Conversation With: David Yurman
David Yurman‘s passions span from craftsmanship to horsemanship. We joined up with the jewelry designer to talk about his horses Chicken Enchilada, Mr. Scooter and Commander, and his latest collection, exclusive to NM.
NM: Most people associate your name with jewelry, but you are also an avid horseman.
DY: Yes, around here, we refer to it as my alter-ego… I started riding when I was 9 years old. My father taught me; it was about spending time together. We’d ride every Sunday – out the door by 7:30 am, on the horses by 8:30 am. It was a special time and place.
NM: What is it about riding that you fell in love with?
DY: It’s about partnership. When I go through the gate on a horse, I enter their world, away from the constraints we live with – it always clears my head.
NM: Tell us about your horses.
DY: Mr. Scooter, a full bred quarter horse, was my first. When I first got him eleven years ago, he was specifically trained for competitive reining only. Today, although he can still perform, he is also trained for trailing. I personally trained him myself. No small feat, a five year process. Everything with Scooter was and always will be a delicate negotiation. He’s like a dog. ‘No food in your pockets, Dad? Then I don’t want to play.’ He’s an unusually beautiful and special horse.
My second horse, Chicken Enchilada, is an amazing 12 year old quarter horse that I’ve owned for 5 years now. Around the barn, we call him Cluck. Basically, he is the exact opposite of Mr. Scooter. He does it all and never complains. I only compete on him—and we have trophies to show for it!
My third horse, Commander, I didn’t intend to buy but I’ve had him for three years now. While on a trip to Tennessee, I was merely looking and just fell in love with this horse; a Paso Fino Percheron mix, walking horse. He is stunning; a very unique, odd mix. (Like mixing a beagle with a Bernese Mountain dog. Odd.) To ride Commander is like riding in a Cadillac: perfection. He has a very special personality; friendly with a true sense of humor about him.
I ride each of them; I love all of them.
NM: What is the inspiration behind your latest jewelry collection, that’s exclusive to Neiman Marcus, Labyrinth?
DY: For me Labyrinth is really about an ongoing fascination with knots – their beauty and simplicity. In Labyrinth we found a way to embody the knot’s natural tension and intricate connectivity. This collection was a collaboration with my wife Sybil, and our son Evan, and so our family connectivity and unconscious common language is also captured in these designs.
NM: What keeps you inspired to come up with new designs each season?
DY: LIFE! I’m always exploring, seeking out new materials, new techniques and technologies – always looking to the world around me for inspiration.
Up Close: David Yurman runs through August 19 at NeimanMarcus.com and Neiman Marcus stores.