Rosado — who cut his teeth alongside Andy Warhol and spent time at Giorgio Armani — is known for his whimsical high jewelry concepts and now looks forward, unveiling this new chapter of fine jewelry with a campaign shot by long time collaborator and legendary photographer, Albert Watson.
Rosado explained that even though he has had success in high jewelry, “the price point was way too high to be accessible to most people, so I challenged myself to create a collection of fine jewelry collection that was maybe a little bit more accessible with accessible price points.”
The result, a contemporary fine jewelry brand using Rosado’s couture craftsmanship and knowhow, with Pearl ID being the first expression to anchor the new W. Rosado brand.
The first collection of pearl creations uses customization, employing letters and a mix of symbols to create unique one of a kind pieces. The idea began over a year ago with Rosado inspired by simple plastic white beads with metaphors printed on them that he says, “resonated to me in my childhood.” The feelings of nostalgia and personalization led the designer on a search to create his new offering, taking him to master goldsmiths in Valenza, Italy, to forge the letters and symbols in gold set seamlessly into the pearls; and then to Idar-Oberstein, Germany, to work with the best gem cutters in the world.
Rosado says that throughout the endeavor he was met with many challenges and steep “leaning curves for the complicated process,” even developing new tooling to bring his idea to life.
“The approach is still the same,“ he said of working in the lower, albeit still luxury price point. ”I have not compromised in the craftsmanship. I have not compromised the quality, even though the price points now are in the fine jewelry sector.”
The Pearl ID concept offers a mix of styles — earrings, pendant-style necklaces, lapel pins, broaches — and prices range from $2,500 for a single monogrammed pearl charm to more than $100,000 for a full pearl choker with pavé lettering. Each piece can be customized using diamonds as well as a new technique Rosado developed where color is adhered to gold using heat.
While the collection has been in the works for more than a year, launching a jewelry concept is no easy task during a global pandemic, something Rosado is acutely aware of. Pre-pandemic, the plan was to launch March 30 with a glitzy event on the Upper East Side, but as COVID-19 took hold of the globe, Rosado — who himself came down with the virus — needed a new way to tell the story of his brand launch.
“The challenge was how do we create a luxury experience,” he explained. “I wanted face-to-face meetings to show the jewelry, but it became a whole new world, literally overnight.”
Thinking of a way that would telegraph the luxury of the product without an event, the campaign concept was born. The jewelry designer enlisted Watson, under the artistic direction of Marc Balet, both of whom Rosado worked with during his tenure at Warhol’s Interview magazine.
“To work with Albert is like an incredible experience. He loves products,” Rosado explained. “He has an incredible respect for the design process.”
“He is so meticulous,” he added. “He understood the importance of being able to capture each detail of each piece.”
The team created six surrealist-inspired prints, aiming to show the pieces, “in an avant-garde, unexpected and sexy way.” He sees the images as a way to show the collection to press, buyers and consumers leaving out any face-to-face meetings or fancy soirées.
“It’s luxury through the eyes of art,” he said of the campaign.
To support the launch, Rosado is unveiling an updated web site, and, for the first time, entering e-commerce. “E-commerce is the future for sure,” Rosado quipped. “It needs to be a part of that world.”
The black-and-white curated images will roll out on social channels and the updated web site.
The first W. Rosado collection launches today with a two-week exclusive with Moda Operandi.
“I’ve been a Wilfredo fan for years,” said Myriam Attou, Moda Operandi’s vice president of exquisite sales. “We are thrilled to be the exclusive launch partner for W. Rosado and his new jewelry concept, which will resonate with the Moda woman who loves personalized fine jewelry with a twist.”
The new line has also been picked up at Just One Eye in Los Angeles and according to the brand, Saks Fifth Avenue is expected to come on board in September. E-commerce on the new web site will launch following the expiration of the two week Moda Operandi exclusive.