Whether you’re a Jackie or a Marilyn, a Taylor Swift or a Cara Delevingne, jewelry designer Jon De Porter has a unique creation to suit every personality and style. Although his love of jewelry making was ignited by his interest in the characteristically conservative pearl, his often colourful and bold pieces can transform any look into a style statement. We caught up with the Montreal-born, Toronto-based jewelry designer to find out more about his career and current obsessions…
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
I am a jewelry designer based in Toronto. Pearls are at the heart of my designs but I also work in gemstones, wood, silk, etc. My love from pearls comes from my ﬁrst trip to China where I visited the pearl market in Beijing. My style is glamourous and decadent, but my pieces can also be easily worn on a day-to-day basis. We’ve all heard “diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” but pearls never outshine the beauty of a woman… Now that’s a friend!
What are the biggest challenges and best rewards about what you do?
My clients are very educated women. They work hard and the jewelry I make for them needs to be extremely well made to follow the busy pace of their lives. I get away with very little mistakes. I stand behind my product 100% and they know that. So if a piece is not perfect, it comes back and I work on it until it is. Last month, a client spent $50 on a courier to send me a necklace to repair instead of going to her local jewelry store because she trusted me. That has to be the best reward in what I do.
What are three things you can’t live without?
Only three? Let’s see…
-Champagne, with a single pop, it can turn a horrible day into a celebration.
-A well-ﬁtted jacket. You could be in jeans and a T-shirt, but if you have to leave the house quickly, you can just put it on, grab a fabulous bag and sunglasses and face the world with conﬁdence.
-A boyfriend. I miss cuddling under a ﬂuffy duvet on Sunday morning. Message me on Facebook…
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…I love the vibe… It is a city full of opportunities. Everybody is welcome as long as they are willing to work hard and put in the effort. Yes, housing is expensive and the subway is less than perfect but, hey! No one said it would be easy… We all work hard at making our dreams come true, and we can make it happen in Toronto.
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
Oh, so many, Daisho at Momofuku has to be my favourite right now. The food is out of this world, and I love the selection of small producer champagne they have. Tutti Matti on Adelaide has amazing Tuscan cuisine and Banh Mi Boys’ sandwiches are a great grab-and-go option in my neighbourhood. Other than that, you’ll see me twice a week at Aji Sai Sushi on Queen West. I simply can’t get enough! Always fresh, and the staff is super friendly.
What’s one of your favourite go-to designers/brands or accessories lines and why do you sport their fashions?
Hermes. Nothing compares to their quality. I can’t just walk in there and clean them out, but I cherish the few pieces I have. From Limoges espresso cups, fragrances, interior upholstery fabrics, gloves, scarves and, yes, of course, my big “B” – every time I use something from them, I feel special and I truly enjoy that moment. Quality over quantity.
What products are always in your beauty/grooming bag?
Clinique’s Exfoliating Scrub for Men. The feeling of fresh and clean it provides is the best way to start my day. It leaves my skin smooth and radiant. Their Moisture Sheer Tinted Moisturizer is equally wonderful when I don’t want to look like I am wearing make-up but I still want a ﬂawless look. When photographers are in proximity, I use a dark powder foundation as a bronzer-contour. That way I don’t have sparkle or glitter running down my perfectly tailored jacket…
What style trends are you obsessed with right now?
Love the ’60s: impeccably groomed men and the return of the suit… It’s a trend that can easily be channeled by everyone. All you need is a sharp razor blade, a comb and a pair of geeky glasses…
What’s your favourite spa or service?
Car service. Living downtown, I can walk a lot to different meetings, and take TTC for the odd quick trip. But when I go to the airport, have to see a client uptown, or go to a swankier event, I book a town car. That way I can arrive fresh, relaxed and ready to deal with whatever comes my way. It has the same effect on me as an hour at the spa.