Tzvika Janover: “Before cost, the piece should be perfect in our eyes”

FORMS is one of the most popular young high jewellery brands. Auction houses regularly choose their pieces for their sales, TEFAF invited them for the exhibition in Maastricht that was in March. Many experts can recognize their designs fluently and detect inspiration that was delivered by them to a rather broad selection of jewellery houses after their “Elements” collection was out just before the COVID. Now, after three years in isolation on the island – FORMS is based in Hong Kong – the brand introduced to the public their everyday designs as peculiar as their red carpet chandeliers. New techniques, new materials, a fierce combination of ideas – Lostinjewels’s decided to talk to the person standing behind them. Tzvika Janover is a Forms’ creative director. I, Olga Zakharova-Kaetano, used the opportunity that TEFAF generously provides to their attendees and asked him a few questions.

LIJ: Your site tells the stories behind your creative process and techniques, but the roots and the history of Forms stay a mystery. All we know is that the founders, Tzvika Janover and Elad Assor, are “descendants of historic world-class diamond cutter families”. What was in the beginning? What was the concept? Why did you choose Hong Kong for your headquarters?

A Fine Pair of Natural Untreated Ruby and Diamond ‘Wings’ Earrings. Each cascading a spine of openwork terminated by shield shaped diamonds, highlighted by a series of natural unheated rubies from Burmese, rubies are in matching colour and superb brilliance, mounted in 18 karat white gold. Rubies: 19.15 carats. Diamonds 13.71 carats. Photography: courtesy of FORMS. Video:

Having grown up in the gem industry, my love and appreciation for unique gemstones started early on. I was fortunate to have visited Hong Kong on numerous occasions during my childhood, so it felt natural for me to choose the island as our headquarters. FORMS was established in 2009 with a vision of creating meaningful and unique jewels, at first for other brands, and as we became more confident in our craft, we shifted to signing pieces. Its name was a fitting to our vision – from the literal sense of producing a piece of jewel using different forms and shapes to a philosophical concept of bringing abstract ideas together to create a new.

LIJ: What was the dream about the brand back then? What forms the Forms now? What is the direction you choose for yourself?

It was mainly about the product. We thought about creating unconventional pieces and exploring new techniques in workmanship while growing a team of talents so we could better execute our ideas.

We created a unique process where different talents work together under one roof sharing knowledge, ideas and expertise. It’s a diverse group of individuals who share different perspectives – that adds a lot of complexity of the pieces.

We are in for meaningful creation and discovery, once we are comfortable with a certain technique or concept, there’s a new one to research. We are not really looking “outside”, we are “inside” our own space inspiring each other.

LIJ: Your team is young and it represents different cultures, systems of knowledge and experience, tastes and traditions, including an approach to the design of jewellery. If we look at the pieces presented by you at TEFAF, I think, it becomes clear that those were born under different influences, ideas, that were more than one mind’s creations. How do you keep those people, creatives, in harmony with each other, in deep understanding of each other’s part in the brand and in connection?

It starts with the understanding that creating fine pieces takes more than one person to accomplish, and we acknowledge these talents at FORMS. I’ve seen great design concepts turn to mediocre finished pieces for the lack of technical ability, or if a concept is unrealistic to begin with, it would not be feasible to create, even with a master jeweller. Our creative process is more like a design thinking model rather than a traditional jewellery production process. This allows us to be highly creative. Before cost, the piece needs to be perfect in our eyes.

Colombian Emerald and Chrysocolla Ring. A Colombian sugarloaf emerald is bordered by two rows of diamonds and two calibré-cut boomerang -shaped chrysocolla. The brushed bezel complements the rustic style of the ring. Mounted in 18K white gold. Emerald 9.23 carats. Chrysocolla 9.99 carats. Diamond 0.52 carat. Photography: courtesy of FORMS. Video:

LIJ: What are the qualities that Forms’ jewellery should represent? What are the criteria?

FORMS follows a simple philosophy of craftsmanship, rarity and design. Creating very few pieces a year allows us to be selective. Some pieces may get scrapped halfway along the manufacturing process for countless reasons. There are too many criteria and complexities to consider since every piece is a “prototype”.

LIJ: Jewellery industry is quite complex, and it consists of many areas, starting from gems mining and trade to the final markets, where your jewellery is presented among the other high jewellery brands. But even there everything depends on the local clients’ tastes and demands. You have 2 showrooms – in Hong Kong and in Geneva. Is there a difference between your clients? Do they want different things or different qualities of the jewellery?

We design for a type of customer rather than for a market. Wearability is important, and so is understanding our client’s lifestyle. There are different preferences between markets. I think the diversity of our creative team naturally speaks and appeals to some of the different preferences but we try to concentrate on what we feel is right and just follow our philosophy.

An Australian Boulder Opal and Emerald Bangle. Set to the front with two matching calibré-cut Australian boulder opal, accented by circular-cut emeralds, mounted in 18 karat gold and Bronze. Emeralds 2.10 carats. Photography: courtesy of FORMS. Video:

LIJ: There are many emerging topics in the media around jewellery. It starts with ethical mining, labour conditions, goes to the sustainability, development of new standards relating to the artificial and natural gems. Then there’s the subject of diversity in marketing campaigns and so on. How does that go with FORMS?

In terms of sourcing diamonds, we only work with sightholders that guarantee that all the diamonds we sell are ethical and conflict-free. We deeply appreciate precious gems and use only natural rare ones sourced from trusted partners. Authenticity and transparency are important for our suppliers, we always carefully re authenticate and verify the stones. It’s a pledge to our customers. We also work a lot with age-old materials which are repurposed to create modern pieces and try to use recyclable or sustainable sourced materials in the jewellery pieces.

LIJ: It’s obvious that FORMS became an example of a successful and daring brand. Other jewellers look at you and try to follow your path to the top. What the advice you as you are now would give to yourself 7-8 years ago so to cut that path? And what would you like your legacy to be?

I don’t really believe in short-cuts. There are too many valuable lessons along the way. We are slowly evolving to where our imagination and instinct takes us. I hope to continue and produce thoughtful creations.

I really want our early collectors to be proud that they’ve discovered us and now own one of FORM’s early pieces.

That thought is one of my main motivations. And that reassures us to keep challenging ourselves with new creations.