Since launching her jewelry brand nearly 25 years ago, Italian-born designer Federica Rettore has continually evolved her earthy, sculptural designs. In addition to vibrant boulder opals, carved woods, and baroque pearls, Rettore also works with humanely collected African zebu horn—a material with distinctive stripes and marbling that adds a unique, one-of-a-kind touch to her statement cuffs. We talked with Rettore about what makes her new Gorgonia collection stand out, the jewelry she is crushing on right now, and more.
What was the first piece of jewelry you made?
I started out creating jewelery in silk fabric that was embroidered with very colorful semiprecious stones. From there, my jewelry evolved to use rough semiprecious stones and 18-karat gold. My passion for colored stones has been there from the beginning.
What piece of jewelry should every woman own?
I have a crush on big cuffs and big rings. Hands are the first thing that catches my eye while I talk with someone—this is probably because Italians combine words and gestures.
What was your most recent jewelry purchase?
I love antique Indian silver jewelry. My latest purchase is an antique Indian anklet. I love ankle jewelry.
What is your best-selling item right now, and why?
The best seller, I have to say, are my cuffs. Besides gold and diamonds, they are crafted from natural materials, zebu horn, and jasper. I would guess that they are popular because of the uniqueness of their materials. There will never be an item equal to another; nature never repeats itself.
Also, my cuffs can be stacked along with classic gold and diamond jewelry, which gives a look that is more casual chic and cool.
I imagine my clients as women that want to wear their jewelry during the day with a casual outfit as well as with a dressier evening gown.
What is your favorite piece of jewelry, and why?
A design from my latest Gorgonia collection—it’s a necklace with a sphere partially covered with scales made with 18-karat rose gold. It is very luminous with big, bold dimensions but also very light—the metalwork seems like crochet work. I also like items made from Luce stone; this is a patented creation made from different layers of semiprecious stone set with a thin layer of 18-karat rose gold in between the stones. The resulting combination is luminous and colorful.