Azlee imbues engagement rings with a modern-day cool

Azlee’s engagement rings subvert traditional design codes

Azlee diamond engagement rings
(Image credit: Azlee)

Art deco architecture influences are translated into striking engagement ring designs for an offbeat aesthetic by Azlee. 

‘My rings are distinct, personal, and are a true reflection of one who wears them,’ says Los Angeles-based founder Baylee Zwart. ‘I find that so refreshing. I have always been passionate about offering custom engagement ring clients high-quality white diamonds, but in a truly one-of-a-kind way. I love the idea of honouring the history and significance of an engagement ring being made with a white diamond, but I feel like there is no reason that the diamond and the design shouldn't be more personal, fluid, exploratory. So we balance classic settings with these really unusual stones, and work one on one with clients to design them from the ground up, while getting to know them, understanding them, so that their ring can be a true reflection of them.’

Azlee engagement rings

Azlee diamond engagement ring

(Image credit: Azlee)

A focus on recycled 18ct yellow gold, and vintage and ethically sourced diamonds and gemstones puts a precious spin on pieces inspired by the vivid colours of Greece and the undulations of the ocean. ‘I wanted to capture that movement, and feeling,’ Zwart adds. ‘The “Sequence” ring, which features custom-cut elongated hexagon diamonds that taper large to small, represents that rippling effect. The “Aspida” ring, meaning “shield” in Greek, also features that ripple effect that I had in mind while watching the ocean.’

four diamond engagement rings with different coloured stones

(Image credit: Azlee)

Creating juxtapositions of cuts was not without its challenges. ‘The cluster ring especially presented a challenge because each stone is a different internal cut – the shield is mixed cut, meaning a combination of step and brilliant cut, the emerald is step cut, and the round is brilliant, which means they all reflect light very differently. So the combination of stones you choose is crucial for them to complement each other well. The “Aspida“ ring took 25 hours of bench work by our jewellers, and was made in a few different pieces, in different phases. It was incredibly labour intensive to preserve the crisp, clean lines and angles of the piece, while creating the three different levels. It was also very difficult to find all of these unusual diamonds in high colour/clarity combinations, then source side diamonds that match the colour and clarity of the centre/main diamond. It is always such a hunt for these stones.’

diamond engagement rings

(Image credit: Azlee)

Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.