Jennifer Wang makes statement jewelry. The first collection for her recently launched label, Ming Yu Wang, focuses on onyx decorated cuffs, pyramid rings, asymmetrical studs, and gold-plated collar necklaces that are part futuristic sci-fi film, part Futurism sculpture, and part preserved ancient artifact. “The purpose of jewelry for me is to use it as an exclamation point for your style,” she explains. “[My husband and I] are always watching sci-fi films from different eras. It would be my dream to create some custom pieces for a character that would be used as part of their storytelling device.”

Born in Taipei, Wang moved to Vancouver when she was 12, and then to New York to attend FIT. “I specialized in evening wear at FIT,” she recalls. “I really enjoyed the draping process, because it was like sculpting to me.” During her free time, the designer volunteered at the Met: “I started to obsess over the idea of wearing something that was timeless, an object designed with longevity.” Wang’s introduction to jewelry, however, happened earlier through her mother’s 1980s fashion pieces. “I keep a box full of them,” she confides. “Each piece has so much character and drama—probably what I love the most about jewelry. A small object can say so much.”

While Wang has traded in her textiles for precious metals, her process is not dissimilar. “My favorite material has to be sterling silver,” she notes. “It gets more beautiful with wear but still keeps its brightness and grows in character. I also love the wax carving process in the early stage of design. It’s very liberating to melt pieces together.”