Chatting with Jewelry Designer, Eddie Borgo

Recently I had the opportunity to interview the talented jewelry designer, Eddie Borgo.  I was thrilled to learn about his inspiration for his collection in his own words.  To pull back the curtain on the inner workings of a designer’s train of thought is quite fascinating! I got down to the nitty gritty, and he even answered the very important question of “arm party or ring party?”.

Read on for the answer to that one!!


Tell me about your inspiration for your line and this collection.


The collection just reached 5 years old.  We started with a very small collection in spring/summer of 2009, and now we’re growing.  We’re at about 20 employees and we’re selling to about 19 Neimans now.  So it’s cool because initially it was slower, we had 2 collections a year so the inspiration was very specific. The collections were very divided. But now there is sort of a flow between each collection, which is really nice.  The general inspiration for all of the collections is taking elements of hardware that are familiar to you. Either you see them in the street or they are a useful piece of hardware that you use in your daily life. Some of those objects include padlocks, door latches, safety chains, and then of course all of our geometric shapes- pyramids, cones, and cubes. We’ve launched a whole section of cubes.  And the idea is that geometry is very classic, and these classic pieces of hardware and classic geometric shapes will last through time because you can’t placate geometry in history.  So you can wear it today, you can wear it tomorrow, you can wear it 10 years from now.  So we’re sort of reconsidering the idea of what classic jewelry is today for the modern woman.


I love your statement pieces, but if I was going to purchase one piece to wear every day, which should it be?


I think that every 10 years or so, for some reason a really iconic bracelet comes up in the world of fashion and then sort of becomes this global experience that has a cult following and all of this.  And I think for us that bracelet is our cone bracelet.  We do it in so many different sizes, so because it is done in different sizes it is also available at different price points, which is really nice.  The smaller version you can wear with your watch. You can wear it with your other jewelry. You can layer it with what you already own. And the larger bracelets you can wear as a singular statement piece.  We do the cone silhouette also on a little chain that you can wear with a timepiece.  You could also mix it in with one of our other bracelets.  So I would say if you’re going to buy anything from us, it would make sense for the first piece to be one of our cone bracelets.  It is sort of our most iconic bracelet – it is very signature to the brand.   We are now doing it covered in pave crystal, and we have it in many different semi-precious stones.  It’s not as if it’s going to go out of style, or become passé.  We will keep doing it over and over again. So, its something you can invest in and will know is always going to be relevant which is nice.



Do you have any jewelry “rules”?


I think that all of those traditional ideas about jewelry; not mixing metals, not wearing your fine jewelry with your costume jewelry… only being a costume client or only being a fine jewelry client… they’re not really modern ideas anymore. If you look at the way women dress, they wear High Street or Topshop with luxury brands.  They mix everything together. You can wear a really cool pair of Levis denim with an amazing Valentino blouse, for example.  I feel the same way about jewelry.  With our brand we like to think it’s unique within this arena because although it’s costume jewelry, we’re producing it in the same way that fine jewelry is produced.  So it has that substantial quality that fine jewelry holds. And you can mix it really easily with your timepiece or your fine jewelry or other costume jewelry as well.  We are believers in doing two-tone or tri-tone pieces, so you can wear something in rose gold… something with gunmetal… so the idea is that everything goes together – you can combine everything together. All of those regimented rules about wearing jewelry aren’t really modern anymore. I don’t think that is the way women dress.  We encourage women to mix their metals – have fun with the jewelry. Our collection is not meant to be too serious.  Sure you’re investing in something, but you should also be able to wear it in a really open, free way.  A lot of our more mature clients love that we’re helping them understand a new way of wearing jewelry.  I was just taking a stroll around the store and noticed the Balenciaga bags now have mixed hardware.  I think that’s a good example. Balenciaga is a tried and true brand. You shouldn’t feel resistant or that it’s not a fashionable thing to do.


Arm party or ring party?


Oh that’s a good question!!!  Well now it’s kind of become a combination of both!  We did a ring, which is actually a hand piece, for the spring collection (it’s a midi ring connected to the bracelet …. ) We like to mix everything together!  But I think arm party. It’s such a cool, easy trend.  It’s an easy way to invest in jewelry.  There is something about jewelry that is really symbolic of the wearer’s personality and personal taste and the way that they carry themselves.

When you see a padlock around someone’s neck it means something very specific.  So I think with jewelry when you think of it in that spirit, in a more lighthearted sense, it can help sort of dictate your style and you can play around with it.  If you’re feeling very classic you can just wear one streamlined bracelet that day. If you’re feeling more casual and want to put off a cool vibe you can stack everything together.. so I think bracelets – arm party!

Certainly now we have so many cool rings and I love designing the rings, its so fun, but were still working on building up the rings.  Bracelets are destination for us – it is our highest classification.


Ok last question! What do you think is next in the world of jewelry?   Are consumers going to be headed toward rose gold? Gunmetal? Do you predict any new trends?


I think what’s going to happen within this classification, or what we’re thinking about anyway, is this idea that costume jewelry is so limitless.  I always look at what innovative luxury brands are doing, and a lot of the luxury brands that haven’t had costume jewelry in the past now do….. Balenciaga, Givenchy, Valentino… all of the luxury brands.  So it will be cool to see. Due to the fact that it is costume, your fabrication is limitless.  You don’t only have to work with metals, you can work with semi-precious stones, glass, crystal, wood, lucite, rubber, leather…  you can work with all of these different materials. So it will be cool to see how it moves away from traditional ideas of what jewelry is, and how people consider jewelry today and what it will become.  Technologically I think a lot will happen. Different materials will be created and combined together that you wouldn’t think would be.  And you’re already starting to see it in some of these young brands that do braided bracelets mixed with leather and metal.  I think that will be a big transition moving forward. We’re a young brand and people are looking for new things from us. They’re looking to see that we’ve been thoughtful in the way we experiment with jewelry and so forth.  Material content has a lot to do with that. So I want to keep exploring new ideas and new materials, and new combinations of materials.



I certainly cannot wait to see what is next for Eddie Borgo!

Thank you again to Eddie, and Neiman Marcus for arranging this interview.  Don’t forget to add some Eddie Borgo jewels to your holiday wish list! (The cone bracelet and five finger ring are at the top of my list!)

By: ; Creative Director

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1 Comment

  • Reply November 19, 2013

    Katrina Manning

    Great interview and gorgeous cone bracelets.