Mad for Mads

A Las Vegan in the know goes one-on-one with Mads Kornerup

Shamballa Jewels’ clientele has evolved from a virtual cult consisting of celebrities and friends of designer Mads Kornerup to its current club-like status as the go-to collection for stylists and in-the-know patrons looking for unisex jewelry that imbues the wearer with positivity and a sense of well-being. I have been a fan of Mads and his pieces since running into them (I literally almost knocked him over) while running around the Couture Show at Wynn Las Vegas in 2008, and have worn various bracelets (white gold with emerald and diamonds, yellow gold with sapphires, and Tahitian pearls and ebony with diamonds) almost daily ever since. It is inevitable that wherever I am, somebody will comment on my Shamballa bracelet. But don’t take my word for it. Let the man who’s made pieces for everyone from Ashton Kutcher, Jay-Z and Mary-Kate Olsen to Kanye West, Ellen DeGeneres and members of the Danish and Kuwaiti royal families tell you himself. I caught up with him via e-mail prior to the 2010 Couture Show (June 3-7), where Shamballa Jewels will occupy their usual corner stall just outside the ballroom at Wynn.

What was the impetus for the signature Shamballa “look”?

My fascination for the mala that is used to count one’s recited mantra, or just for counting the exhalations.

Your twin brother, Mikkel, is also your business partner. How does this work? Do you ever bicker or is it always smooth sailing?

It is always a challenge because, although similar in looks, we have very different views on how things should be done.

To what do you attribute the overwhelming, almost cult-like fascination with your pieces?

My great personality 😉 and the relaxed look to wearing expensive diamond pieces and the only unisex bracelet with such diversity.

What jewelers do you most admire?

Cartier for the quality of their work, and Sevan for their incredible array of new ideas.

From where do you source your various stones?

Basel and Tuscan are the shows that give me new ideas.

What’s new for you? Rumor has it you’ve opened a small retail space in Paris. Also that you drove in a Gumball race.

The Hôtel Costes pop-up shop was only for three months and it was great fun because of the international traffic outside that hotel. Now we are at Colette as well as the Montaigne Market.  Colette has showed our pieces to the fashionistas of the world, and the talk is on!

Is there anything special we should be looking for from Shamballa at this year’s Couture Show?

Our trio of necklaces in ruby, sapphire and emerald are amazing. 

Where is your “happy place” and with whom?

With my family, at my friend’s house in Ibiza [Spain]. Alone, it is skiing powder, on a sunny day.