By Ashley Davis
Designs from British jewelry designer Pippa Small, pictured, were on view recently at Rainbowwave’s New York City showroom.
Whenever an international fine jewelry brand with a unique point of view dips its toes in the American market there’s a good chance they’ve entered my purview via Rainbowwave.

Maria Lemos founded the fashion, accessories and jewelry sales showroom in London back in 2002.

Today it boasts a second office in New York City and, in addition to its staff of 45 sales professionals, a public relations and operations team. 

The delightfully named company has been my introduction to brands like Venyx, Raphaele Canot and Yannis Sergakis.

Currently, the showroom represents 15 fine jewelers, including Nina Runsdorf, Ileana Makri, Nikolle Radi and Bibi van der Velden, as well as Canot and Sergakis.

A recent trip to the New York showroom introduced me to a whole new set of creatives I’d never heard of as well as a few brands planted firmly in my list of favorites like one of its few Americans, the Los Angeles-based Lizzie Mandler.

“We do not have a definitive selection criteria when it comes to style. However, one thing that we always look for is originality and craftsmanship,” Rainbowwave Jewelry Director Darren Hildrow explained of the company’s impressive cadre of designers.

“It is a joy to see designers who are brave enough to push the boundaries of design; too many fall into the trap of commerciality. Commerciality will make any designer money in the short term but will likely only lasts a couple of seasons. Originality, although a struggle in the beginning, will last a lifetime.”

Below is a highlight reel of non-commercial and boundary-pushing works I saw from designers new and established.

20190828 rainbowwave golpira

German designer Gisa Golpira launched Golpira as an ode to her childhood in South America, where her mother dug for gold. Golpira decided to honor gold’s natural nugget shape by incorporating the raw material into pendants, earrings and rings, sometimes accented with diamonds.

20190828 rainbowwave pippa

British jewelry veteran Pippa Small takes philanthropy to an unheard-of level with her Turquoise Mountain line, crafted by artisans she works with in depressed locations like Afghanistan.

Her namesake fine line is as entrancing as ever. Coiled rings and bracelets have a tribal quality that lends themselves well to her simple style, in which the materials do most of the talking, like these rubies.

20190828 rainbowwave ileana

Ileana Makri continues to expand on some of her favorite signatures, like an evil eye or baguette diamonds, which accent luxurious new pendants. She’s also branched into hand-stamped jewelry, a nod to a traditional technique, like this ornate heart pendant.

20190828 rainbowwave hum

Out of Japan, Hum exemplifies the meticulous pursuit of perfection that characterizes much of Japanese design. The brand applies a sophisticated point of view to update classic chain link bracelets and rings with interesting metal alloys and pavé diamonds.

20190828 rainbowwave lizzie

Speaking of perfection, Lizzie Mandler has just about perfected her gold chain with her signature knife-edge.

The designer elevates daily jewelry staples with her exacting attention to detail, honing in on ideal scale, shape and texture to create truly investment-worthy pieces.

Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.