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Blog - Modern jewelry

A Q&A with Designer Dana Bronfman


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! 

Rising Star

Independent jewelry designer Dana Bronfman was just awarded the Rising Star award in the fine jewelry category by Fashion Group International, a global organization of over 5000 members focused on promoting the business of fashion. Dana’s dazzling eco-conscious jewelry is crafted in New York using certified recycled fine metals and reclaimed gems. Her pieces define modern jewelry incorporating [...]

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It's all in the Mix

The look this Winter is all about varied materials. So mixed metal jewelry is looking bigger than ever with dual metals showcased in a single piece. As the rules are changing and it’s become acceptable to mix silver and gold jewelry in a single ensemble, mixed metal jewelry provides a bridge for those who still like to keep [...]

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Newest Looks from Lumo Jewelry

We’ve been adding lots of new styles from the ever-popular Lumo Jewelry. Think simple, minimalist approaches that somehow become everyone’s latest obsessions despite, or perhaps because of, their pared-back approach to modern jewelry. New styles include updated earring looks with innovative new shapes like the Abby Studs or Slip On Opal Studs, both which feature a a coiled hoop which starts in front of [...]

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Put a Ring On It

Rings have been the primary focus of many jewelry collections in recent years with designers catering to women who’ve been piling on multiple rings, either stacked on a single finger or spread across the digits.The trend toward innovation and individuality continues as modern rings come in so many unique forms and materials. There are wrap rings like the Bound Ring [...]

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A Q&A with Designer Liz Law

Liz Law Jewelry honors the past while celebrating the present, rendering pieces that are unique yet always wearable. The Los Angeles-based designer often incorporates vintage baubles and themes into her work, reinterpreting them into modern motifs. Liz finds great beauty and intrigue in finding new ways to join the old and the new, and explores other visual juxtapositions in her [...]

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The Ears Have It

Now hear this: The ears have become the focal point for some of the most innovative modern jewelry designs. There has been no end to new trends focused on ways to freshen up the notion of a matching pair or to adorn multiple piercings with modern earring styles like ear cuffs, ear climbers, single studs, and asymmetry all still going [...]

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Trending: Chokers

The necklace of the season is the choker, be it sculptural like the Arc Choker by Third Crown, be-ribboned like the Everyday Architectural Choker by Neshka or a piece of modern jewelry that would give a boho off-the-shoulder look some edge, like the Selene Choker by Merewif. Chokers started strong for Spring and are now a full-blown phenom. We like them best against [...]

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Introducing Neshka

A favorite part of our job is searching for and discovering an independent jewelry designer that was not on our radar.  We have a pretty defined aesthetic, so while we come across so many talented individuals, not too many scream "Visible Interest" and make us want to put their amazing modern jewelry on the site [...]

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Sculptural Silver

With NY Fashion Week recently behind us, we’ve had a chance to scout what was hot on the runway. Modern jewelry continues to rule with a huge emphasis on sculptural silver pieces. Think arty shapes or geometric interpretations of more classic pieces like the standout Small Arc Bracelet by Third Crown or Dana Bronfman’s Trina Ring, accented with [...]

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