The well-heeled crowd that shops Bergdorf Goodman may have noticed that the Fifth Avenue grande dame department store has recently been making space for a number of indie designers on its jewelry floor. The quality of this jewelry is up to snuff, and the styles cover off what these high-net-worth shoppers are looking for (i.e., they’re all set with their big-diamond basics and it’s time for something joyful and fun).
One of Bergdorf’s premier newcomers in this space is the Panamanian brand Type. Launched just before the pandemic, it’s the vision of designer Sara Bassan, who pivoted from a career in marketing to focus on fine jewelry (and is currently wrapping up her certification as a gemologist through the Gemological Institute of America).
Bassan says she’s a “fashionista at heart,” and a quick perusal of her collection reveals a strong aesthetic informed by remixed classics and youthful, vibrant color combinations. But the primary thing that steered her toward designing a jewelry line was that she felt that a lot of the jewelry she was seeing was “soulless.” It was nothing she wanted to wear herself.
So in many ways Type is the crystallization of Bassan’s taste and affinities—and her husband uses his architectural drawing skills to “complete the ideas in my head,” she says.
No doubt her Panamanian heritage is deeply felt in these pieces, whether it’s her best-selling stack rings (which fuse together four rings and are intended to be worn as a single piece); her Puffer collection of chubby initials iced in diamonds; or a pair of super-glam statement ear climbers flashing emeralds, emerald-cut white sapphires, and shiny rope-textured gold.
“Panama is a mix of cultures that is known for being a hub of connection to the world,” Bassan explains. “Influenced by Panama’s multicultural diversity, you’ll see me experimenting and mixing unusual shapes with classical forms or contrasting time periods in a design and using color to accentuate these forms.
“And perhaps more than the Central American influence is my Latin essence—the heat, the sun, the attitude—all of this is present in my designs, exalting form, volume, movement, and most of all, color.”
A signature of the brand that has emerged as a customer favorite at Bergdorf’s and beyond is Bassan’s Type stack (pictured below).
“In the early days of starting Type, my mother wanted to give a present to me and three sisters,” says Bassan. “We are all different and each ring had a different color and a different idea, so that’s how the Type stack was born. It’s a curated stack of four bands that is worn as one ring and can be personalized with initials, names, and a choice of gemstones.”
The L’Ego collection has also resonated with customers—possibly because the moment is calling for playful jewels with a hint of nostalgia. Here, the shapes are inspired by Lego blocks, but Bassan says the appeal has to do with “my touch of color and the shapes seen in the stones I use, which create a beautiful, endless contrast between bold and soft.”
As shown in the photo above, the color schemes are either ombré or a kind of confetti toss combining many different hues. As Bassan says, “We don’t really like rainbows, so we created our own versions.”
Top: New additions to Type’s L’Ego collection include (from top) L’Ego ID bracelet in 14k gold with turquoise, peridot, London blue topaz, orange citrine, opal, pink tourmaline, amethyst, garnet, coral, and blue topaz, $3,950; L’Ego ID bracelet in 14k white gold with diamonds and sapphires, $9,200; and L’Ego ID bracelet in 14k gold with pink sapphires, $5,700
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