Jean Prounis comes from a long lineage of collectors who entertain a great respect for craftsmanship and the stories it can pass through generations, objects, or techniques. Prounis herself links her jewelry aesthetic to her family ancestry and history: Her great-grandfather co-owned the Versailles night club in 1940s in New York, a popular cabaret located across from the Carlisle hotel that was frequented by the likes of Edith Piaf, Texas Guinan, and Perry Como. The cabaret experience was complete with a decor of refined objects from the era, including hand-gouached menus and embroidered linens that went on to live with the Prounis family well after the club was closed. This collection of precious items had a profound effect on Jean as a child, and she was surrounded by artifacts that inspired her to start her own jewelry brand, fueled by the knowledge she had gathered from her relatives’ stories and the objects they had preserved and treasured over the years.
Jean continued an appreciation for storytelling through her beautifully crafted pieces, using ancient goldsmiths techniques and precious metals that age with their owner, molding to the wearer’s body as years pass and giving them a subtle sheen only true wear could provide. The quality of the gold itself is derived from a blend that was used in Greek artifacts, made out of copper, fine silver, and 22 karat gold, a technique that is more than 5,000 years old and contributes to creating a long-lasting piece that over time represents the life story of their owner. Jean not only sourced her knowledge of fine jewelry from the contents of her grandfather’s large collection of books, but was also inspired by the physical properties of the antiques in her environment, reinterpreting color ways from the Versailles cabaret menus for Prounis Jewelry stationery or reinventing the dark green color of the club’s dining tablecloths to create her brand logo. You can find Jean’s beautiful jewelry here !
We shot Jean at her stunning apartment in the West Village wearing our Gold Amber Kaftan Dress and our Polka Lola Blouse