Fine jewelry designer Ippolita dropped into Neiman Marcus at Lenox Square Mall to introduce her latest collections, Stella and Rock Candy. Featuring earrings, necklaces and bangles the collections are laced with colorful gemstones surrounded by sparkling diamonds in simple yet eye-catching settings. The jewelry is reminiscent of the relaxed elegance inspired by her native homeland of Italy, making the pieces wearable for everyday occasions. Ippolita answered a few questions about her inspiration and how she creates jewelry using the beauty of a star and the subtlety of a lady.
How did you transition from sculpture to jewelry design?
I see jewelry and sculpture going hand in hand—they both integrate art with craftsmanship. My interest in jewelry began from my sculpture practice and love of design. I wanted to create art for the everyday, and found the perfect outlet through jewelry.
How does your sculpting inspire your jewelry?
My background in sculpture has influenced the shapes of my jewelry, and my love of craft has led to every piece of IPPOLITA jewelry being made by hand.
What was the inspiration behind the Rock Candy Collection? And the Stella Collection?
Rock Candy has always been a core collection for IPPOLITA. The colorful aesthetic and diverse use of materials makes the Rock Candy collection of multi-faceted stone bangles, necklaces and rings a classic collection. Stella means “star” in Italian, so I wanted to create pieces that glimmer with luminescent shadows, just like a star. I layered faceted stones on top of smooth cut stones to create this effect, and was inspired by the new, modern combination of silver and diamonds.
How do you choose stones and colors?
I cherish the idea of respecting our natural resources. To me this translates into using materials for their innate beauty and doing as little as possible to them. I make collections around the mesmerizing sheen of shells or the delicate striations of exotic wood – simple, elegant and cool.
What made you want to create fine jewelry for everyday wear? Was that an aesthetic you felt was missing in the U.S.?
I launched IPPOLITA in 1999 when I saw a void in the designer jewelry category—at the time, jewelry was largely traditional, often designed by men, and purchased to be worn on special occasions. Feminine, fashion forward and wearable is what I wanted for myself and believed others would want as well. I wanted women to be able to wear and buy jewelry for everyday in the same way that they were already buying shoes and handbags.
Do you create custom pieces?
Since all of my jewelry is handmade it feels one of a kind!
Did you anticipate the line having so much success?
It has been wonderful to design jewelry that women can reach for everyday and helps them feel more beautiful, confident and sexy.
To learn more about Ippolita go to www.ippolita.com