The Brooklyn-based designer just took initial and heart pendants to a whole new level.
The new GiGi Ferranti collection is an elevated take on classic heart and initial pendants. There’s something about Gina Ferranti’s jewelry that just feels like home. It could be our shared backgrounds, a topic I touched on when I covered her candy-colored dream of a collection, Portofino. Ferranti and I are both Italian-American women from southern Brooklyn, just a stone’s throw from each other. Scrolling through Instagram a while back, I stumbled upon a familiar face from my high school homeroom, who turned out to be her niece, modeling her jewelry. “What a funny coincidence,” I thought to myself, but the jewelry world is a small one and so is Brooklyn. Her latest model? Another woman from my graduating high school class. Though we were more acquaintances than friends, I recognized her right away. We were co-stars back in our high school drama days. She looks as lovely as ever and adds a gorgeous Brooklyn edge to the photos. Maybe it is just a coincidence, or maybe it’s the universe aligning, but I had to cover this collection. The new GiGi Ferranti Graffito capsule collection is edgy and fun, colorful and bright. It has all the hallmarks of Ferranti’s jewelry, from its bold, architectural designs to its subtle nods to her Italian heritage and Brooklyn background. The pieces draw inspiration from the historic frescoes in Pompeii and New York City’s graffiti murals. “It’s a modern version of the Pompeii etchings on the wall,” Ferranti said. Ferranti used the singular “graffito” to refer to both individualism in art and the stand-alone initials seen in the collection.
Graffiti artists have developed myriad styles, but Ferranti chose the “blockbuster” style, which incorporates bold, block letters. Style-wise, this year is going to be all about boldness and confidence, with a little of that quarantine casual mixed in, said Ferranti. She recommends pairing the pendants with a comfy sweatsuit and trendy sneakers or oversized jeans and a fitted blazer. The pendants add the perfect pop of color to a neutral palette. Initial jewelry is all the rage, with designers like Brent Neale and Marla Aaron throwing their bedazzled hats in the ring. If you’ve seen one heart/initial pendant, you’ve seen them all, right? Wrong. But you do have to come up with something pretty spectacular to stand out from the crowd, and Ferranti has done just that. The charm pendants are set with ombré gemstones, hand-chosen to give the appearance of spray paint.
Available in 14-karat yellow or white gold, the initial pendants come in a blue and purple version, set with sapphires and amethyst, a green version in varying hues of tsavorite garnet, and a pink and orange sapphire version. There is also a white diamond style available if opting for a more classic look. Perfect for layering, the pendants can be sold with or without a 16-inch paperclip chain. Each piece is crafted in New York City. Ferranti has an affinity for heart jewelry, adding at least one per year to a collection, she said. She takes the typical heart pendant up a notch, using a slightly askew, edgy heart shape. It’s available in 14-karat yellow or white gold in the same color schemes as the initial pendants. Her personal favorites in the collection are the orange-pink heart and the initial pendant in the blue-purple tones, which she says is especially easy to pair with denim. The orange-pink pendants are a standout to me, each color blending into the next as seamlessly as a summer sunset. Ferranti was fresh from a trunk show at London Jewelers when we caught up with each other. The collection has been well-received, she said, with the heart pendants in particular resonating with her more mature clientele. “We were having fun just figuring out how to wear it.” The pendants are sold on their own, with a paperclip chain add-on available, though some customers have been adding them onto their existing charm bracelets. It’s been so well-received that Ferranti is expanding the collection, slowly adding in new pieces. “It’s going to be expanding beyond initials because the look is really what people are loving.” There may be some hoop earrings on the horizon, she said, an addition I’d especially love to see. Looking ahead, there’s another small capsule collection in the works, expected to be launched around the holidays. “I don’t want to give away the name, but I will tell you that it will be something in a holiday price range and something that any age group can definitely wear.” As someone who admires Ferranti’s jewelry from afar, I’m thrilled to hear this. To keep the price under the $1,200 mark, she will be going heavy on the sapphires, though more expensive diamond versions will be available. For this upcoming collection, Ferranti is trying the direct-to-consumer model, selling exclusively on her website. I will be checking back in to see what dazzling designs Ferranti comes up with next, so stay tuned for that! The Graffito capsule collection is available at London Jewelers, SoHo Gems, and online.