by Elian Zach
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Saar Yahav, 32, the mastermind behind SY Risqué Fine Jewelry, a brand specializing in high-end body piercing made of white/yellow gold and platinum, diamonds, precious stones and pearls, moved to New York from Israel on a whim in 2001. He had no idea his initials would end up on the bodies of many men and women across the globe.
MadlyJuicy: How was SY Risqué created?
Saar Yahav: For a while I worked as a salesman in the diamond district. My girlfriend at the time, who had a tragus piercing, wanted a diamond for her birthday. I got a cheap ring, replaced the stone with a diamond, and that was my first piece. Piercing is an ancient culture, not a trend, and I thought it would be cool to mix the punk rock attitude of that culture with the luxury of diamonds. While drawing my first collection, on the table were diamonds, a quarter and a dime. I put the quarter on my belly, on it a dime and on it a princess-cut diamond. That’s how ‘Eterno’ was formed. I realized I was making the evolution of the diamond ring. The ring means commitment, diamond earrings, also piercings, mean romance, and my new diamond ring means passion. My signature piece is a format that is an endless palette for a million designs. “Eterno” means eternity in Spanish.
MJ: Define the “Risqué” client.
SY: You can never tell. For instance, two clients of mine are a seemingly average married couple with kids. The husband decided to treat his wife for her 40th birthday with a nipple pendant with a pear-shaped diamond. We also have a few celebrity clients but we keep their privacy because some of them keep their piercing on their private parts.
MJ: What about us common folk who can’t afford your pieces?
SY: A lot of people want quality jewelry and can’t afford the high-end stuff, so we created SY & Company, SYCO, making high-end designs from cheaper materials.
MJ: What else is next?
SY: I’m now developing a concept of integrating custom pieces with tattoos. Also, I’m developing a magazine, ‘Pierced,’ which started as a community page on Facebook that now has over 200 thousands followers.
MJ: Give us some piercing tips for the upcoming swimsuit season.
SY: Fitting the right metal according to skin tone is important. For example olive skin complexion goes well with yellow gold, lighter skin with white gold, etc. Also, delicate navels require smaller pieces. I’d suggest a bigger stone for someone who wants to cover it up. The oval ‘Eterno’ is particularly flattering because it creates an illusion of body length. For dudes, I think the diamond nipple pendant is the best choice, but it’s really all about how the piercing makes you feel.
Are you single?
Must your future girlfriend be pierced?
No, but she’ll probably do it eventually.