5 Questions with Artist and (New) Jewelry Designer Yoko Ono

On the eve of New York Fashion Week, Japanese conceptual artist Yoko Ono unveiled two exclusive crystal key necklace designs as part of her collaboration with Swarovski Elements for fall.

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On the eve of New York Fashion Week, Japanese conceptual artist Yoko Ono unveiled two exclusive crystal key necklace designs as part of her collaboration with Swarovski Elements for fall.

The collection—designed around the theme of “unlocking the door to a better life” (her words, not ours)—includes a limited edition crystal cut ‘Key To Open The Universe’ necklace on a silver chain and a slightly more casual companion, ‘Key To Open The Forest’ pendant adorned with a tiny dangling metal key on a black cord. “Imagine a key that unlocks the door to the forest with its secrets, to the sky with its peacefulness, to the universe with its infinity, to a future with a promise for a better life,” she described.

In honor of the new collaboration, TIME caught up with Ono to talk about the inspiration behind her line and what beauty means to her.

Why call it ‘Key to Open the Universe’?
It just made sense. I like the fact that you have a key, and it is an abstract key that you can use to open little doors or open the planet or really anything. Once you have the key, you feel strong about it. It’s a very strong key.

Swarovski

You partnered with Swarovski for this collaboration. What’s special about crystal?
It is very strong. It is a very strong material and when it is made like this, it will not change. It contains the power of eternity.

Where does your concept of beauty come from?
I’ve always had a concept of beauty. [Everything] depends on how you look at it. Nothing is really ugly.

What is your favorite piece of jewelry someone has given to you?
A tiny, tiny diamond on a necklace that my husband [John Lennon] gave me. It was so tiny, I couldn’t believe it. He said he never had an occasion to buy a diamond necklace for anybody and this was the first time.

Who is the most beautiful woman in the world?
The most beautiful woman is all women who know what to do with themselves, and with their intelligence. They know they’re beautiful.

Ono’s collection will be available alongside two key-inspired pendants designed by Swarovski in 400 selected Swarovski stores worldwide. The limited edition “Key To Open The Universe” collection of 1,300 pieces will be sold for $350 a piece through November; her “Key To Open The Forest,” cut will sell for $90-$190. Both designs are engraved with Ono’s signature.

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