Inspirations

Gigi Ferranti’s New Portofino Jewelry Collection is the Trip to Italy You Can’t Take Right Now

New York City. Oct. 5, 2020. Gina Ferranti of the Gigi Ferranti jewelry brand just unveiled the Portofino jewelry collection, a vibrantly colored tribute to the fishing village on the Italian Riviera coast. While Ferranti’s family hails from Naples and Sicily and she has visited the Amalfi Coast and Positano, she maintains that Portofino, in Northern Italy, remains a destination on her bucket list.

“I’ve been thinking about it and would have gone already had it not been for Covid-19,” she explains in a phone interview.

In fact, Portofino has been on her mind since late last year. This is when she was researching ideas for a new 18k gold collection with juicy colors of colored stones, a trend she saw happening in the market. As she brainstormed, she kept returning to her Italian heritage—which has long been an inspiration for designs. Her Lucia collection, for example, represents stained glass windows and architecture from Italy’s vast number of churches. This time, she mused, why not let an entire locality serve as a muse instead of merely elements within one? Portofino, known for its colorful houses and stunning Ligurian Sea, became an obvious choice.

“The landscape has a lot of color,” she observes, knowing it was a feature she wanted to add to her previously diamond-driven offerings.

Portofino debuted last week with cool and warm colors signifying different parts of the city’s landscape. Think candy-color dwellings in pink and orange sapphires with blue zircons and tsavorite garnets representing the sea. The gold is largely 18k yellow with a couple of items made in 14k yellow. Silhouettes include waves, lines representing the repeating patterns of buildings, and cute slender penne pasta forms, among others.

“I wanted to create an experience so when someone looks at the collection, they can feel that they are in that destination,” she explains. “It’s designed to give the wearer an intimate experience and feeling of happiness, serenity, and rejuvenation—what you would feel if you visited Portofino. Now more than ever, women want to escape to a happy, more serene place, and to feel glamorous and chic even when just wearing a pair of jeans.”

Portofino is available now for purchase on the Gigi Ferranti website and for order by stores; delivery to merchants is within four weeks (all jewelry is made in New York City). Retail prices start at $1,350.

Portofino three-stone ring in 18k yellow gold with 1.22 ct. blue zircon and 0.98 cts. t.w. tsavorite garnets, $5,800; available online at Gigi Ferranti

Portofino three-stone ring in 18k yellow gold with 1.22 ct. blue zircon and 0.98 cts. t.w. tsavorite garnets, $5,800; available online at Gigi Ferranti

Portofino side-set hoop earrings in 18k yellow gold with 1.84 cts. t.w. colored sapphires and tsavorite garnets, $5,850; available online at Gigi Ferranti

Portofino side-set hoop earrings in 18k yellow gold with 1.84 cts. t.w. colored sapphires and tsavorite garnets, $5,850; available online at Gigi Ferranti

Portofino Penne link necklace in 18k yellow gold with 3.85 ct. colored sapphires and tsavorite garnets, $15,500

Portofino Penne link necklace in 18k yellow gold with 3.85 ct. colored sapphires and tsavorite garnets, $15,500; available online at Gigi Ferranti


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Inspirations

Jade Trau’s Victoria Collection Is Jade Lustig’s Own Intimate Ode to Personalized Jewelry

New York City. Oct. 1, 2020. Given Jade Lustig’s affinity for vintage jewelry (modern retro diamond styles are her signature), the founder of jewelry brand Jade Trau’s new, super personalized Victoria collection, which debuted in June, won’t surprise many, though it will delight scads.

The idea for the collection was born on a De Beers-sponsored trip to Botswana last fall, where she sketched a line of zodiac charms. Lustig loves reading her own horoscope daily, so leaning into a line of meaningful jewels like these felt right and was a move she wanted to explore further. She unveiled a capsule offering of Victoria in platinum at the end of November 2019, loving the “chill vibe” of the tony metal’s whitish-gray color.

“Victorian jewelry is sentimental, so I started with pieces that were meaningful to me,” she says.

