Phoenix. Jan. 29, 2020. When Bergdorf Goodman asked Jan Leslie for some candy-theme jewelry for a sugar-inspired window display two years ago, the jewelry designer and cufflink queen responded with wearable peppermints and boxes of chocolate. The request also opened the way to other confectionary-fueled ideas, including her recently debuted Rainbow Gummy Bear and companion Stripe collections.
“I’m obsessed with rainbows!” admits Leslie from Phoenix, Ariz., where she was setting up her booth at the trade-only Centurion Jewelry show (booth J214), which takes place from Jan. 28 to Feb. 1. “And considering what is going on in the world—from the legalization of cannabis in different states to pride celebrations and gay marriage rights—I wanted to make designs that brought smiles. A rainbow is a symbol of joy.”
Not surprisingly, Bergdorf’s loved the gummy looks but ordered them in solid colors. The rainbow version cufflinks, however, took home a Best in Men’s jewelry award at the 2019 Couture Design Awards during the Couture show in June in Las Vegas. Now, Rainbow Gummies are available in rings, earrings, cufflinks, and stud sets in sterling silver or 18k gold vermeil with hand-painted translucent ombre-effect enamel.
“Kids love them, adults love them,” observes Leslie. “We’ve taken kitsch to another level as art.”
To complement the bears, Leslie gave them color-striped jewel companions. Seven different colorways exist within striped styles that are made in sterling silver and 18k gold vermeil with the same enamel accents and mother-of-pearl or abalone inlay. Two different artisans embellish Leslie’s jewels—one for inlay and another for the enamel. Retail prices start at $195.
“Most people don’t want all one look, they like to mix and match,” she notes. “The stripes work well with the rainbows, offering a natural segue to those wonderful pops of color.”
Gummy Bear stud earrings in 18k gold-plated silver with rainbow colors of hand-painted translucent ombre-effect enamel, $295; available online at Jan Leslie
Stripe bangles in 18k gold-plated silver with hand-painted translucent ombre-effect enamel and mother-of-pearl or abalone inlay, $450 apiece; available online at Jan Leslie
Award-winning Rainbow Gummy Bear cufflinks in sterling silver with hand-painted translucent ombre-effect enamel, $595; available online at Jan Leslie
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