SPACE Designer Maria Tash on How to Rock an Ear Full of Bling

“I think we have broken loose of the stereotype that we have to have matching first lobe piercings and nothing else,” SPACE jewelry designer Maria Tash told us—and hooray to that. “People now treat their multiple piercings as autonomous vehicles for styling—experimenting with asymmetry can be liberating.”


Jewelry designer Maria Tash, courtesy Maria Tash

There’s every chance you agree with the idea, although actually doing it can sometimes be intimidating. No more, however, because now we’ve got the inside scoop and the best style secrets from New York City’s preeminent piercing pro—including where FKA Twigs’s new piercing is. 

Maria Tash on what to know and how to wear the pieces in our SPACE collection:

The diameters of rings in this curated selection are small, and they will fit snugly in most people’s lobes and cartilage.

The black opal spikes and the tiny round Australian opals traveled from Australia to Thailand to our factory in Hong Kong and to our loving hands in New York before reaching Nordstrom.  

Maria Tash black opal spikes hoop earring.

Maria Tash black opal spike ring

I also like the Delia stud with a pear diamond and its cousin, the scallop-edged marquise diamond stud. They are not common shapes of diamonds, and I have accented them with an antique finish for anachronistic effect. Both the studs and the rings are full of detail yet small enough to wear continuously, as most of our clients do.

Maria Tash earrings: 18 gauge pearl coronet ring and black opal triple spike ring.

These pieces are designed to live in the body, be slept in comfortably, be nickel free and be compatible with today’s modern lifestyles.  Feel free to combine them in any desired way—there are no rules anymore.

Maria Tash earrings.

On the hottest spots for the best jewelry:
(See the ear map in this goop feature with Maria Tash to reference the regions mentioned below.)

There is much less of a demand for piercings of the body now, compared to the 1990s. We still see female nipple piercings, septum and nostril piercings, and a few navel piercings.

Ear work—lobe and helix piercing—is our bread-and-butter piercing demand. I see these requests continuing along with new ways to adorn the inner ear cartilage. The jewelry has to constantly evolve as well.

The inner ear piercing that is currently popular is the attractive daith piercing, and also the high conch region (or lower rook). These are ways to sneak small diamond accents into areas that are not commonly pierced.

I think people are starting to appreciate the merits of piercing unexpected parts of the ear and adorning them with fine jewelry. Improved jewelry—and very tiny jewelry—has also inspired multiple piercings. We hear our clients say they did not want a piercing until they saw the jewelry.  

The high first hole lobe piercing is a fun new variation on a traditional earlobe piercing—pleasantly, it’s also a quick heal. So many people have a low placement of a first earlobe piercing, or they have a piercing that has stretched downward with time. The high first lobe piercing, when done well, is placed exactly above the first and creates a flattering artistic accent; it draws the eye up and makes the original lower lobe placement look more deliberate.

Small studs are lovely accents to whatever jewelry is worn in the traditional first holes. Recently we pierced the high first lobes of FKA Twigs.

Laura Cassidy at Maria Tash's New York City studio.
Senior Editor Laura Cassidy had her helix pierced at Maria Tash’s New York City flagship during New York Fashion Week. Check it out next time you’re in the Big Apple—or, f
or a complete list of Association of Professional Piercers (APP) accredited piercing shops in other areas, please use this safe piercing guide.

At Maria Tash's studio.

EXPLORE: Maria Tash | all emerging designers | all designer collections