Designer Ray Griffiths is almost as well known for his charming personality (that accent!) as he is for his distinctive designs. Australian born, Ray discovered his love for jewelry at an early age, and began apprenticing with a jewelry and tiara master at the age of 15, where he learned the art behind construction and restoration of fine jewels. It is this early experience, fueled by additional years of training, discipline and experience, that is at the core of Ray’s signature crownwork style. We interrupted Ray handcrafting jewelry in his sunlit, New York City studio, to ask him how he viva’s Las Vegas:
COUTURE: How many years have you been exhibiting at COUTURE?
Ray Griffiths: This will be my 8th year at Couture; I was in the Design Atelier for 4 years (which is fab) and this will be my 4th year in the ballrooms.
COUTURE: COUTURE turns 20 this year….what do you think COUTURE’s birthday theme song should be?
RG: Car Wash by Rose Royce, firstly because it’s a fun song to dance to and dancing through COUTURE is a must…but mainly because the song is about working that hustle non stop all day and that’s what the show is – go go go! A disco song and dance.
COUTURE: If COUTURE were an animal, what would it be and why?
RG: A peacock, a beautiful show off with everybody strutting around.
COUTURE: What do you consider the highlight of COUTURE each year?
RG: Seeing old friends and making new ones
COUTURE: What single piece of jewelry are you most excited to showcase this year?
RG: The piece I entered in the COUTURE Design Awards competition; its one of my favorite pieces I have ever designed.
COUTURE: Whose jewelry, other than your own, are you most looking forward to seeing?
RG: Arman, he is a true artist and a great friend.
COUTURE: Coffee or Tea?
RG: Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon
COUTURE: What’s your “secret weapon” for tackling Las Vegas?
RG: Booking dinners in advance, organization is the key to surviving the madness of Sin City (and a great martini). Oh and a great moisturizer….that desert is dry and my skin gets thirsty too 🙂
COUTURE: What’s your earliest/most prominent memory of COUTURE?
RG: First time in Design Atelier my booth was next to my good buddy Erica Molinari and the madness and camaraderie between all designers was electric. There really is no other show in the world like COUTURE!