Jewelry Designer Ippolita: a tFS Exclusive Interview


Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon, Carrie Underwood, Kate Hudson, and Minnie Driver are just some of the celebrities who wear Ippolita on the red carpet and in their daily lives. Designed by Ippolita who grew up in Italy with an artist father, the designer went on to earn her Baccalaureate in sculpture at the Istituto D’Arte in Florence, which has greatly influenced her aesthetic. Ippolita’s 18 karat gold collection, based around a sculpted bangle, hoop earring, and ring, was launched at Bergdorf Goodman in 1999 and is still one of the brand’s bestsellers today.

Lucky for me, my favorite pieces from the designer’s collection are her resin ones, part of a lower priced collection she launched recently. However, whether a piece is made from 18 karat gold or resin, everything in the collection is made by hand, accounting for the line's not always easy-on-the-wallet prices.

We spoke to the designer about memorable career landmarks, her favorite creations, advice for aspiring designers, and more.

The Fashion Spot: Do you remember the first piece of jewelry you ever bought?

Ippolita: I was 18 years old, it was a custom made gold and diamond ring that was based on one my great grandmother owned and was made by the man who would one day marry my sister!

tFS: What was the moment in your career where you thought, "I've made it"?

I: It had to be when I sold my first collection of 18 karat gold pieces to Bergdorf Goodman in 1999.

tFS: Do you have a favorite piece in your own line?

I: My favorites are without a doubt the stack of gold and diamond bangles that I wear every day.

tFS: Do you have any advice for young, aspiring jewelry designers?

I: Be creative and don't give up. If you are truly passionate about your craft and believe in what you are doing, the rest will follow.

tFS: When you see a celebrity in one of your pieces, do you still get excited about it?

I: Because I focus more on designing jewelry that women really wear – everyday, for every occasion – I get most excited when I see a celebrity wearing the same bangle to the grocery store that she wore to her movie premiere the night before.

tFS: What current jewelry trends do you love?

I: I love the whole idea of mixing different metals, materials, and shapes. It feels very modern to me. I also love dressing up a simple look with layered chains. And color is everywhere, which is very fun. I think we'll be seeing a lot more of it this fall.

tFS: What are some of your favorite boutiques?

I: Lately I have been obsessed with De Vera, an exquisite NYC boutique with amazing objects and truly unique jewelry pieces. I also just returned from a trip to Berlin and loved shopping for fashion at Wunderkind.

tFS: What are the must-haves that you think every woman should have in her jewelry arsenal?

I: Versatile pieces that take you from day to night, that can be dressed up or down are key. I think every woman should own a simple 18 karat gold link necklace that can be worn alone or layered with other pieces. And it’s always nice to have a wrist full of bangles that you can throw on to liven up any outfit. I also love the pop of color a vibrant gemstone ring or earrings can add to a classic look.

tFS: Any luxury items you're lusting for right now?

I: I am preparing to renovate my home in Brooklyn, so lately I find myself lusting after custom-made furniture and artistic bath accessories.