22 DECEMBER 2020
Beginning in 2014 initially as an exploratory contemporary art jewellery practice, Bianca Mavrick Jewellery has evolved into an internationally recognised jewellery label. Her conceptual arts-and-craft aesthetic combines with signature industrial finishes and in-house artisan production to create statement jewellery imbued with symbolism and playful luxury.
With the launch of her latest collection Light Catcher, we chatted to Bianca about the inspiration behind her bold jewellery and how COVID made her reconsider the way she runs her practice. Browse a range of Bianca Mavrick pieces at MoB Shop.
You recently released a new range, Light Catcher. Tell us about the inspiration behind this collection?
This collection was inspired by personal explorations this year. I was thinking about how my approach to dressing and that of so many women around me had evolved to heighten our sense of comfort and functionality. So I was wanting to explore how I could create costume jewellery with presence yet a sense of everyday wearability.
I had originally designed the Chain Link necklaces in 2018 as part of a past collection called Modern Artefact in a small batch of two colour ways and the response was overwhelming. I think they were definitely ahead of the current chain link trend this year and they sold out early into the collection launch. It was so great to see they were being purchased by both men and women to wear. We had so many emails asking if I was restocking that we set to work on a small capsule to explore the design further.
I love that they mimic everyday objects and the beautiful Italian cellulose acetate they are made from really catch the light! Designing a collection focused on colour, light and optimism was definitely timely and cathartic.
I was very interested in how our environment and sensory perceptions can influence our emotions, particularly colour, light and tactile objects can facilitate meditation and soothe anxiety. Our collection video explores this notion where we composed a harp track and recorded the ASMR-like sounds the chains create as they are very kinetic and fun to play with!
When did you first feel the urge to pursue Bianca Mavrick Jewellery?
I’m not exactly sure – I think my interest in jewellery was something that was always there, and formally studying jewellery and starting Bianca Mavrick Jewellery was a natural progression in my life path. I had always instinctively been drawn to jewellery as a child, my early memories involved my Nonna visiting my primary school class and my school friends being fascinated by all her jewellery! I’d re-assemble the broken pieces of her costume jewellery into new designs.
My childhood passion was visiting bead stores, and weaving friendship bracelets with a neighbour who would babysit me! I was an entrepreneurial kid and at 11 (after begging my mum for help) would sell my creations at a weekend market stall – I did that until I started high school! This probably was why I never wanted to do markets when I first started my label as an adult haha.
Towards the end of my Fine Art degree majoring in Jewellery I began my label, and after graduating was lucky to have some gallery stockists and boutiques start to sell my work. Eventually, an international stockist placed a really large wholesale order for their network of stores across America and that was when I began to completely work in my label full time.
You must have an incredible personal collection of jewellery by now! Do you have any go to pieces?
I have archived each piece from every collection since I first started my label in 2013, and still have all the one-off pieces I made studying during my jewellery major at art school. So safe to say I have a lifetime supply of earrings. I don’t even want to count!
I recently have kept my Colour Dot Studs permanently in my ears and love pairing my Chain Link necklace with tonal, colour block outfits! They’re just so fun and easy to throw on and really elevate a look effortlessly.
How does living in Brisbane influence your creative practice?
I love living in Brisbane – I love my inner city neighbourhood but also the beautiful coastal landscapes are calming and invigorating at the same time. The sky is so blue and colours are so vibrant, it definitely influences my practice. I’m so lucky to have cultivated a beautiful network of artists and creative practitioners from so many disciplines and that is an ever-inspiring set of friends to be around.
You recently started releasing your jewellery in smaller more regular collections. Why did you choose to step away from the traditional fashion cycle?
At the end of last year, I decided I no longer wanted to work to seasonal deadlines and focus on a smaller output of capsule collections, an ecommerce first approach. This has been very refreshing! My label had achieved some brilliant international success through wholesale, and for the last year I was working with an amazing showroom based in London and showing my collections in Paris, London and NYC during fashion month.
I love stocking amazing boutiques and stores internationally but keeping up with the constant cycle of ‘newness’ – new collections four times a year that buyers need to see can definitely be demanding as an independent designer. Coincidentally, the pandemic showed this to be the best course of action and it is great to see the industry heading away from such fast-paced cycles and this is perfect for independent designers.
Fashion can be a fast-paced and an unsustainable industry with lots of greenwashing, but I feel independent designers and craftspeople are in the best position – they are not a heavy ship and can be more sustainable, with unique creative vision and react faster! So, I’m really happy that my label intersects between the fields craft and fashion. An upside of 2020 is that there has been resurgence of people understanding the value of handcrafted artisan products and wanting to support small businesses.
It is definitely creatively invigorating to be able to set the pace and release new work in smaller capsules based on what we want to explore and what our customers respond to. It has been wonderful to connect deeper and serve my amazing global community of customers directly via our online store. We’ve shipped orders to really interesting locations like St Thomas in the Caribbean and Corsica!
How has your style evolved over time and what has influenced its development?
Bianca Mavrick Jewellery is definitely known for our statement earrings, bold colour and motif forms and our signature materials of Italian cellulose acetate and colour coated metals! Over time I’ve refined and evolved the designs as I’ve explored and pushed the boundaries on new materials and processes. I’m definitely influenced by contemporary art, sculpture and furniture design and the fabrication processes involved in these disciplines when creating jewellery!
What does a day in the life of Bianca look like? Tell us about your creative process.
A typical day at work goes like this:
6AM: Wake up and go for a walk around the river
7AM: Off to my favourite local coffee shop for cold brew coffee
8AM: Check my emails and pack online orders
10AM: Try and have all my emails & admin done so I can start the task of the day.
12PM: Break to cook lunch – eat at my computer and read my favourite sites Business of Fashion and Architectural Digest.
1PM: Spend the rest of the day depending on what I’m currently working on – designing, researching, graphic design tasks for digital marketing, planning shoots, making props for shoots or physically making jewellery stock and sampling new styles.
6PM: Cook dinner and eat early – I tend to stop working for the day after that unless I have very repetitive, meditative craft tasks I can do in front of the tv!
My creative process involves a lot of research – I always find books better than Pinterest or Google Images – though I love to collate digital mood boards too. Sketching and digital renders of designs are crucial to communicating my designs, but equally I need to make jewellery with my hands, silversmithing, handcrafting components, checking colours, materials, weights and sizes work together during the design process to be able to create the best designs.
Career highlight to date?
There has been too many over the years. Last year at the showroom in Paris during Fashion Week taking appointments and meeting buyers – many who I knew mostly via email was really surreal and fun. And seeing my jewellery on the shelves of the jewellery salon section of my favourite luxury department store in Hong Kong on the way home was really cool! Seeing my jewellery styled in a shoot for Vogue China was also a highlight and the overwhelming reaction to our Light Catcher capsule collection this year was so heart-warming!
Do you have any exciting projects coming up for Bianca Mavrick Jewellery?
I’m really excited to currently be working on expanding into new accessories categories so I can’t wait to reveal all in 2021. We also have our first pop-up scheduled and a really wonderful international collaboration on the horizon, so we are excited for push forward in the new year with so much optimism and excitement.