Arctic Chic

Victoria Will

New York jewelry designer Monique Péan spent her childhood exploring Egypt’s pyramids and the Great Wall of China, but it was a spring 2007 trip to the Arctic Circle, where she visited local craftsmen, that inspired her to create her first collection. Taking a cue from age-old Alaskan art, Péan integrates naturally colored pieces of fossilized ivory—some are more than 20,000 years old—with recycled gold, raw stones, and conflict-free diamonds to make one-of-a-kind pieces that evoke the raw beauty of the Bering Strait. The jewelry is entirely sustainable and 10 percent of the profits go to the Alaska Native Arts Foundation, which furthers the education and training of indigenous artisans. Says Péan, “I’m combining art with awareness.”

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