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Designer Dialogue: Rosanne Puģliese

June 15 2015


Modern elegance with a dash of delicate nostalgia seems to capture Rosanne Puģliese’s carefully curated jewelry collection. Puģliese, who previously worked as a designer for Calvin Klein, has found her signature aesthetic in the intersection between sensuous materials and sculptural forms. Her designs are as fluid as they are angular and raw, and sturdy gemstones are softened by the magical movement of light. Enchanted by her jewelry’s fairytale-like features, we sat down with Puģliese to learn more about her art and how, surprisingly enough, Brooklyn became a big part of the equation.


Tell us a little bit about how your label came into existence.

It was a leap of faith. I started soldering and taking jewelry-making classes about 20 years ago while still working in the fashion industry. There were not many "artisan" jewelers around at that point, but I knew I wanted to create jewelry that was more expressive and sculptural than what was available in jewelry stores, yet also more modern and elegant than "craft" jewelry. Friends started buying my work. The turning point came in 2003 when I sold my collection to Barneys New York.

What is your brand all about?

“Quiet luxury” says it all. The collection tends to be light and subtle, but still has a strong, simple elegance.

We let the gemstones speak by setting them in finely made, simple gold frames. These allow light to play with the color, sparkle and texture of the gems. Our favorite stones are ethically-sourced tourmalines, quartz, moonstones, amethysts of various hues, and conflict-free diamonds. We also use mostly recycled high karat gold. We really feel strongly about designing so that the jewelry enhances a woman's style, rather than taking center stage.


You're based in Brooklyn. Do your designs in any way reflect the Brooklyn energy or aesthetic?

This is a great subject to discuss! I have lived, worked and raised my sons here for 21
years, and have seen (and been a part of) the dramatic changes from the "old Brooklyn". The lifestyle here influences all of my work….I have longtime, loyal customers and "collectors" who are very stylish and love beautiful accessories, clothes, furnishings etc., but have too many interesting things (kids, careers, travel) going on in their lives to be slaves to fashion and trends. They gravitate to the pieces that are light, simple and versatile, which you can put on in the morning and not think about too much, or feel too "precious" wearing. [My customer] appreciates work that is classic and modern, but not so perfect and polished, and that has a little grit to it—just like Brooklyn.

Name three things that always inspire your designs.

1.Finding unique gemstones
2. The beauty of high karat gold
3. Seeing someone get excited about something I have made for them


Which designers (past or present) are you influenced by?

I’m always influenced by the jewelry of Alexander Calder, Hermann Junger, Ted Muehling, and, in general, by modern furniture, architecture and fashion.

If you had to choose one well known person (past or present) to own a piece of your jewelry, who would it be?

The great Diana Vreeland. It would mean that my work had passed muster with one of the greatest style icons.


If you weren't designing jewelry, what would your career path be?

Something creative in the film world. Movies are my great "guilty" pleasure. I love vintage, foreign, classic and new. Anything Woody Allen. Netflix is a constant on my computer. The Italian films “The Great Beauty”, and "8 1/2" are two of my all-time favorites, along with "Annie Hall", of course. I can't wait to see "Iris" about fashion icon Iris Apfel.

What's the best career advice you ever received?

"Follow your instincts and do things on your own terms....minimize looking over your shoulder; this is when you trip up."

What defines success for the Rosanne Pugliese brand?

Keeping the heart and soul in the work. It is what makes [the brand] stand out, and will be what people remember most about the collection.

Shop the Rosanne Puģliese collection at Roztayger HERE.



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