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Los Angeles—You know those plastic beaded bracelets you used to make to spell out your name in childhood, the ones everyone began taking up again in earnest during COVID-19 lockdown this year?
Jewelry designer Wilfredo Rosado has come up with his own, far more elegant take on the nostalgic trend.
The Brooklyn, New York-based designer is most well known for his high jewelry pieces, but just launched a contemporary fine jewelry label, W.Rosado, via a Moda Operandi trunk show last month.
W.Rosado’s first collection is “Pearl ID.”
“After a few years of designing high jewelry, I felt the need to challenge myself to create a collection that is of the utmost quality and fine craftsmanship, but can easily be worn every day,” Rosado explained.
“The idea was to interpret a timeless classic into a collection that is modern and innovative, but also has the potential to transcend age and style.”
The 25-piece range features Australian South Sea pearls embedded with gold initials and symbols like a heart, star, cross, Star of David and a less kid-friendly sweet leaf, also known as the “Mary Jane.”
Rosado worked for months with artisan stone cutters in Idar-Oberstein, Germany to experiment with cutting the pearls. Craftspeople developed special tools during the process to accomplish the delicate work.
Once pearls were carved with the shape of a specific letter or symbol, artisan goldsmiths in Valenza, Italy crafted the symbols in gold and set them into the pearls.
“I pride myself on craftsmanship; it’s a hallmark of my high jewelry and I made no exceptions with this collection,” he said.
“Pearl ID” runs the gamut from a pearl stud earring or pendant with a single initial or symbol to more elaborate pearl necklaces and brooches that spell words like “Love” and “Amore.”
The collection’s mix of influences high—expert craftsmanship and materials—and low—the allusion to childlike craft jewelry—reflect Rosado’s unique artistic background.
Once upon a time, he ran in Andy Warhol’s circle in New York City, going on to serve as fashion director of his magazine, “Interview,” before moving to Milan to work under Giorgio Armani.
Now, making the move from high jewelry to more attainable styles, Rosado said he has noticed that symbols and customization continue to resonate with the typical fine jewelry customer.
“It was important to me to incorporate an element of personalization and symbolism into my first collection
In addition to the Moda Operandi trunk show, W.Rosado is set to retail at select Saks Fifth Avenue stores and on Saks.com, at Los Angeles boutique Just One Eye and on WRosado.com.
It retails between $2,500 and $100,000.
A portion of sales proceeds will benefit City Parks Foundation, of which Rosado sits on the board. It aims to expand green spaces for underserved communities in New York City.
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There will also be a virtual component for those not in attendance.