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Blog - Contemporary Jewelry

A Q&A with Designer Dana Bronfman

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Independent Jewelry Designer Dana Bronfman

A recent Fashion Group International Rising Star Award recipient, independent jewelry designer Dana Bronfman draws inspiration for her eponymous contemporary fine jewelry collection from juxtaposing the beauty of natural elements with the grit and glamour of New York City’s industrial architecture. Dana designs each jewel in her collection from recycled fine metals in her Brooklyn studio and then master jewelers in Manhattan craft each piece to ensure its quality.  A portion of all proceeds are donated to non-profits in the educational and environmental protection arenas. We love Dana's approach to her modern jewelry collection for its strong geometry, eco-consciousness and lively use of mixed metals.  We recently had a one-on-one with Dana.  Here's what she told us:

How did you start designing jewelry?

As a young child, I was very inspired by my grandmother's collection of jewelry from all over the world. Each piece told a story and was so unique. I never understood why people loved big diamonds and traditional fine jewelry and wanted to innovate what was perceived as fine jewelry by making it more contemporary and paying homage to the craftsmanship behind each piece. I learned to make jewelry at the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco and never looked back.

What’s your favorite part of the process? 

I love seeing my designs come to life, but my favorite part is hearing the stories behind why people buy and love wearing my jewelry. I love helping people find pieces that express their own unique styles and symbolize love, as my jewelry is often given as gifts or purchased on special occasions.

What’s your design philosophy?

My design philosophy is to stay true to my inspirations and who I am as a designer. I always push myself to take a design one step further, as the beauty is often in the details.

       3D Oculus Marquise Studs  Holly Pendant  Flipping Open Lily Cuff

Describe your look/work in three words.  Quietly bold luxury.

What did you want to be when you were little?  An architect.

Who or what inspires you?

Industrial architecture used to be my main inspiration as well as the creative process itself. One design inspires another. My travels inspire me as well as the otherworldly-- things I dream about.

Who is your design or fashion crush? Courtney Trop of the Always Judging fashion blog. I love her style.  

Do you have a signature look?

My signature is my "oculus," an architectural term for a circular opening in a space that represents itself in cutouts that let the light shine through. My jewelry is created with the ultimate craftsmanship but has a rawness to it through hammered and matte finishes that contrast with sparkling diamonds. This combination of understated industrial-chic and a highly refined level of sophistication make up my signature aesthetic. 

Who do you design for? What kind of woman wears your jewelry?

I design for strong independent women with great taste! Many happen to be in some sort of a design field.

What makes a woman look modern?

I think a woman looks modern when she looks like she is not trying too hard. She is comfortable.

What does modern mean to you?

I think someone looks the most modern when they embrace who they are today by not being afraid to take risks. The word modern brings forth the ideas of freedom and empowerment to me.

What visibly interests you?

Art, architecture, landscape, fashion-- I appreciate beauty in many forms. 

What can’t you live without? I can't live without jewelry! 

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