Above trendiness or luxury, versatility is the key to great style. If you're investing in a new purchase, it should be one you'll style a myriad of ways without getting tired. One area of your wardrobe where this interchangeability might not seem so obvious is jewelry. That's where the modular jewelry trend comes into play. These designs consider the modern customer's needs, from three-in-one earrings to mix-and-match rings and convertible necklace-anklet hybrids. The result? High-quality, multi-wear pieces that offer more bang for your buck.
Most women own a pair of delicate studs, a few stackable rings, and a glittering pendant or bracelet for special occasions. But you may not think to evolve or uniquely layer said pieces for everyday. This is what makes customizable jewelry such an easy choice — it does the heavy lifting for you. "Modular jewelry implies that the components are standardized parts that slot together (like sofas or kitchens)," Annette Lasala Spillane, designer of LIMNIA tells TZR. "We like to say our jewelry is renewable. It means we've given them the ability to be new again, to transform."
Keep scrolling to discover four innovative jewelry labels making chic modular jewelry. Whether you're ready to shop or here for the discovery, the edit ahead is sure to inspire you.
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The Modular Jewelry Trend: LIMNIA
After working as a CPA in finance for 12 years, Lasala Spillane set out to design a fine jewelry line that considered cost per wear and timelessness. A modular approach to design became her signature, not only for its versatility but also for the sustainability factor.
Every LIMNIA piece is multifunctional, from the necklaces that can be taken apart and worn as two anklets to circle pendants that double as hoop earrings. Each collection is inspired by modern art and architecture, and streamlined to suit a practical yet fashion-minded customer's needs. "Our pieces have to be modern, relaxed, and refined and can fit easily into her life while leaving room for her interpretation," Lasala Spillane says. The designer recommends earpieces as an ideal entry point to modular jewelry. "It brightens the face and is the easiest way to add visual interest to any outfit," she says.
Sets are a big part of her multi-wear business, too — when combined, they guide customers on how to layer and re-work modular pieces. When broken down, they reduce down to distinctive, standalone pieces. "I think there's real value in knowing you can build up to your collection," Lasala Spillane tells TZR. "You can start with a stud and then build up slowly (if you want to!) to a more dramatic statement piece. And you're never going to be committed to that way of wearing it, you can disassemble it. You can get a ton more mileage out of fewer pieces."
Though it's an emerging trend, Lasala Spillane believes modular jewelry to be the most worthy investment, not just for the intrinsic value of fine materials like gold, stones, and gems, but the fluidity of each piece. "When you buy jewelry that you can renew with every use, mood, moment, or phase, you are investing in emotional durability too. You can love and wear pieces for longer."
The Modular Jewelry Trend: Aur Jewelry
With a BFA in sculpture and installation, Aur Jewelry designer Bianca Abreu creates truly exceptional pieces rooted in modularity. "I'm attracted to modular work because I like options, and I love the idea of modular work taking over," she tells TZR of her orb-style earrings and rings. Inspired by optics, light, and color play, Abreu admits to designing rather conceptual pieces, though the artistic quality makes her metal and glass designs unlike any other. "My work changes color and spins, and sometimes can be worn in unexpected ways," she says. "I strive to manipulate light within each of my modular pieces. I approach this by studying simple machines after I know my 'light-play' goals." To achieve balance and wearability with her modular pieces, Abreu creates similar gravity situations in the prototype phase of her work. She also leans into unexpected outcomes for added inspiration.
"Many modular pieces can be one-of-a-kind, so it's always good to grab that piece you fall in love with," the designer says of shopping for modular jewelry. She recommends starting with a smaller piece or with something easy to care for when buying into the trend and says durability is an important consideration when investing. "Make sure to tread lightly in the fragility department if it's your first purchase, and you plan on wearing it often. When I finish a piece, I 'stress test' it to make sure it's prepared for its new home."
Citing her Orb Note Earrings as a favorite, Abreu points out the joy that comes from a modular piece of jewelry."[They're] so satisfying to play with during the day. I can twist and change the position of the orbs throughout the day and let gravity do the rest of the work. I wear them vertically or thread the chain differently through each earring to show off the asymmetry."
The Modular Jewelry Trend: SENIA
Sisters Christina and Gina Senia founded their namesake brand with a less-is-more approach, focusing on modular heirloom jewelry with a unique take on sustainability — the wearer can style pieces in over 50 ways. Plus, every piece is made with recycled precious metals and conflict-free gems.
"Modular jewelry is a conscious and engineered approach toward sustainability and customization. This versatility allows for transcendence of time, which affords a mindful wearer the ability to create multiple, personalized looks, all whilst receiving the added benefit of cost savings," Christina tells TZR of SENIA's ethos. Gina adds: "Modular jewelry gives the consumer the flexibility to evolve, with regards to style, mood, age, and trends, without purchasing new pieces. Not only is the investment a sound one with regards to financial and environmental impact, the piece acts as a form of creative expression."
With designs akin to wearable art, SENIA launched with linkable earrings and adjoining rings that you can wrap or stack (necklaces and bracelets coming soon!). "There are only so many shapes to choose from — there's no excuse as to why pieces can't be carried through life and reconfigured as trends evolve," Christina says.
The sister duo believes that modular jewelry's transformability is the remedy to address society's inherent need for newness without the environmental and financial repercussions of fast fashion. "The fashion industry is brimming with beauty, yet predominantly void of purpose, which isn't aging well as we are entering a new era of consumer consciousness," Christina says. "As a mechanical engineer turned designer, I hope to inspire others to blend the lines between traditionally divergent disciplines to foster meaningful change."
The Modular Jewelry Trend: Idyl
For a modern — and reasonably-priced — take on timeless diamond earrings, Idyl will be your next obsession. Featuring ethical, lab-grown diamonds and traceable solid gold, each piece can be built upon with add-ons for countless looks that feel one-of-a-kind. "Women of today are truly versatile; they don't want one pair of expensive earrings to wear for the next ten years," Kevin Lewy, the brand's co-founder, tells TZR. "Our modularity embraces individuality and self-expression — we believe that unique identities and personal styles should be celebrated."
With an approachable feel, Idyl's concept is particularly ideal for those newly building a fine jewelry collection or entering into the modular space. Customers can initially invest in a pair of diamond studs — which the brand refers to as the 'white T-shirt of jewelry" — and, over time, mix in lower-priced add-ons to reinvent their earrings time and again. "Modular jewelry is the perfect investment because it allows you to create different styles while keeping the same base," Lewy says. "[It's] been created for the mere joy of owning less while combining more." An ethos worth backing, no matter your budget or style.