The initial looks in Victoria were so well received that she kept designing. Wanting to flesh out this fine-but-casual approach to jewelry, Lustig added 18k yellow gold to offerings. “The two-tone look just knocked it out of park,” she says.

Next came initial pendants, created during quarantine. Working remotely with her manufacturing team, they used CAD and Facetime to create letter charms that are about a half an inch large. Religious symbols, too, like Buddha, an evil eye, and a cross, were born as well. “They have lots of articulation,” notes Lustig.

A challenge lay in designing pieces at a distance when the process is typically so tactile, but Lustig and her team made it happen.

Pieces in Victoria now total upwards of 60 different charms, nine necklace chains, and six bracelet chains. All charms have diamond accents. Zodiac stud earrings are also available, as are chains that can be purchased separately from charms, a feature her fans had been wanting. Collectors can build their own charm bracelets and add appropriate elements from other Jade Trau collections. Lustig’s Loop pieces, for example, act as clasps but also as charm holders, and medallions from Alchemy can mingle well with new Victoria charms.

Letter charms in Victoria start at $1,450 retail, Zodiac studs cost $1,850 a pair (though can be sold as singles), and Zodiac charms cost $1,990 apiece. All pieces are available in platinum or white, yellow, or rose gold, though some chains are only available in yellow. Lustig even has a few special charms available with pink diamonds.

The designer’s only misstep? A dearth of rings. “I’ve been washing my hands so much that I forgot to add rings in Victoria,” she laughs.

H Letter charm in 18k rose gold with 0.16 cts. t.w., $1,450; wendy@jadetrau.com for purchase

H Letter charm in 18k rose gold with 0.16 cts. t.w., $1,450; wendy@jadetrau.com for purchase

Evil Eye charm in 18k white gold with 0.20 cts. t.w., $1,650; wendy@jadetrau.com for purchase

Evil Eye charm in 18k white gold with 0.20 cts. t.w., $1,650; wendy@jadetrau.com for purchase

Virgo Zodiac stud earrings in 18k yellow gold with 0.07 cts. t.w., $1,850; wendy@jadetrau.com for purchase

Virgo Zodiac stud earrings in 18k yellow gold with 0.07 cts. t.w., $1,850; wendy@jadetrau.com for purchase

Tatum chain bracelet in in 18k rose gold, $2,525; wendy@jadetrau.com for purchase

Tatum chain bracelet in in 18k rose gold, $2,525; wendy@jadetrau.com for purchase


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Inspirations

Nina Bukvic’s Ancient Coin Amulet Jewelry Is Born from History, Personal Reflection

London. Oct. 1, 2020. Designer Nina Bukvic’s first-ever ancient coin jewelry collection was an exclusive one made for Barneys about 20 years ago, but memories of it have inspired a new iteration. Behold her latest Ancient Coin Amulet jewelry collection, which debuted in mid-September.

“During the lockdown I rummaged through some boxes, and seeing those coins brought back memories as well as new ideas,” she tells JH. “The pieces are modeled by my personal collection—I collect antique and vintage jewelry, objects, and coins. Some are Roman, others more recent Victorian, and some are the same ones I used as inspiration for the Barneys collection.”

Plus, as Covid-era reality unfolded, so did uncertainty, and Bukvic saw individuals slowing down to better appreciate and re-evaluate their lives, moves she also made. The new coins became part of this experience.

“This is an opportunity to look back in our past and try to connect it with our present and create a better future,” she continues. “This collection is just that, bringing the past back and fusing it with the present and thereby creating an aesthetically balanced fusion of both.”

So she reimagined her initial coin collection—“I  still had a few of those coins,” she says—and that gave way to the rest. All are made predominately in 18k yellow gold with some 22k and 9k gold mixed in, as well as some silver. Pink and blue sapphires and fancy-color diamonds are used as stone accents. Retail prices range from £300 to £9,000.

What’s uncommon about these coins is that they are entirely made by hand—no casting! And while each jewel is unique, similar ones can be reordered with the understanding that no two will ever be exactly the same.

