13 Designers to Discover—and Celebrate—During #LatinxHeritageMonth



Tuesday marked the start of Latinx Heritage Month 2020 (hat tip to industry leader Jennifer Gandia of Greenwich St. Jewelers for her Instagram reminder).

The monthlong celebration of Latinx culture is also referred to as Hispanic Heritage Month (if you aren’t familiar, Latinx is an inclusive, gender-netural term used to describe people who are of or relate to Latin American origin or descent).

Which seemed like the perfect time to spotlight some of our industry’s most talented jewelry designers who hail from, or claim ancestral heritage to, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba, and other Hispanic nations.

“The Latinx community brings a broader perspective when it comes to jewelry,” says the blogger known as A Thousand Facets, who is a native of Puerto Rico and lives in New York. “These artists have such a mixed background and rich history, with Native, European, and African cultures in their blood. That mix makes Latin designers open to so different many styles, and sometimes when you see the work of a Latinx artist there’s not just one perspective, but a true melting pot of aesthetics.”

Angely Martinez, one of the founders of a coalition of BIPOC jewelry designers that had the industry buzzing earlier this summer, stresses the importance of amplifying the voices of the Latinx jewelry community now and always.

“As an immigrant and a child of immigrants, I’ve had to overcome many barriers to pursue my dreams, and I have never allowed my economic background, my race, or my accent hold me back,” she says. “While there are many Latinx jewelry designers, none have achieved the recognition of fashion designers like Oscar de la Renta or Carolina Herrera. Growing up in the Dominican Republic, Oscar de la Renta was a legend, but the idea of being a designer always seemed out of reach, and I was always told that for me, being a designer, was ‘impossible.’

“A lot of the materials used in fine jewelry design come from Latin America, and yet most of us do not have access to these resources. I do hope that this cultural movement [we’re spearheading with] the BIPOC Open Letter can bring access to these resources and more opportunities for the growth and development of the Latin American design community. As designers and craftspeople, our diverse backgrounds—encompassing 20-plus countries—can move the industry forward toward innovative design, while also attracting more jewelry collectors who can identify with our work, allowing future generations to see that becoming a jewelry designer is possible.”

Below, a list of Latinx designers everyone needs to know, starting with Jam + Rico (whose earrings appear on the September 2020 cover of JCK magazine).

 

Jam rico jck sept cover
The September 2020 cover of JCK features an illustration by Matthieu Forichon that shows a pair of earrings by Jam + Rico (see still life below for a better look).

Jam + Rico

 

Jam and Rico kingston cowrie earrings
Kingston earrings in 14k gold–plated brass and cowrie shells, $58

ITÄ Jewelry

ITA Atabex enamel and gold pendant
Atabex enamel and 14k gold pendant, $425

Daniela Villegas

Daniela Villegas La Reina Coyote ring
La Reina necklace with carved green chalcedony and sapphires in 18k gold, price on request

Atelier Narcé

Atelier Narce pendant
The Gold of Memories pendant with sapphires and diamonds in yellow gold, price on request

Jorge Adeler

Jorge Adeler crusader coin ring
Crusader coin ring with diamonds in 18k hammered gold, price on request

Mercedes Salazar

 

 

Mercedes Salazar Muzo emerald earring
Across the Universe ear cuff with 3.5 cts. t.w. Muzo emeralds and diamonds in 
18k yellow gold, $1,133

Monica Marcella

Monica Marcella earrings
Lapis earrings in 18k yellow gold, $1,650

AUR Jewelry

Aur Jewelry Axle shift earrings
Axle shift earrings in sterling silver with borosilicate glass, $1,680

Marcia Budet

Marcia Budet double finger ring
Asymmetrics + Diamonds double-finger ring with diamonds and smoky quartz in 18k yellow gold, $4,900

Balaam by Monica Zamora

Balaam bracelet
Sterling silver sphere square bangle. $162

Ricardo Basta

Ricardo Basta necklace
Phoenix Rising necklace in 18k yellow gold with mandarin garnets, paraiba tourmaline, sapphires, rubies, tsavorite garnets, and turquoise, price on request

Fernando Jorge

Fernando Jorge earrings
Astro earrings with mint chrysoprase, paraiba tourmaline, and diamonds in 18k yellow gold, price on request

 

Top: Ring with carved pink Peruvian opal flower in sterling silver, price on request; Angely Martinez

Follow me on Instagram: @aelliott718

Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine

All That Glitters writer