Jewelry is often a long-haul purchase. Keeping up with seasonal trends is often pricy, and an overflowing jewelry box can start to feel superfluous. Versatility and longevity are most important when buying new pieces to add to your roster; two concepts at the crux of Monica Vinader's collaboration with influencer Doina Ciobanu, a new sustainable jewelry collection. The pieces strike a balance between timeless and modern, meaning you'll want to hold onto them for years.
Capturing the glamorous mood of 1950s Italy, the new Monica Vinader x Doina capsule — made up of chain necklaces and bracelets, earrings, rings, and charms — marks a first for the brand. "It's the first full collection made from 100-percent recycled sterling silver with our signature 18-carat gold vermeil, which we'll soon be using for all collections," Monica Vinader tells TZR.
"Sustainability is important to me with everything I do," Ciobanu tells TZR. "It's a conversation I'm always having with brands I work with, and it's where I want the fashion, jewelry, and beauty industries to go. I was so lucky to work with a woman as amazing and concerned about the environment as Monica; I didn't have to convince her about anything, she was just onboard and eager to do better."
Vinader first learned of Ciobanu when she saw her speak on circular fashion at a Facebook conference. "I was drawn to her passion for advocating for change within the fashion industry," Vinader says of her decision to team up with the influencer and sustainability advocate. "When we knew 2020 was a year in which we'd be focusing heavily on our sustainability journey, I knew we had to work with Doina as an advisor and collaborator."
Ciobanu was inspired to work with recycled materials, but acknowledges that "new" is often the antithesis of sustainability. She felt strongly about creating versatile jewelry pieces that stood the test of time and tackled the problem of limited wearability. "I knew very well that creating something in itself is unsustainable, and denying that would be lying to myself. But I did want to create something beautiful that I would wear for years and years to come, in as sustainable a way as possible," she tells TZR.
With versatility as another common denominator between Ciobanu and Vinader, both envisioned a capsule of dynamic gold pieces that anyone could wear in various ways, all with a vintage influence. "I never designed jewelry before, but I had always wanted to because I felt like a lot of the pieces I wanted were very vintage looking, and I couldn't really get them," Ciobanu tells TZR. "I brought a mood board with a bunch of ideas ... vintage campaigns, editorials, film scenes, landscapes, and buildings that inspired me."
Materials also helped inspire the vintage mood, according to Vinader. "We fell in love with this idea of plaited metals that created this gorgeous vintage vibe," she tells TZR. "The Cross Chain ring in the collection was born out of playing with the materials. Doina picked up the necklace chain and wrapped it around her fingers in a criss-cross pattern, and we just stopped and thought we must make that!"
From the thick gold chains to the pearl and gemstone charms that you can add to almost every piece in the capsule, Vinader says each piece's tactile design gives it a second-skin feel. "The chain looks heavy but is actually very lightweight, the hammered torc [necklace] hugs your shoulders and the woven chains mold to your body like water — it all feels like nothing is on."
For Ciobanu, it was all about the multi-purpose appeal. "I wanted to make [the collection] as versatile as possible, classic chains that you can interlink and create a belt, bracelets that connect and create an arm bracelet," she tells TZR. "With this collection, the final look is really up to your imagination. Even now, after having worn it for a few months, I'm still discovering new ways to wear it."
Keep reading for three of Ciobanu's unique styling tips, featuring pieces from the sustainable capsule. Then, continue scrolling to shop the Monica Vinader x Doina collection.
"Two necklaces as a belt and connecting the thick chain with the thin chain bracelets create a nice asymmetrical look."
"I've been connecting two bracelets as an arm bracelet, and have been loving it for summer."
"I love experimenting with the torc, and while I was in Greece, I came up with this look where I attached the chain bracelet and Monica pendants from other collections, and it became this beautiful asymmetric look."
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