Bea Bongiasca

Katie Rawsthorne

We spoke with Milan-born jewellery designer Bea Bongiasca about her Italian heritage, Asian influences and the special cats in her life.

What are the best things about being Italian?
I am very happy to be Italian. In every country I have been to, being Italian has always been a plus, it seems like everyone likes my country (and our food).
Living in a country that has such a rich heritage and culture gives you an inevitable eye for beauty that, as a designer, is definitely an appreciated bonus!
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Certainly your work is influenced by a myriad of different cultures, can you perhaps tell us more about your relationship with Asia and its influence on your work?
I try to incorporate the visual language and knowledge that I gained from my travels to East Asia with my ‘western taste/flair’ to create a new mixed aesthetic. I want to fuse Eastern and Western cultures together in my work because in the end the world will become a melting pot, so why not start now?
Do you have a favourite country you have visited?
Not to be cliché but my favourite country is probably Japan. I have yet to travel to different regions and see it all properly but already from what I have seen I know it will always be my favourite! The attention to details, their sense of aesthetic and the contrasts between cityscapes and nature fulfil my creativity.
A lot of your pieces feel very timeless in their design, is there a particular era of fashion that you particularly resonate with?
I don’t think that my work resonates with a particular era of fashion, at least not consciously. As a designer you take in a lot of information that you subconsciously mix with your own experiences creating a visual language that consequently will always be a melange of our time and the past.
If you couldn’t wear your own designs what other designers would you typically gravitate towards?
Definitely designers that create imaginative and colourful worlds, in fact my favourite jewellery designer is Solange Azagury-Partridge. She is incredibly creative and rule breaking, which in jewellery is quite uncommon as it is still a very traditional line of work
So you were featured in Forbes which must have been incredible. How did that make you feel?
It was amazing! I was so honoured and humbled to have been selected, especially as the only jewellery designer in the list. I went to the award ceremony in London, which was such a fun experience, especially to meet people from so many different fields.
What is next for Bea Bongiasca, what should we be anticipating from you?
We are planning to expand more in the American market as well as on our e-shop. Ultimately, we hope to open our own store and have points of sale all across the world. I think that the store will be very unconventional for jewellery as it will be very colourful, ‘kawaii’ and fun 🙂
Finally, are there any special cats in your life?
Yes! There are two special cats, my oldest cat Dee Dee, who unfortunately is a bit too frail to deal with having her picture taken and Ichigo, which means strawberry in Japanese, that you can see being sassy in the photos.
Ichigo is going to be three years old in December and is a blue golden shaded British Shorthair. She makes funny turkey noises when she runs around and I am slowly trying to train her to walk with a leash so she can explore the world.