During the pandemic, it seems shoppers headed the advice to invest in gold. This past year, the jewelry industry managed steady sales because jewelry (unlike bags, shoes, or even trousers) has been viewed as a worthy investment. And it’s not just the big names in jewelry that are finding success—a younger, contemporary crop of designers and brands are making a name for themselves. We’re familiar with the dazzle of Cartier and Van Cleef and Arpels, and we know to shop independent jewelry brands like Jennifer Fisher, Foundrae, and Allison Lou for their hoops and medallion necklace parts, but, as of late, other labels are catching our eye.
Below, we introduce you to some names worth knowing in the jewelry world; from Panconesi’s gravity-defying earrings to Marlo Laz’s new heirlooms, these thirteen jewelry brands are worth a closer look.
Milan-based Bea Bongiasca launched her namesake brand in 2013 shortly after graduating from Central Saint Martins. Her colorful enamel and stone pieces are fun, stackable, and full of personality.
Paris-based Marco Panconesi launched his eponymous line after cutting his teeth designing accessories (for Givenchy and Balenciaga) and then jewelry (for Fendi, Peter Pilotto, and Fenty). He launched his modern sculptural line in 2019 and his collections are a mix of gravity-defying swirling hoops and colorful crystal climber-esque ear cuffs.
Completedworks is a modern and self-described “reductive” line of demifine and fine jewelry founded by London-based Anna Jewsbury. Jewsbury’s “golden scrunchie” earrings became a celebrity favorite last summer and her stark and simple designs—using primarily recycled materials—have earned her a spot on this year’s shortlist for the British Fashion Council’s Vogue Designer Fashion Fund.
Sister-founded jewelry brand Agmes features mainly silver and gold pieces inspired by art and architecture. The simple yet bold forms are made of mostly recycled materials and scrap metals, resulting in a collection that is impactful without being overpowering.
New York-based Jesse Marlo Lazowski founded Marlo Laz in 2014 after years honing a fascination and understanding of jewelry stemming from an inherited brooch and extended trip to India to work with local artisans. Lazowski’s pieces are modern talismans with plenty of brightly colored fine gemstones.
Longtime Parisian fashion editor, Marie Lichtenberg, left the magazine world to start her own jewelry collection inspired by her Creole heritage. Dainty chains and colorful lockets evoke 18th century pendants while her collection of colorful thread pieces can be traced to a trip she took to India.
Identical twin sisters Dynasty and Soull Ogun create L’Enchanteur as an eclectic way of illustrating their childhood: “[Our upbringing] really inspired the way that we look at the world,” Soull told Vogue last year. “We design telling our story of growing up.” Their—mainly gold—pieces are celebrity and editor favorites.
After a chance find of a vintage snap hook in a market in Tokyo, two friends—Chiara Capitani and Romy Blanga—transformed the item into jewelry and started their brand Eéra. The Milan-based duo took the minimal original design and morphed it into pavé-diamond-encrusted links for bracelets or fluorescent dangles on earrings.
Jameel Mohammed started his jewelry brand Khiry while studying political science at the University of Pennsylvania. His Brooklyn-based brand artistically tackles imagery of the African diaspora and incorporates contemporary design almost exclusively in gold. His most recent collection for Net-a-Porter is his first foray into fine jewelry and includes diamonds and fine gemstones in pieces in more petite sizes.
A Brooklyn-based colorful jewelry brand created by former public relations director Christina Tung, SVNR was born with two strong tenets: sustainable manufacturing and conscious consumption. Tung handmakes each piece with upcycled—and often colorful—materials, and the resulting work looks like the most fabulous keepsake found on holiday in a faraway locale.
After years behind the scenes in fine jewelry, Italian Francesca Villa started her eponymous label. Each piece of her jewelry line incorporates a found vintage artifact: poker chips, intaglios, bingo numbers, etc. Her collection is full of pieces that are charming and eclectic.
Sophie Buhai’s clean and modern approach to jewelry essentials makes her a stylist-favorite. The L.A.-based designer’s minimal designs are mostly silver and gold with a few pearls and stones like malachite and lapis.
London-born Catherine Sarr’s fine jewelry brand Almasika is inspired in part by the body’s soft curves and flowing lines. The collection is full of undulating timeless gold and diamond pieces that defy trends.