“I love experimenting, coming up with new techniques,” Bukvic explains about a thoughtful process she employs to make the coins. She melts gold (lately, lots of scraps) over a jeweler’s charcoal or soldering mat, scraping the material and using a pick to shape it while it’s molten. Over time and with practice, she’s gotten into a groove of making coins this way. But the process, not Bukvic, dictates the size of the coin.

A newly completed, fabricated coin from Nina Bukvic

A newly completed, fabricated coin from Nina Bukvic

“I don’t decide how big the coin is—it’s decided by chance,” she says in a phone interview. “This is not precise or a predictable method, but I enjoy it. Once I get the desired shape or effect, I can further file and sand it. Then I decide what to do with it depending on how thin it is, such as making a ring or a necklace.”

Ancient Coin Amulet is already in a few stores in the United Kingdom and arrives stateside in October.

Ancient Coin stud earrings in 18k yellow gold, £1,050; available online at Nina Bukvic

Ancient Coin stud earrings in 18k yellow gold, £1,050; available online at Nina Bukvic

Ancient Coin ring in 18k yellow gold, £2,900; available online at Nina Bukvic

Ancient Coin ring in 18k yellow gold, £2,900; available online at Nina Bukvic

Ancient Coin necklace in 18k yellow gold, £5,960; available online at Nina Bukvic


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Inspirations

ParkFord Jewelry’s New Revival Collection Is a Visual Love Letter to Chicago

Chicago. Sept. 30, 2020. Jeanette Park loves Chicago so much that the city is the design muse for her new Revival jewelry line. The Midwest native, originally from Waukesha, Wis., and the force behind ParkFord Jewelry (the business moniker is a combination of her maiden name and her husband’s family name) unveiled Revival yesterday, “a collection inspired by the mix of old and new that I see every day here in Chicago,” she explains. “Chicago is such a vibrant modern city but still has nostalgia from the turn of the century that I wanted to capture and translate into a fine-jewelry collection.”

One of the city’s most unique structures is the Mantonya Flats building designed by Curd H. Gottig and built in 1887 by Lucius B. Mantonya. This dwelling was built six years after Chicago’s great fire, which burned for two days, destroyed more than three square miles of the city, and left about 100,000 people homeless. Among its distinctive features: Moorish-inspired windows that are rounded and have keyhole-like effects. “I’ve been dying to design around those,” says Park. “These round brick window frames are also featured in other flats from that era, and this inspired the motif you see in my designs.”

To date, Revival features 26 SKUs, all made in 14k gold with a variety of gemstones, including faves like tanzanite and turquoise. “I love color and wanted to keep things bright,” she explains. Retail prices for Revival start at $1,280. All the jewelry is made in Chicago.

Park’s beloved design signature of claw prongs, evident in many of her other works, have an understated presence in some Revival styles, as do cabochon stone cuts.

“My designs are modern and have clean lines and bright pops of color—I don’t have a craft look even though there is a vintage influence,” she adds.

Collectors can shop Revival on the ParkFord website now while store buyers can email Jackie Lebental at Jackie@barri.onmicrosoft.com for wholesale purchases.

Double Revival ring in 14k yellow gold with jadeite jade and 0.1 ct. t.w. diamonds, $2,530; available online at Park Ford Jewelry

Double Revival ring in 14k yellow gold with jadeite jade and 0.1 ct. t.w. diamonds, $2,530; available online at ParkFord Jewelry

Midi Revival stud earrings in 14k yellow gold with 0.38 ct. t.w. hot pink sapphires, $3,470; available online at Park Ford Jewelry

Midi Revival stud earrings in 14k yellow gold with 0.38 ct. t.w. hot pink sapphires, $3,470; available online at ParkFord Jewelry

Rainbow Revival necklace in 14k yellow gold with rainbow moonstone and 1.2 cts. t.w. baguette-cut sapphires, $3,950; available online at Park Ford Jewelry

Rainbow Revival necklace in 14k yellow gold with rainbow moonstone and 1.2 cts. t.w. baguette-cut sapphires, $3,950; available online at ParkFord Jewelry


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