Words by Samuel Kinsella
Photography // Phase – press.
We had the opportunity to sit down and speak to the fast-growing London ring designer and founder of Phase, 22-year-old Tiffany Riazanova. She has been creating a surge of colour in the jewellery scene with her successful pop of rings. Tiffany has been spreading her ring designs to anybody and everybody, no matter what you wear these rings will match. Read the full interview to find out more about her.
How did you get into creating rings?
Hmm, well to be honest I had a dream one night where I was wearing these particular designs, but not one’s id seen before. I feel like I always cultivate ideas in my head but never actually go through with the process and make anything (which is just the slight spark of lazy intuition speaking), but I had some free time on my hands and thought why not. The next day I ordered some supplies and got to it and quickly realized it was something that I was thoroughly enjoying and then came the idea of starting up a business.
But why did you get into it? What made you do so?
I think in a time like this where everyone is being forced to stay home you have to think wisely about how you can channel certain energies into certain avenues. Getting creative and challenging your perspective on a habit is important especially when it’s so easy to get caught up in negative emotion in a climate like this.
I generally found that being creative was bringing me a lot of prosperity and motivation and it got me thinking away from what was going on outside and more inside, so I was focused on myself and putting my creativity into creating a brand (Phase).
How’s the journey been as a ring designer – since the first set of rings up to now?
Well, I’ve definitely improved massively since my first batch. It never goes down well if you have an idea and expect it to come out without a single flaw or imperfection. Trial and error is key!
Everything requires skill and skill is what you have to build on. I think that’s what a lot of people make the mistake of doing, is they think oh yeah, I’ve got this idea, and then try put pen on paper and it flops. Regardless, I persisted on and eventually the outcomes started to get better and better and improved a lot from the first time. It took a good number of hours of practise, using different methods until I found myself making the exact ring I had thought of in my head in that dream.
It’s such a learning journey especially because I’m completely self-taught, I didn’t watch any YouTube tutorials or any of that I just really set about myself and which is why I’ve been my own teacher completely on this whole journey. So yeah, I’ve improved since the first time I’ve started making rings for sure. You know people don’t see the behind the scenes of the process behind Phase and people forget to realize that actually like I’ve had so many mistakes along the way and so many learning curves and so many points where I wanted to throw everything and just be like f*** it but I didn’t. I persisted on through mistakes regardless. I think it really just proves that anyone can do anything because I definitely wasn’t born with the talent of making my rings, it’s something I’ve acquired along the way!
What is Phase’s brand ethos?
Well, I’d say I set about with Phase to tap into a lot of markets. I do understand that statement rings are trendy at the momen, but I wanted to create a brand that is accessible to everyone, all genders, all age groups and I think of being able to do that because my designs are versatile. I have so many different types of people place orders with me – I have people ordering for their parents, friends, and everyone. I think that’s important to me. Being able to have a brand which is accessible to all is pretty cool.
Also, I’m passionate about sustainability and the impacts of the Earth and you know I’m really against fast fashion. People wanting a quick fix is a problem, so I really do encourage being completely transparent about my sustainability as a brand and what that means to me. I try to locally source all of my materials and even though it might be a little bit more expensive, I’d rather buy from a local business or supplier.
So, what differentiates Phase from other ring-led brands? You always attempt and make sure you stick out from the mould, so what do you do? Would you also say you had a main or multiple inspiration behind the rings?
Well to be honest none of my designs are really inspired by other brands. I take inspiration from like everyday life. Of course, it’s harder for me to take inspiration from what I normally would like walking out on the street and seeing how people are dressed and taking inspiration from the colours and patterns they are wearing but I still manage to find inspiration from colours in the weather, for example, one the first rings I made was inspired by a sunset I had seen the night before.
Of course, I don’t know personally what other brands are inspired by but I try to not follow any certain trends or anything – I just stick to my creativity. It was scary putting out rings that potentially people didn’t like or they might not have fit a certain quota but luckily, I have had a really good response.
I’m also really invested in certain designers and archive statement pieces like JPG and CDG, so I feel like I do sometimes take inspiration from colours, patterns and structure.
So, how’s the last year been for you as a designer of a young brand, as obviously it’s been Corona within multiple obstacles.
Yes, there have been obstacles throughout the year. I have graduated in international relations actually but that’s a whole different story, it’s just that I feel like I was very much pushed into making a choice at the age of 18 and the school I went to very much taught us that going into creative subjects was pointless and you wouldn’t get anywhere in life doing anything creative, so I believed that narrative and chose international relations.
Which you know I did well in you know, I’m not against it all it was a good three years I just wish I did something creative because at the end of the day doing a creative course you tend to build up connections in that world, there’s a lot more knowledge to be learned which you properly wouldn’t be able to get just online for example. But yeah, luckily for me I left university and had a few friends in that industry, so I was able to fixate on that and not go into what my degree was, but you know course that’s not the case for most people, it’s so hard to find yourself in this industry.
I worked in the fashion industry since finishing university but due to Corona, I lost my job, and you know being a recent graduate in a pandemic I was feeling very lost and thought about how I can channel this energy into creating something. So yeah, as I’ve said I had the dream about the rings and thought f*** it may as well so started doing that and lucky it’s been a great year and such a great response! I am so lucky to be in the position that I am being able to do something that I enjoy.
What is your favourite piece from the first collection of rings and why?
My favourite piece I think is the brown marble, actually, I’m being biased I do love all of them but the marble rings I love especially because each one comes out different so different and I think that’s what also separates me from the rest is that each ring is always unique and never the same as the one before. I think that’s what people like as well is that when they order a ring, they choose the colours and accents on the ring but besides that, they are never really going to know how exactly it is going to look but yeah, I think that’s what people like.
What are/were your main references for creating the rings the way you do (not following the usual gold or silver designs)? What made you go for this avenue?
Well, you know, course there’s big trends and resurgence of these colourful rings and stuff. And yeah, I do want to start working with metal with gold and silver, but I am loving this whole colourful ring trend and seeing people match rings to their outfits match like their accessories to colourful outfits especially in a time like where you can’t even really go outside and take inspiration from peoples outfits on the streets like in London that’s what I love doing and that’s what I love about London that people dress so freely. But at least people are still showcasing the life of fashion through the lens of social media and yeah that’s what I love seeing, to be honest, is seeing colour in a time like this.
Who do you hope your latest rings to be worn by and why? Obviously, a lot of people/influencers have worn your rings. Where do you picture them wearing it and why?
Who do I hope to see my rings on erm, well I mean I want to see everyone in them that’s what really makes me happy is like when customers send me pictures and like I’ve seen a couple of Tik Toks come up on my for you page of people wearing my rings which makes me so chuffed. But yeah, seeing Celeste on the Graham Norton show was a big moment for me because I love her music! I wouldn’t really say I wanted to see a specific person in particular other than Bella Hadid haha, but that’s a given. I just want to see everyone wearing them, to be honest.
And when people wear cool outfits and wear my rings that’s what I love seeing as well, I just love seeing the outfits people put together.
With all this in mind what’s next for Phase?
Well you know my brand is still really new and was only really born a month and a half ago so I just want to keep on growing it, I do want to make a website and as if said I do want to work with gold and silver and see where that takes me but at the moment I’m just really loving creating jewellery and creating pieces for people to wear and you know to bring people a bit of joy in colour. So yeah that’s what’s next for me just continue to grow the brand see where it takes me.
I’d love to be able to walk on the street and see people wearing them in real life that would be amazing, and you know potentially even sell in a shop.