There are many stories we love here at MRKStyle, and one of them includes jeweler Robert Procop's deep love of the gemstone. From an early age, Robert Procop (of Robert Procop Exceptional Jewels) was in love with the diamond, and that deep-rooted passion now drives him to search high and low for the rarest of gemstones that he turns into special pieces.
Our favorite occupation of Procop's is his design of the engagement ring for the likes of stars such as Angelina Jolie (who he's also collaborated on a collection with). Procop has also been commissioned by every US president since Ronald Reagan and has turned a variety of jewelry companies around (including Asprey and Garrard & Co). Procop lets the different gemstones he finds speak for themselves; they dictate the direction of the piece he's creating and evolve into iconic pieces (like the engagement ring of America's next Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton - Brad and Angelina). We chatted with Procop about all his favorite things, many of which inspire his day-to-day design and craftsmanship...
Place I love to visit that’s rich in history: I always love Venice Italy, with its inspirational culture, history and beauty.
My secret to looking timeless: Haven’t found it yet, but happiness always helps.
Most powerful photo I’ve ever seen: The photo of Sharbat Gula the Afghan woman in the famous National Geographic photograph (called "Afghan Girl") showing us that children and women are beautiful all over the world and opening our eyes, as Americans, to a global humanness.
Best souvenir I’m glad I brought back home: A jewel from Paris. I have a ring that Marie Antoinette gave her daughter with a piece of her own hair underneath a crystal on the ring. Inside the engraving to her daughter she uses the word “souvenir” in the personal message, which was very significant in those days. A souvenir meant a very personal heirloom being passed to someone dearly loved.
Smell that makes me feel most nostalgic: The smell of the ocean saltwater breeze reminds me of times in my life of surf and romance. It always brings back wonderful memories.
What I’m currently coveting: A note I received from a young woman now working successfully at a Mercedes Benz Dealership who never realized as a child she had been homeless. Her mother had recently told her that fifteen years ago they had been homeless and had become residents at the House of Ruth. This young women didn't not realize this because, as a child at the residence, she had felt such a sense of family and love. It made me realize, you never know how you may change someone’s life.
Best advice I’ve ever received: My father always said, “Always work for yourself and sacrifice money to have independence and the ability to follow your own passions.”
Music that always takes me back: Soft rock always reminds me of making out at the beach.
Film that I can watch over and over again: I’ve always enjoyed Gladiator because it has a little of everything - action, romance, deceit, romance and honor. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels I've watched a dozen times; it's my favorite Steve Martin film.
*Photo of Robert Procop and Angelina Jolie by Patrick DeMarchelier