Starting with the simple snap hook habitually used for industrial applications, which they had originally discovered in a vintage market in Tokyo, friends Chiara Capitani and Romy Blanga, both 32-year-old Millennials, have transformed it into playful high jewelry in fluorescent hues and angular lines. The signature product of Eéra – the Milan-based duo’s brand launched in 2019 – the snap hook design may be found on rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets, and its innovative functional spring mechanism offers wearers endless styling opportunities to reflect their personal style by linking several snap hooks together, adding dangling chains or even combining them with jewels they already own.
Having made career switches to jewelry, Capitani was formerly a fashion design consultant and Blanga worked in fashion PR and brand communications and management. Today, the pair’s bold esthetic, which quickly won them fans like Dua Lipa, Hailey Bieber, Rita Ora, Florence Pugh and Sienna Miller, has been expanded to lock, key and hexagonal nut shapes – continuing their cherished hardware theme. Encouraging mixing and matching, Eéra earrings may be worn together or separately, or pieced together to form long and short styles according to the wearer’s mood, while bracelets, necklaces and rings are stackable, thus allowing the creation of a bespoke look. I discuss with the duo why their brand is worthy of a closer look.
How did you arrive at this calling? How and when did you become interested in jewelry, and when did you know you wanted to be jewelry designers? Why did you switch from fashion to jewelry?
Jewelry design has always been a passion of ours, so creating Eéra was our ultimate goal. We worked on combining our experiences, as well as our influences in art and fashion, to create valuable designs that celebrate Italian craftsmanship. We came across a snap hook in a vintage market in Tokyo and started thinking about all the different ways in which you could personalize jewelry if it worked the same way. We experimented with the utilitarian shape and our first collection evolved from there.
Did you have any formal training in jewelry design, or are you self-taught?
We are both are self-taught. Romy graduated with a Bachelor of Science at the University of Manchester, and Chiara studied fashion communication at the IED University of Rome.
What is your approach towards the materials that you use?
We set out to create jewelry that has a unique, utilitarian esthetic, which draws from both traditional and contemporary design. Our collections center on geometric shapes that combine precious materials, for instance gold and diamonds, with unexpected color combinations. We feel that it is this approach that sets Eéra apart within the fine jewelry market.
In which cities are the different craftsmanship ateliers you work with?
Our factory is located in the Vicenza region, a historic jewelry capital in Italy.
Is ethical and sustainable sourcing important to you?
Sustainability is important to us and our goal is to incorporate sustainable practices in our operations. We have already started doing that in our bags business. For instance, the accessories we use are made of eco brass and the leather we select is vegetable tanned.
What new innovative techniques or technologies do you incorporate in your jewelry making?
Neon colors have been a part of our offering since the beginning. At the core of every Eéra collection is the snap hook which, when used in sporting activities, is typically brightly colored. We experimented with incorporating such shades into our collections and really loved how the neon hues contrasted with the gold and diamonds.
Is there a name to the process you use to incorporate neon colors onto the metal? Is it different from what other jewelry brands are doing?
The techniques we use for our colored jewelry have been exclusively developed for us and are our factory’s know-how. We implement techniques like electrophoretic coating for our metallic-colored jewelry and a technique similar to aerography for our enameled neon pieces.
How are you adopting a different approach and mentality to jewelry making, away from traditional jewelry?
We believe that the customer’s attitude towards fine jewelry has changed over the past couple of years and that they really appreciate a contemporary design approach. Fine jewelry no longer needs to be reserved for special occasions and colorful pieces prove that.
Who are some of the celebrities who wear Eéra?
Please visit our Instagram page.