other one to lead it. “I feel great about it and haven't looked back once. Of course, it's been a big change and I'm still developing and adjusting and will continue to do.”

The process of taking over the family business took over five years. “I’ve been gradually stepping into my parents' shoes as the owner and creative director of their life’s work and now a 51-year-old company that has a place very close to my heart and for which I’m honoured and humbled to be a part of on a daily basis. The reason for me to enter this organism was based on the values that lie in the core of the brand. The fact that nature's language is the highest form of communication and that our responsibility as craftsmen and designers is to bow to its complexities and be a servant of nature.”

How does he see the future of the brand? “Our vision is clear: to bring discussions about natural aesthetics to the forefront, encouraging individuals to find meaning and growth through their engagement with nature as a mirror. We're bored of pure, ordinary, clean, and normal standards. Give us the weird, different, abnormal, unique, and extraordinary, and let's celebrate nature’s richness and beauty.”

The announcement coincides with the release of a documentary, “Perfect Chaos” for Nowness, directed by Mads Jorgensen and Emile Sadria and produced by JJ Film, where one can actually see what stands behind the Monies' unique story aka the power of nature, the most beautiful of all forces, and how they all work together in their workshop and HQ in the historical area Esplanaden by the water and the Royal Castle in Copenhagen. After all, it’s a family affair.

Mint earclips: black tourmaline, mountain crystal: €520 Mint earclips: black tourmaline, mountain crystal: €520
Anniversary pendant: oak, sterling silver, leather: €690 Anniversary pendant: oak, sterling silver, leather: €690
Anniversary earclips: oak, sterling silver: €795 Anniversary earclips: oak, sterling silver: €795
Pendant: bog oak, mountain crystal: €1.950 Pendant: bog oak, mountain crystal: €1.950
Ring: citrine, bog oak: €1.300 Ring: citrine, bog oak: €1.300
Earclips: aquamarine, ebony: €884 Earclips: aquamarine, ebony: €884
Necklace: horn, freshwater pearls: €6.240 Necklace: horn, freshwater pearls: €6.240

Courtesy: Karl Monies

Text: Lidia Ageeva