Sometimes, jewelry is so expressive, you love pretty much everything in a collection. This was my experience with the mother/daughter design team of Borgioni Private Collection. I met Rhonda (mother) and Tiffany (daughter) at the Couture Jewelry Show and besides loving everything, I got a sense of the inspiration behind their brand.
One word that I would use to describe Rhonda and Tiffany is “connected.” This pair, besides looking alike (more like twins than a generation apart) have a shared aesthetic that makes the design process effortless. They have been known to purchase the same jacket in the same color, from their respective locations of Florida and Los Angeles. Even thousands of miles apart, their link is obvious.
I asked how their design process worked, since they live in different cities with vastly different visual perspectives. Of course, what I really wanted to know was the potentially juicy backstory of how is it REALLY to work with your mom or daughter on something so intensely personal and challenging as jewelry?
“It’s very fluid, really, since we are so connected. Mom is more flamboyant, and I’m a little more subdued with a bohemian bent. But we are both unified in our edginess, our willingness to push the boundaries of fine jewelry a little,” Tiffany answered.
This is apparent when looking at the design collections. Individually, and then together, they have a knack for nailing an extremely current vibe: snakes (to amazing effect), shark teeth, spikes, handcuffs. But there is a coherent sense of refinement to everything they touch. Although spike bracelets are done by other designers, there is something about the Borgioni piece: the way it wraps, the balance, the perfect pave…everything they make straddles this tension of refinement and edgy.
When asked about their start in jewelry, Rhonda shared the story of the catalyst for Borgioni Private Collection:
“I inherited my mother’s jewelry about seven years ago. You could say that fashion runs in the family: my mother had a great eye. She was a collector of pieces she truly loved; from travels, from estate sales. It was a literal treasure trove of beautiful things. Together, Tiffany and I repurposed and reinvented these pieces into modern, current jewelry we would wear. When we saw the reaction to the jewelry from friends, family and colleagues, we realized we were on to something and started designing our own collection.”
Their first collection was beaded bracelets, which were designed to stand alone or wear layered. This was very much on the leading edge of the stacking bracelet trend, and Borgioni helped put interesting combinations on the map: along with a base of gemstone beads they incorporated materials like yak bone, shell, ebony, wood, lava and brass. I should mention that they did, and still do, make the bracelets THEMSELVES. “Our customers still collect the new bracelets we release each season,” Tiffany said, illustrating that the popularity of their signature bracelets hasn’t waned.
Although their jewelry has been fully embraced by celebrities and the media, their brand has grown organically. Both women bring a solid understanding of business–and law–as a backbone to their growth. The intangible fashion sense and the physical jewelry that the women of Borgioni inherited inspired an appreciation of details. I love that something really lasting has come from that connection to the matriarch of the family, the namesake of Borgioni. From those roots, Borgioni’s vision can be defined and explored, one expressive collection at a time.