New York–Last Thursday, Fashion Group International honored its 2017 class of “Rising Stars” at its annual awards luncheon in New York.
The organization recognizes emerging designers at this event every year, in categories spanning fashion and accessories.
This year, Brooklyn-based designer Dana Bronfman received the Rising Star Award in Fine Jewelry.
“Winning the award was such an honor and a thrill,” Bronfman told National Jeweler. “It was the most exciting moment of my career to date. To be recognized by the very competitive fashion and jewelry industry is such a huge deal.”
Not long ago, the San Francisco native was pursuing a career in the nonprofit sector, though she felt a creative draw toward jewelry-making.
“I make an effort to keep philanthropy as a big part of my life and business, but creating jewelry is my passion and an amazing means to be able to give back,” Bronfman explained.
Her passion took her to the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco, where she studied her craft from the ground up. Her time at Revere led to stints working with other designers in her home town and in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
In 2014, Bronfman came to New York to take some jewelry classes, and the trip proved serendipitous.
“I became so inspired,” said Bronfman. “I felt that it was the time to start my own line.”
Bronfman’s “Holy” pendant
Three years later, retailers such as Roseark, ZFolio, Regina Jewelry and Treasures, Memo Online and Sucre NYC carry her line, and she’s exhibited at JCK Tucson and Metal + Smith.
Bronfman describes her aesthetic as “quietly bold.” She works mainly in 18-karat gold and diamonds, infusing wearable pieces with uniqueness via her signature cut-outs.
“My collections have used gold and diamonds in a way inspired by industrial architecture as well as my experience as a bench jeweler; the balance between structure and movement has categorized my line,” she said.
This year, Bronfman is venturing into color with “non-traditional colored diamonds and gemstones,” which will be on display at JCK Tucson from Feb. 1 to 4.
The designer hopes that recognition from the FGI will help set her apart from the many young fine jewelry brands who approach retailers.
“I feel industry awards like this do help independent designers by helping them to receive exposure and publicity and, ultimately, credibility,” she said. “I feel encouraged to know that the industry knows I am here to stay, and that the future holds lots of excitement.”
Bronfman’s line retails between $295 and $15,000.
Her designs will be on display in the Design Center at booth D19 at JCK Tucson.