Social media influencer and brand consultant Aureta Thomollari, known for her Peggy Guggenheim-like personal style and artful Instagram feed, has been named creative director of the Los Angeles-based fine jewelry label Huckleberry.
She will be bringing her over-the-topness to the business founded in 2013 by Jason Hoehn, who has collaborated with Nick Fouquet and whose eccentric, seven-figure designs have been worn by Rihanna, Kate Winslet, Pharrell Williams and more.
Thomollari discovered Huckleberry five years ago at local L.A. jewelry store Roseark, where she fell in love with a cuff with a massive diamond-encrusted wolf on top, which took nine months to hand-carve out of wax.
“I want it to be an experience when you wear it,” Hoehn said of his work, which includes a partnership with multigenerational Beverly Hills jeweler Kazanjian, a rare gem specialist with a 5.5-carat red diamond, among other impressive stones.
“I love the drama,” said Thomollari, dressed for a Zoom in a red and black polka-dot Moschino dress, a black bra top and a coiled pearl necklace. “I try to take risks and not take fashion too seriously,” she said of her approach to dressing when she’s globe-trotting to art fairs, and between her two rural homes in Central California and Stowe, Vermont.
“Her job is living art. She’s like that every day even if she’s not seeing anyone.…For me, we’re a boutique company and it was a big decision to bring someone on, but it was really a no-brainer. I trust her taste and style. I’m a white T-shirt and jeans type of guy and I wear a lot of jewelry but she’s the total opposite,” said Hoehn.
He has been working in the jewelry business since the early 2000s, when he launched a line called Nefarious that made headlines in the weekly celebrity magazines for $30,000 diamond-encrusted aviator sunglasses that were worn by Kanye West, Victoria Beckham and others.
A native of Albania, Thomollari spent her teenage years in Florida and Washington, D.C.., then moved to L.A. two decades ago to open the Daniel Espinosa jewelry studio. A lifelong collector of vintage jewelry and fashion and contemporary art, she built her Instagram into a gallery for her fantastical, sometimes surrealist compositions. “People respond to the authenticity,” she said of her 731,000 followers, which has led to consulting for brands including Alain Mikli and Valentino.
Hoehn approached her in 2017 to be the face of the brand’s pearl collection in a look book shot by Nadia Lee Cohen, before tapping her as a partner.
Thomollari’s first role will be creative directing the look book for the holiday collection, including designing one-of-a-kind engraved cocktail rings, and to manage the brand’s expansion into home goods.
“There are so many exciting things we want to do,” she said. “I have a voice, a platform, and relationships I’ve built through collaborations. From how people responded to those, I understand there is a luxury customer that is looking forward to me doing this.”