Mark Badgley and James Mischka are no strangers to red-carpet moments. Now, they will have the fine jewels to go with their gowns.
This week, the designers are launching Badgley Mischka Fine Jewelry at Bloomingdale’s — a natural move, they said, considering that much of their ready-to-wear inspiration already stems from the jewelry world. “We have always been known for our beading and embellishment, and we have always been inspired by vintage jewelry,” Badgley said. And so, in a roundabout way, the wide-ranging collection, about 50 pieces, of necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings draw on elements from the pair’s rtw collections over the past two years, including beading, a lace-like design and an “Arabesque” motif that informs much of the new lineup.
The jewelry, which is manufactured in a licensing agreement with Manhattan jewelry firm Clyde Duneier, features silver and 18-karat gold looks and precious and semiprecious stones like white, brown and black diamonds, as well as sapphire, amethysts, blue topaz, moonstone and citrine.
Badgley and Mischka have dabbled in fine jewelry before with engagement rings, and have been creating costume jewelry under the Sequin LLC license for nearly five years. “Costume jewelry is such a great fashion item, but there is also a different customer who wants fine jewelry,” Badgley said. “To us, it’s the pinnacle of luxury and what we stand for. We have two shops, on Rodeo Drive and Worth Avenue, and we have a jewelry following there. I think it will be very important for us, especially there.” He noted that they plan to expand the line’s distribution early next year.
The collection is priced from about $1,500 to $30,000, but if the designers had their way, the sky would be the limit. “We were just at the exhibit of Liz Taylor’s jewelry,” Mischka said. “We were inspired to make some of those 33-carat diamond rings, if we can find the stones.”