Wilfredo Rosado uses pearls to launch a new fine jewelry brand

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High jewelry artist, Wilfredo Rosado has always known how to combine contemporary art, high fashion and exceptional high jewelry craftsmanship for his unique pieces that have earned him critical acclaim and a loyal clientele. These disciplines are very different worlds and are not easy to combine when producing jewelry. However, for Rosado, whose long distinguished career included executive positions at Andy Warhol, Giorgio Armani and a partnership with French haute couture atelier, Maison Lemarié, says combining these specialties comes naturally.

“When I first approached jewelry, I wanted it to be authentic to who I am. Fashion, fine jewelry and art live very comfortably in my head,” he said on Monday. in an interview, “It was second nature to me in my approach to high jewelry. I love fashion and have spent my whole life working in the fashion world. In high fashion, there is has a high level of respect for craftsmanship and I really enjoy bringing that level of craftsmanship and beautiful handwork into fine jewelry.I don’t come from a jewelry background.I was influenced by my love of art and fashion and that’s how I approach my collections.

His latest project is called W.Rosado, which is a contemporary fine jewelry brand for a wider audience with the same level of craftsmanship, fashion sense and artistic flair that he is known for. Her first collection from this project, Pearl ID, was born out of a desire to update and personalize pearls, which have always been a popular staple for jewelry, but also have a reputation for being stuffy. and conventional.

“Pearl jewelry is frowned upon because it’s old and conservative,” he said. “I wanted to create pearls that speak to a new generation, like sexy objects worn by a new generation of jewelry lovers.”

The first line includes 25 pieces, ranging in price from $2,500 for a single monogrammed pearl charm to nearly $100,000 for a pavé lettering pearl choker. It uses Australian South Sea pearls encrusted with gold and pavé diamonds. Color variations are created through the use of nano-ceramic technology (a coating similar to paint but much more durable). Rosado completes the range with individual pearls set with 0.5 carats of solitaire diamonds. Sold as one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry or in combinations of letters set with diamonds to create names and words, Rosado’s playful beads enhance an everlasting design. In addition to the 25 pieces, customers can request custom versions of the pieces.

The collection reflects Rosado’s personal interest in youth fashion and street style. Specifically, he based the collection on what he says is a resurgence of beads that children would make themselves to play with with their initials or words spelled on them.

“The idea came from the jewelry the kids make at camp,” he says. “They were classic white beads with letters stamped on them. It evoked childhood memories. It’s the same thing but in a more luxurious way for adults”

In addition to its aesthetic appeal, the new collection combines Old World craftsmanship with technological innovation. The difficulties of working through the process of making these pieces took over two years.

Rosado used stonemasons in Idar-Oberstein, a city in Germany known worldwide for its exceptional stonemasons. It took months of experimentation and development of specialized tools to master a way to accurately engrave initials and symbols including a peace sign, heart, star, cross and Star of David into the pearls. Artisan goldsmiths in Valenza, Italy, one of the most renowned centers of gold jewelry making in the world, forged the letters and symbols in gold, then set them into the beads.

Rosado said it’s because of this lengthy process that the new pearl jewelry brand and collection is being launched amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“It took a long time to develop the technology to engrave letters into beads. The pandemic is unfortunate, but I didn’t think that was reason enough to stop moving forward,” he said. “It’s very timely with what’s happening today with the personalization and the positive messages about love and moving forward with hope. It’s a tough time, but people will always be looking for ways to help themselves. The timing is good for the gathering but the timing was a coincidence.

Rosado has partnered with Muse Showroom to create a retail strategy for the launch, starting with an exclusive trunk show on Moda Operandi on Tuesday (today). The collection will then be available at select Saks Fifth Avenue stores and on Saks.com; Just an eye in Los Angeles; as well as on Rosado’s e-commerce site, wrosado.com. Rosado will donate a portion of all proceeds from sales to the City Parks Foundation, an organization dedicated to programming and expanding green spaces for underserved communities in New York City. Rosado sits on the foundation’s board of directors.

Additionally, Rosado hired portrait photographer Albert Watson to shoot the Pearl ID campaign, under the artistic direction of Marc Balet. Rosado and Balet, who first worked together at Maintenance, an arts publication founded by Andy Wahol, collaborated on the concept. The beads appear abstract against the models’ bare skin, creating a striking visual backdrop reminiscent of the dada and surrealist movements popular in the early 20th century. Watson shot on location in New York, made up by Kabuki and styled by Kenna Kennor.

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