When Emanuela Duca visited Doha, Qatar, in mid-March, she wasn’t completely sure what to expect.
The New York City-based jewelry designer, who was there as part of the Fashion Incubator Program from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (a partnership with the W brand and its hotels), found women wearing head-to-toe black burkas and landscapes featuring vast desert and rolling dunes she’d only seen before in movies.
“I have always been curious about that part of the world, it always seemed so mysterious,” Duca said. Inspired by what she saw, she created the collection “in less than week” after she got home, she told JCK.
To capture the essence of the rugged terrain of the Celine Desert she toured, Duca brought home sand samples and played with textures at the bench, carving wax models that were then cast in silver and plated in a lighter gunmetal gray color or oxidized. Pieces were dusted with cognac diamonds to “connect to what I saw there—brownish-yellow hues, depending on time of the day,” she said. “I tried to bring back that feeling of Doha, and I can best express what I saw through metal shapes.”
Ten pieces are currently available, though more will follow. Suggested retail prices range from $1,000–$3,500. Perhaps the biggest testament to the line came in the form of sales at the Couture 2013 show, where the collection debuted.
“One of my main retailers, Twist, in Portland, Ore., bought every single piece,” Duca said. Another retailer, Chicago-based Pistachios, also bought. Total, six merchants placed orders, and half of the stores were new accounts.
Round ring in gun metal over silver with 0.18 ct. t.w. cognac diamonds and oval ring in gun metal over silver with 0.42 ct. t.w. cognac diamonds, $1,350 and $2,050
Cuffs in silver and in oxidized silver with 0.75 ct. t.w. cognac diamonds, $1,350 and $3,300
Oval pendant in blackened silver with 0.36 ct. t.w. cognac diamonds, round earrings in blackened silver with 0.06 ct. t.w. cognac diamonds, round small pendant in blackened silver with 0.03 ct. t.w. cognac diamonds, and round small ring in in blackened silver with 0.03 ct. t.w. cognac diamonds, $1,980, $700, and $450