Monica Vinader is an everyday fine jewelry brand that celebrates individuality, with a range of contemporary pieces that can be styled, stacked, and personalized for a completely customizable look.
To celebrate the opening of their new store at 989 Madison Avenue this May, we sat down with Monica Vinader, founder and creative director of her eponymous jewelry line, to learn more about the brand.
Q: Tell us about the origins of your brand.
A: I noticed an opportunity almost 11 years ago: Something was needed to bridge the gap between fashion and fine jewelry. I wanted to create accessible jewelry that didn’t compromise on quality, with designs that felt elevated and relevant to a generation of women who were empowered, self-purchasing, and wearing their jewelry all the time. I felt that diamonds and gemstones should be enjoyed every day—at work, out to dinner, traveling—as that was in keeping with the life we lead. That’s when I sat down with my sister Gaby to map out a business plan to fill this gap.
Q: How would you describe your jewelry?
A: Our designs always have a simplicity to their aesthetics, which is something we’re proud of, because making simple things while still being innovative is not easy. We constantly look to evolve our designs through working with new gemstones or silhouettes, or creating entirely new collections. We experiment with complex cuts and use vermeil—a plating technique that uses a thick layer of 18-kt. gold and rose gold over sterling silver. This means we offer a luxury product, hand-crafted to the highest quality, with accessible price points.
Q: What inspires you?
A: My references tend to come from vintage jewelry, museums, archeological finds, sculptures, and contemporary architecture. I love to travel and have been inspired from both living and traveling abroad, exploring the landscapes, colors, and architecture of different countries including Italy, Morocco, Mexico, and India. It is during these travels that I am inspired to play with different shapes and styles.
Q: How does your own personal style influence your designs?
A: I collect items, take photographs, and sketch. We combine all of these into a mood board, and I work with my team to refine the inspiration down to specific shapes and colors. This journey means that each design is personal to me; I would never design something that I wouldn’t wear myself.
Q: You’ve developed a strong celebrity following. Do you have a favorite celebrity moment?
A: It would have to be when the Duchess of Cambridge first wore us to a gala back in 2014. I was on holiday in Florence, having a coffee, when I spotted a man reading a newspaper with the Duchess on the front page wearing our Riva collection. The pieces sold out in the U.S. instantly, and buzz continued for weeks. She’s since worn different pieces from us several times, which is a huge honor.
Q: What are your favorite pieces to wear right now?
A: The Alta Capture Bracelet can be worn a different way every day and looks as beautiful bare as it does decked with pendants. I love how elegant the Nura Teardrop Necklace looks layered or on its own. The linear style of the Signature Diamond Bangle allows it to layer seamlessly with any other bracelet, and the diamonds elevate any outfit