51 posts tagged "Barneys New York"
In recent years, the jewelry house of Repossi—founded in 1925 and nearing its 90th birthday—has won over a whole new generation of fans. Credit goes to Gaia Repossi, the 26-year-old artistic director, who took over her father’s post in 2007 and quickly introduced her own style as well as collaborations with friends like Joseph Altuzarra and Alexander Wang. (Her pieces made Style.com’s Top 10 Jewels list for Spring and Fall 2012.) All this despite protests that she’d never enter the family trade. “I was very intellectual, in my little own world,” Repossi said on a recent visit to New York to toast her ongoing partnership with Barneys. “I rejected completely the jewelry world.” But after studying painting, anthropology, and archaeology, Repossi edged into the business by the side door, as it were—she initially wanted to focus on its image and marketing—and wound up giving it a timely overhaul. “I wanted to bring it closer to what jewelry is nowadays to me,” she says, “and maybe also what jewelry was missing.” She spoke to Style.com about her work, her studies, and her art. For the record, she still paints.
Tell me a little bit about your background, and how you came to work for the family business.
It’s a little bit unexpected, even if it seems expected. When you grow up you can have two reactions: You can be very keen on what your parents are doing, or you want to look for something else. I was absolutely not willing to continue to work as my dad did [at Repossi]; I strictly wanted to do something different. I was painting as a teenager and I was aiming to really focus on that as my career. I started studying painting and I finished doing archeology, because I wanted to go more in the past, in the civilizations and the history of art. In the meantime, while I was in Paris studying, I saw a few things I didn’t like in my dad’s image of the company that I wanted to touch. Slowly it came out, the idea to launch a collection. And it worked, without even thinking about it. Unconsciously all my studies and my own imaginary world started applying to jewelry.
It’s like, you go to India and see the nomads with garlands of silver things that they consider cheap, but they are extremely elegant. Nowadays, women don’t know how to wear the jewelry anymore, but when you go in India, there’s people barefoot but they are extremely elegant with all their jewelry. There are some codes, there’s an aesthetic that inspires me and has me working, a lot more than this [European] lady with her beautiful diamonds, even if she is elegant. It’s more that those silhouettes are striking. In Africa too—in Congo with their combs, and in Amazonia with their feathers in their nose.
Your anthropology courses proved to be good training.
Exactly. I was studying anthropology—ethnic similarities in between the civilizations. Even in those classes, jewelry became very important. Sculpture, too. When I go to shows, they have patterns, it’s the same. [But you also need] the family and the background that knows how it do it in a very refined way, because there’s no point to making a sculpture [for jewelry]—it has to be wearable and refined, not a heavy object you don’t know what to do with. Continue Reading “Her Family Is Famous For Diamonds, But Gaia Repossi Is More Inspired By A Feather Through The Nose” »
Introducing: Maiyet, a conscious-clothing label that’s similar in ethos to Edun but with an even more luxe sophistication (and price point). Though the brand officially launched for Spring ’12 in Paris, Maiyet’s founders—former human rights lawyer Paul van Zyl, former Band of Outsiders president Kristy Caylor, and Daniel Lubetzky—are celebrating the label’s exclusive arrival at Barneys New York stores this week. The collection ($595–$2,400) of military coats, simple blouses, dresses, and jewelry is so sleek shoppers might be oblivious to the fact that it’s the work of hand-block printers in Jaipur or metalsmiths outside Nairobi. How it works: Maiyet and its design team (a group that hails from the likes of Celine, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren) partners with local artisans in countries around the globe to promote self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship in developing economies. A portion of the profits then goes into training and development. Here, in this Style.com exclusive video (below), a look at the artisans at work on the collection.