Matthias Schneider is a designer specialising in jewellery and eyewear. He started as a line designer for eyewear and jewellery at CELINE, went on to become studio director at REPOSSI, and is currently designing the runway jewelry for the women’s collection of LOUIS VUITTON. Matthias was born in Bavaria and, interestingly, in addition to his native German (and other world languages), he also speaks Czech.
an interview by Olga Sládková
How would you introduce yourself to people who have never heard of you and your work?
“Hi, I'm Matthias and I design shiny things. Most of my work is centered around an emotion or the reflection of light on a metallic surface... or ideally both. I love mixing references you may recognize, but reinterpreting them in a way that feels new: Your grandmother's jewelry box, a musical instrument, or the petals of flowers...”
If you were going on a date with yourself, what would you pull as your "highest card"? What do you find most interesting about yourself and your work?
“Oh wow... I never thought of that. I am very connected to my emotions, and I am very honest. I try to see things and details that others don't. As we live in a reality of "time is money" and efficiency, my ultimate luxury is to deliberately take the time to find the less obvious in the world that surrounds us... and I am very fortunate that something as "simple" as a blooming flower or a beautiful sunset can make me profoundly happy.”
Where does the line between art and kitsch lie for you?
“What even is the definition of "art" nowadays? I find many commercially successful artists very kitsch - but just because I wouldn't want to surround myself with it doesn't mean kitsch is not a valid form of expression... and sometimes I can ironically appreciate kitsch.”
What do you perceive as unaesthetic? What factors detract from the beauty of an object, situation, or person?
“As superficial as the world I navigate in may appear from the outside, I try not to be. I appreciate an authenticity, kindness, and for objects : proportion. I do think creatives owe it to their customers to pay attention to details - so I would have to say I dislike pretentiousness, make-believe, and impoliteness.”
What, for you, is it that brings beauty to unexpected places?
“Attention to detail.”
Which two senses would you not want to lose?
“That's a tough question... but if I really have to choose, I wouldn't want to lose eyesight and hearing. Music touches me very deeply, and so does the beauty of nature...”
What role do scents play in your life and work?
“I am very intrigued by scents as we usually only notice them when they are extreme and negative. But I love how they can fade into the background and create an olfactory context that you don't even actively notice - it just makes you feel at home. Ever since I use the PIGMENTARIUM incenses, they infuse my living room with a very subtle scent, without overshadowing the general vibe of my home... I like that.”
“Maybe it’s a Gemini thing, but I tend to be an introverted extrovert. Sometimes I'm shy, and I wouldn't want my perfume to scream. One of the nicest compliments to me is when somebody says «You smell nice» as they come closer into my personal space.”
How do you feel about being a Pigmentarium brand ambassador?
“Honestly, it feels very natural to me. PIGMENTARIUM is very much in line with who I am, what I like, and what I want to surround myself with. In a world where many people advertise products they don't believe in, I am very happy to be associated with something I love... which brings us back to authenticity.”
How did you get into this role? Was accepting it something that required a longer decision?
“Tomas approached me about becoming ambassador, I had already fallen in love with Pigmentarium after spending an afternoon at their showroom in Paris. My dear friend Ema introduced me to the brand, and because the atmosphere was so nice (in hindsight also because of the scent), I just didn't want to leave... I felt at home.”
When you think of Pigmentarium along with all the values and qualities and feelings you have for the brand, which three do you have 100% in common?
“PIGMENTARIUM is very connected to the art world, both past and present. I definitely also get inspired by «what has been» and «what is» to create «what will be».”
“The visual approach of the brand where «less is more» is also something I firmly believe in. You don’t have to be loud to be relevant.”
“And last but not least, I like the intellectual approach and thought that goes into the end product. When I design jewelry, I try to embark others into a story - whether it's my team, the artisans who manufacture the creations, or the final customer. PIGMENTARIUM does the same... just close your eyes and let your imagination guide you. ”
What do fragrances mean to him, what does he have in common with Pigmentarium, and how does the Jewelry Design Manager of Women’s Fashion Show of Louis Vuitton perceive the world and beauty?