DALLAS — In her first collaboration under her own name, blogger-turned-designer Tina Craig has created a capsule collection with a Parisian fine jeweler.
Tina Craig x Nouvel Héritage, which made its debut Wednesday at the Baccarat Hotel in New York, is “a launchpad for me back into luxury,” Craig said. “This is a space I really wanted to be in — luxury accessories. That’s where my readers and followers expect me to be and where I’m most knowledgeable.”
Previous licenses such as handbags for DKNY and a handbag line for HSN were credited to Bag Snob or Snob Essentials, both monikers of the popular blog she co-owns with Kelly Cook. But Craig wants to establish her own label, and next up is a group of Italian-crafted handbags due in June.
Camille Parruitte, founder of Nouvel Héritage, approached the vivacious fashion maven about working together.
“Her modern style was a perfect fit for our contemporary designs,” she said. “We have been working on finding the right first collaboration for our brand and we believe Tina is the perfect match.”
“I was so impressed by their quality,” affirmed Craig, who lives in a Dallas suburb. “This isn’t just some trendy new brand passing off stuff as fine jewelry.”
Though less than a year old, Nouvel Héritage has an impressive pedigree. Marie-Christine Grocq-Parruitte, Parruitte’s mother, main investor and business partner, served 14 years as chief executive officer of Cartier Jewelry Paris and Cartier Jewelry International before leaving in 2004. Now she owns a Paris workshop that produces jewelry for high-end brands.
Grocq-Parruitte backed the new label at the request of her daughter, who graduated last week from Northeastern University with a degree in finance and entrepreneurship. The mother-daughter duo bounce design ideas off of each other, and Parruitte serves as chief executive officer.
“I’ve been working at the workshop with my mom since we got it in 2010,” Parruitte noted. “My mom is so creative. She has great expertise and pushed me to do my own thing.”
Nouvel Héritage features 18 karat gold that’s often intricately set with gemstones and can be engraved. Craig put her stamp on 10 pieces from the summer collection.
“I felt like their story needed to be told — that these family workshops still exist,” Craig said. “The French high jewelry is unparalleled in the world, in my opinion.”
Inspired by the digital realm, Craig sprinkled her favorite emoji – the triple star “sparkle” – onto gold signet rings and chain necklaces and bracelets.
She referenced strong fictional women, emblazoning a medallion with daggers in a tribute to Dagny Taggart of “Atlas Shrugged” and another with Art Deco-patterned gemstones and diamond fringe for Talulah in “Bugsy Malone.” Nouvel Héritage’s medallions do triple duty as earrings, pendants or brooches.
“I wanted to make it really fun and have that modern sensibility to it,” Craig said.
Parruitte expects the collaboration will land the company its first retail accounts. Nouvel Héritage has been selling online in the U.S. and Europe, and its signature piece is a custom-etched lip print pendant necklace.
“Me and my mom wanted a product that was very personal, something that didn’t exist,” Parruitte explained. “I was sending letters with this old-fashioned kiss print at the bottom, and she said, “That would be so cool because all lip prints are different.’”