Fine jeweller NANCY NEWBERG has a passion for mixed metals and texturing, which she combines with strong architectural shapes to elevate modern wardrobes. Nancy, who is into her ninth year of designing, loves to mix precious metals with diamonds and pearls. SMITHA SADANANDAN with Nancy in a quick chat.
An east coast native, Nancy Newberg moved to Los Angeles to study fashion at Otis College of Art and Design. After working in fashion for many years she took a break to raise her three sons. Looking for a creative outlet, Nancy began making jewellery for herself by stringing diamond beads in unusual ways. “Friends were asking to buy these pieces and a business was soon born. I was thrilled to find a new career that would offer me an opportunity to do what I love… and that’s to design.” In 2011, she launched her namesake line, offering handcrafted jewellery. “Modern and timeless, my pieces are continually evolving but the focus always remains on the women who wear them, and surface texture adds another element to my designs,” she says.
Design Philosophy: I create pieces that can be layered and worn in a variety of ways to reflect the individual taste and style of the women who wear them.
What’s New: I have begun to use ruthenium plating. It gives my pieces a wonderful, rich black finish and I can make it matte or shiny. I use it over silver and it’s been the inspiration for my two new collections – Tuxedo and Black + Gold Diamond Stripe.
Inspiration for Tuxedo series: I love black and so do most women. I design my pieces with fashion in mind and black is the best neutral and always makes a strong statement. By creating the Tuxedo collection I’m introducing jewellery that can be worn to lunch or to a black-tie dinner. These pieces sparkle from day to night.
Black + Gold Diamond Stripe combo: Black and gold has always been a favourite combination and I’ve created a pattern that feels bold, fresh and new. The stripes give a sleek architectural look to my clean shapes.
Business Lesson: Jewellery has a long shelf life. I get bored looking at the same pieces all the time so I’m always adding new designs, but I forget that they still look new to everyone else!