Ippolita Rostagno’s beautiful bangles and sparkling rings have graced the famous wrists and fingers of Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon, Carrie Underwood and Kate Hudson. The Italian-born designer’s collections are sold at the most coveted department stores in the world from Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Harrod’s to Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s. Earlier this month, the designer appeared at Neiman Marcus in Boca Raton to show her latest collection and meet with fans of her line.
1. What inspires the names behind your collections?
“When it comes to our names we try to evoke fun and memorable experiences in daily life, touching all five senses – Wonderland, Gelato, Lollipop and Stella.”
2. Have you had any muses in your life?
“Absolutely! Growing up I was inspired by Janis Joplin and Carmen Miranda – both such strong personalities with distinctive points of view. And I love their headdresses – they were inspiration for the feathers I wear in my hair almost every day.”
3. Which material-- gold, silver or rose has been most popular lately?
“All of them. But I’m starting to see more and more women purchase gold for themselves – they see that it can be worn everyday and not just saved for a special occasion.”
4. How does it feel to have celebrities wearing your designs and have you gotten any feedback from them on your pieces?
“The best part of seeing celebrities in my jewelry is that they don’t want to take it off. They’ll wear the same stack of bangles on the red carpet and to the grocery store.”
5. How would you describe signature Ippolita style?
“Cool. Simple. Sexy.”
6. What is your favorite memory of growing up in Italy?
“Kids, don’t try this at home, but I learned to drive when I was about 11 years old. I have memories of barely being able to see over the steering wheel of our family’s VW Beetle while racing down curvy one-lane roads with my sister and friends hanging off the sides.”
7. What are some must-have pieces from your collection to rock the trends for 2013?
“I’m so excited about STELLA – a new collection featuring layers of faceted stones set in sterling silver and accented with diamonds. The facets of the stones create these beautiful, luminescent shadows, and they especially stand out in my statement rings.”
8. What do you love most about the stackable bangle and is there a limit to how many you can stack?
“As I like to say, “more is more!” I wear 11 gold and diamond bangles every day – that seems to be a good number for me – and can’t think of a time when I haven’t had them on. The key is to wear them in odd numbers – they just look cooler in the way they’ll fall on your wrist.”
9. How has your jewelry line changed your life?
“Besides keeping me extremely busy? It’s a joy to design something that makes women feel beautiful and confident – I get such personal satisfaction from that.”
10. What's the most luxurious thing you've treated yourself to lately?
“A treadmill...Now I just need to carve out the time to use it.”
11. Do you come to Boca Raton often and if so, what do you enjoy doing when you are here?
“I try to visit Florida a few times a year – preferably when it’s freezing in New York. No trip is complete without at least one walk on the beach. I also try to see a museum or art gallery – hoping to see the latest exhibits at the Boca Raton Museum of Art during my February visit.”
12. Where do you do your designing?
“I always have a sketchpad with me – you never know when inspiration will strike. I sketch in-between meetings and while on long airplane rides, but I find I’m most creative at my home studio in Brooklyn.”
13. I read at one point you had a dance company. Do you have any plans to revisit dancing?
“No, that chapter of my life is closed.”
14. Technology-wise, do you get design ideas from Pinterest or keep up with fans or friends on any social networking mediums such as Twitter or Facebook?
“My design ideas tend to come from my physical surroundings, although I do enjoy Pinterest and 1stdibs.”
For more on the designer, visit Ippolita.com.
Contact Joanie Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her tweets at Twitter.com/joaniecox.