Precious talents. IED Alumni Special on Jewelry Design

Jun 11, 2021

Some have it in their blood since childhood. Others, as often happens, have discovered their talent over time. And many gifted jewelry designers, who today have embarked on a successful career, working for their own brands or for other internationally renowned maisons, learned their skills in IED

Diamonds, Sapphire, Gold by Casa Bruni Bossio

Art is something that runs through your veins, perhaps ever since you are a child. You can breathe its smell in the family. As happened to Luca Bruni Bossio (read and watch his interview), who grew up in a family of master goldsmiths where he learned the art of creating jewelry. And he is one of the talents who have chosen to study at the Istituto Europeo di Design. Then, the path of this IED Milano Alumnus led him to creatively express his talent at Dolce & Gabbana, where he was chosen for an internship and where he worked for eight years, and at Versace Maison where he still works as Senior Designer of Fine and Costume Jewelry.

James Rivière was also trained in IED Milano and he's considered by many to be one of the most important jewellery designers of the 20th century. A designer, an all-round artist, a sculptor whose creations are present not only in his boutique in the Brera district, but in private collections around the world and in iconic places such as the Louvre Museum in Paris, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Vatican Museums in Rome. Moreover, the master Rivière has created the "Razionale" for Pope Benedict XVI: a masterpiece of the liturgical jewerly with 18 k rose, white and yellow golds, rhodium silver, Japanese pearls, diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, rubies.

Sofia Magallanes was also trained in Milan. She's a young jewellery designer with Mexican origins who now works in Canada. Her dream came true, as she told us in an interview. After her studies, she was chosen for the internship of her dreams at Van Cleef & Arpels. Then, she collaborated with Lorenz Bäumer Paris, where she designed jewelry for Louis Vuitton. During her career, Sofia saw some celebrities such as Sofia Coppola and Kirsten Dunst wearing her jewels and even Megan Markle. Infact, her diamonds bracelet Reflection de Cartier ended up in the royal wedding of the actress with the Prince Harry.

Between Italy and Spain, there was no shortage of gratification for graduates in Jewelry Design at IED.  For example, Daniela Gutierrez (read her interview). Graduated in Fashion & Accessories at IED Madrid in 2008, she has become the fashion director of Cosmopolitan Spain. But she continues to cultivate her love for bijoux, being the CEO of the Barokah Jewels brand.

Baroka Jewels

It was a path of efforts and dreams also that of Luz Adriana Núñez, a former student of the IED Madrid Master in Accessories Design. She founded her company Aluzina Joyas after finishing the IED and today she is a reference point in the world of Spanish jewellery as well as for all the students who want to create their own brand.

Jewels by Núñez

Furthermore, Julieta Álvarez is another Alumna from IED Madrid, with a degree in Fashion Design. Today she is an exceptional artisan who makes her creations in her laboratory, combining fashion and craftsmanship, symbolising a new way of making jewellery that is slowly changing and evolving extraordinarily. Her home accessories and design objects have been exhibited and sold in La Central (Museo Reina Sofía), El Museo Patio Herreriano in Valladolid or the Mad is Mad Art Gallery.

New generations of jewelry designers are growing more and more, making headway in the professional world. Just think of Emanuela Fletzer, IED Roma Alumna who, while she was still a student, created a collection for jewellers Coscia, a name of excellence in made in Italy. After the 2019 award ceremony at VicenzaOro, the most important European event dedicated to goldsmithing and jewellery, on the centenary of the Italian company, the designer in her twenties saw the production of her bijoux in the Ama collection, consisting of a necklace, a ring and earrings with a central element, that is Coscia's precious baroque pearls, wrapped like little treasures in a net generated by an elegant chain weave.

From Ama collection

During her final thesis work, Fletzer also had the opportunity to design prototypes of jewelry for people with visual impediments, as part of the interdisciplinary thesis with the Sant'Alessio ASP in Rome, using 3D printed ceramics. And speaking about thesis projects, the newly graduated IED Torino Alumnae created jewels in collaboration with Palmiero Jewellery Design, a Valenza atelier-laboratory known for its sculptural creations of high jewelry. With the aim of overcoming geographical and cultural boundaries, the creations have been designed for the Chinese market, in particular for women 25 to 55 years. Looking at the millenary history and observing the contemporary trends of the oriental power, the young designers have created haute couture collections by reinterpreting the style of Palmiero creations in an experimental manner. Among the proposals designed for the Chinese market, the company selected Good luck by Dajana Ferrara for the creation of a prototype. Her work is a synthesis of two distant worlds. In fact, the collection intertwines inspirations drawn from the traditional Chinese game of Mah Jong and Western kinetic art, overlapping the small tiles of the board game in a rotation that embraces the part of the body for which the jewel is designed. 

ph. Roberto Borgo

Therefore, jewels can be a way to tell about countries, peoples and traditions. As we can see in the collection crafted by the IED Roma Alumna Nayla Obeid, a jewellery designer and gemologist. From Lebanon, she included artistic references to her homeland in her thesis work at the end of the Master in Jewerly Design. Arcades du Levant is in fact a collection about Lebanese architecture.

Rings by Obeid

And talking about one’s origins in jewelry creations, it is necessary to remember Icaro Carlos (watch his interview), a Brazilian Alumnus who during his brilliant career has collaborated with Richemont Group.

Personal roots are also expressed in the work of Maria Augusta Canett Ranoya. Her Ybitu-Katu project brings us some history about Brazil’s coffee scene, especially on the evolution of coffee farms in the city of Botucatu. Her collection of artefacts was influenced from stories from her own family farm. The contemporary jewel collection mixes gold with the design of tools originating from the coffee period, resulting in conceptual and commercial wearable artefacts. This work was exhibited at Apriti IED in 2019 and at Galeria Melissa in São Paulo last year.

Necklace by Cannet Ranoya

The work of the IED Alumni is also characterised by a constant stride towards innovation, as demonstrated by the Invisible made Visible thesis project by Beatrice Marini, a recent graduate in Jewelry Design at IED Milano Fashion School. It is a collection of jewels that wants to demonstrate that also microorganisms need relationships. Is it difficult to imagine? And yet it is possible in this contemporary jewelry project, in which the young designer resorts to the use of a completely sustainable material, the "microbial skin", a sort of imitation leather that arises from the symbiosis between bacteria and yeasts.

A brooches by Marini

A mixture of water and sugar, in the presence of oxygen, gives to the bacteria the right conditions to grow with a conclusive result: a spongy and slippery substance, which once dried and treated to make it waterproof resembles the human skin. From this exceptional experiment, therefore, a collection of brooches was born, for which precious metals were also used.