Laguna jewelry designer Nan Fusco, who made a name for herself when Neiman Marcus picked up her collection seven years ago, has created something innovatively fun and edgy for Fall 2010 — a "convertible" jewelry line.
Incorporating her signature use of precious and semi-precious stones, Fusco intertwines them with chains of various metals — silver, gold, gunmetal, copper — to create loose, carefree pieces that can each be worn in multiple ways.
"The idea was to create 'statement' pieces that are also delicate, and are sort of just fluid on a woman's body," Fusco says. "What's great — and unique — about this line is that you can have fun with each piece and wear it however you want."
Composed of 10 pieces, the new collection features styles including "The Hook," a 60-inch open-ended series of chains that can be worn as a lariat, choker, double- or triple-necklace or a bracelet, and the "Fringe Choker," in which the chains can be tied or knotted to create a chunky necklace, separated for a long asymmetric look, or draped down the back for a sexier, elegant style.
Each piece is made with different stones such as lapis, pink opal, mica, halite or "white turquoise," Keshi pearls, green amethysts, and is available in a variety of metals, so that no two pieces are identical.
The juxtaposition of rugged, earthy stones with delicate chains, or polished stones with hard metal puts a hip spin on these fine, high-quality pieces.
Fusco even designed her own "messy" and fringy variation of the traditional Indian finger-ring bracelet, which can also be worn as a choker.
"I call it 'The Bling,' for bracelet and ring," she laughs. "This line is all about breaking the rules and having fun."
Fusco felt inspired to experiment with jewelry making when she struggled to find colorful and imaginative pieces to suit her individualistic style.
"Everything [in the retail world] looked the same to me and I thought 'I don't want to wear what everyone else is wearing; I want to be daring and different'," she recalls. "As a graphic designer, scale, composition and color always came naturally, so the transition into the jewelry arena was an easy and natural one."
Before long, Fusco said friends and strangers alike were offering to buy her hand-made pieces right off her neck.
"That's when I thought, hey, maybe I'm onto something," she said.
She began selling her work to affluent women in Laguna Beach, New York and Las Vegas, which led to her relationship with Neiman Marcus, and later a following of other high-end boutiques, department stores and websites across the country and in London. Her designs can also be purchased at Sasha Boutique in Laguna Beach.
Her pieces have been spotted on celebrities including MTV's Lo Bosworth and several hip, fashion-forward women in Orange County.
Prices range from $300 to $600.
For more information about Fusco's line or a complete list of styles in her Fall 2010 collection, visit http://www.nanfusco.com.