Q&A With… With Franco Pianegonda

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Photo: Courtesy of Franco Pianegonda

The talented (and devilishly handsome!) jewelry designer talks to us exclusively about his inspirations, his first collection – and his ideal customer.

Tell us how Piangegonda’s first collection came about.

My first collection was created explosively, with great energy. I studied the industry and I wanted to scream the exact opposite of what people were seeing. At the time, women flaunted only wealth, which just made their smaller selves emerge. So my designs were born to counter that, and I started to create for a very strong woman – a woman who was truly strong, and not just acting like it.

How about the design process? Does it come about organically? Where does your inspiration come from?

The inspiration comes from analyzing what the consumer demands in a contaminated market and my creations, which in essence are sculptures for the body. The design evolves as the world constantly moves. I create for women and they are constantly changing, so my inspirations really stand amongst the people.

Do you have a muse in mind when you’re designing a collection?

Absolutely, yes! I’m inspired by two types of women: VERITAS women, who love to explore their personal truths and express it with freedom. It is the symbol of women who live a full life as leaders, professionals, mothers and nurturers of families. I’m inspired by their energy, determination and ideals.

Then, there are the FRANCO P women, who are young people with stars in their eyes and a song in their hearts. They are “can do” people who’ve overcome life’s challenges with patience, optimism, and intelligence. They love to achieve big goals while having fun and learning new things. These are the people who share my spirit and hopes.

Describe the Pianegonda woman for us. Who is she? How does she wear your pieces?

She has a big and generous heart. The courage to overcome obstacles. She’s friendly, fun, and creative. She wears my jewels anytime, anywhere.

Is there a particular material you like to work with? A favorite stone, perhaps?
I love all the important and natural stones, because each one reflects the different facets of a woman’s personality. So I like them all equally, but the choice for a particular piece depends on what I want to express.

You received the prestigious title of ‘Young Entrepreneur of Fashion’ in 2006 from the National Italian Chamber For Italian Fashion. How did you feel when you received the award?

It wasn’t my first time receiving an important award, but it came with great happiness and great pride – as each recognition does.

What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?

Every day I have to learn, and do my job for the woman who is constantly evolving. Women today change and reinvent every day. I always keep that in mind.

What jewelry trend do you see cropping up for spring and next season?

Big, bold jewels with large and colorful stones. And I predict a lot of creations with asymmetrical forms!

Your avant-garde designs have been seen on cult icons and style gurus such as Gwen Stefani, Naomi Campbell, Lenny Kravitz, Alicia Keys, and Usher. Who else – celebrity or fashion insider – would you imagine wearing your pieces?

I have turned silver into a noble material all over the world. My creations are works of art made to the proportions of the human body. Every creation is exclusive and my pieces have been worn by celebrities everywhere. But at the end of the day, every woman who has the courage to live her life with conscience, responsibility and determination is a celebrity.

Click through the gallery below to discover Franco Pianegonda’s jewelry collection.

Photos: Courtesy of Franco Pianegonda

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