Bea Bongiasca has been fascinated with East Asia from a young age.
It’s hard to miss Bea Bongiasca’s jewellery. The twirled colourful enamel boldly stands out from the pieces that you see on the market today and that unique approach was quickly picked up by global powerhouses such as MATCHEFASHION and NET-A-PORTER.
Her inspiration comes from a fascination with East Asia, a region she travelled to frequently, as well as pop culture and western influences. After completing her studies at Central Saint Martin’s and gaining industry experience, the Milan-born designer burst onto the scene with dazzling enamel and quirky silhouettes that stand out but not overwhelm.
All of her pieces are made in Italy by hand and feel like tiny pieces of art that bring a sense of joy to a jewellery box. She also wanted to use her pieces as a way to open a dialogue between cultures and from what we can see, her creations are definitely a conversation starter.
Bridging the gap between fine and fashion jewellery, Bea’s mission is to make her demi-fine jewellery pieces as accessible as possible but made from the highest quality materials.
As a young brand, Bea Bongiasca is picking up momentum with new launches, a special project on the way and an array of celebrity fans including Dua Lipa, Miley Cyrus, Julia Roberts and Ashley Graham. If it isn’t on your radar already, it should be.
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Where does your inspiration come from?
My vibe has always been colourful, a bit ironic and playful. I always liked using enamel as it’s colourful but at first I was having trouble as they couldn’t categorise me as a brand as they thought enamel is associated with fashion jewellery. At the time there wasn’t a clear demi-fine category and I though jewellery shouldn’t always be about the price, I always tried to keep the price lower. When I started I was 23 and I didn’t feel ready to offer 18 carat diamonds, it’s a road, you have to build visibility and trust but what you can give is design.
What have you learnt about yourself since launching Bea Bongiasca?
One thing I didn’t understand at first was coherency. I thought it was cool that every collection came from a concept, but that concept wasn’t ruled by aesthetic. So my first three collections were based on ideas, and people couldn’t see the connection. So when I started using enamel, it was instantly recognisable and that’s when I realised the coherency was key.
How has e-commerce helped to elevate the presence of your brand?
NET-A-PORTER was the first one we started working with. I don’t personally know a lot of people that shop on NET-A-PORTER so I didn’t know how it was going to be perceived, but when you’re on a platform like that you are already validified so in a way you don’t have to convince people as much to buy. We just started selling on MATCHESFASHION and I’m curious to see how customers respond to a new collection.
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How do you define the brand today?
My brand is literally me. My pieces represent my room, the art I like, the flagship store in Milan, what I wear. My mum also has really cool jewellery, but now she can only wear mine.
How does your brand fit in the current market?
I was very lucky in a sense that I wanted to be true to who I am. I’m young, I didn’t want to start big. The fact that I was using 9-carat gold instead of 18 carat, and instead of using a lot of stones I was using enamel to bring a fun is what strengthened my brand. I was able to make a brand that isn’t costume jewellery, it’s demi-fine going towards fine. I rather make less money and have more people buy it. When you’re making fun jewellery, it can’t be that expensive as otherwise it’s not fun anymore. I want it to be worn and I want people to afford it without going too crazy.
What are you working on next?
My next collection is still going to be very colourful. I made new rings which are chunkier and bigger. There are also chokers, broaches, bracelets and I’m trying to make some new rings which look stacked. I also made two-tone hoops just to offer something a little different.
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