Lapis – Pantone Color Spring 2017

Pantone chose lapis and so did Nina Nguyen Designs!

Pantone Spring 2017 – Lapis Blue

Pantone has selected their colors for Spring 2017 and I’m thrilled about the color palate, especially as one of them is named Lapis Blue. I’m crazy about Lapis and I’ve been incorporating it into my line for quite some time. I even tried some different shapes of this mesmerizing blue in my new fine jewelry Heritage Collection.

Lapis Earrings by Nina Nguyen Designs

Nina Nguyen Designs, Spirit Earrings, 14k yellow gold, lapis

Lapis lazuli has long been regarded as the stone of wisdom and truth. It is associated with the Greek Goddess Athena who was notorious for her keen intellect and strategic planning.

Nina Nguyen Designs - Spirit Necklace in Lapis

Lapis – The Stone of Wisdom

The history between humans and lapis dates back to 6,500 B.C. when enthusiasts would travel over treacherous mountain terrain to secure some of this deep dark blue. Back in the day Lapis was prized as much as turquoise and sapphire. Not only was it used in jewelry, but it was also crushed up and used for medicinal purposes. Additionally, it’s been known to be used as a cosmetic!

Lapis Necklace by Nina Nguyen Designs

Nina Nguyen Designs, Heritage Necklette, 14k yellow gold, lapis

Folklore also tells us that lapis lazuli was a powerful talisman that purified the soul.  The Egyptians were rumored to crush up lapis and gold to make a mask placed on the forehead said to remove demons as it dried. I find it so fascinating that gemstones had such significant meaning in ancient times.

Nina Nguyen Designs - Lapis Spirit Ring

Nina Nguyen Designs, Spirit Ring, sterling silver, lapis

This stunning stone is roughly associated with the astrological sign Sagittarius, but any sign can rock this stone. I’m not sure I believe the hype, so instead of crushing them for medicine or make-up I will wrap my harmony lapis necklette around my wrist on days I need a pick me up! Gemstones have a mystery and power all their own that we may never truly understand.

Lapis Bracelet by Nina Nguyen Designs

Nina Nguyen Designs, Heirloom Bracelet, 22k vermeil, lapis

Tourmaline – Love and Communication

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Watermelon Tourmaline

October brings sweater weather, fall foliage and most importantly tourmaline, one of my favorite gemstones. October’s birthstone claims my attention because of its vibrant hues, its variety and its powerful metaphysical properties.

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Nina Nguyen Designs, Adorn Bangle, 14k yellow gold, pink tourmaline

This stunning beauty was first discovered in the 1500s. The first one found had a deep green hue and was originally claimed as emerald. It’s no surprise that the word tourmaline actually means ‘mixed gems’ in Sinhalese (native tongue of Sri Lanka). Its striking colors often had miners confuse this beauty with a variety of gemstones before it was determined that this gorgeous gem belongs in a class all its own. I don’t think tourmaline gets enough credit for its beauty and versatility. I love using it in my work!
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Legend has it that tourmaline traveled to earth through the rainbow, hence the reason it comes in every hue imaginable. Tourmaline is attributed the powerful metaphysical properties of deep enlightenment, power over spiritual affairs and can quell opposition. According to alchemist folklore, this ‘philosopher’s stone’ is also said to have the power to turn base metal into gold! Do you believe the hype? Pink tourmaline, which you’ll find featured in my new Heritage collection, is believed to be the stone of love and communication.
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Nina Nguyen Designs, Adorn Ring, 14k yellow gold, pink tourmaline

Even if we can’t confirm the myths and magic around this stone, there is no denying its beauty. The metaphysical properties of gemstones used to be perceived as fact, just as it was accepted that the earth was flat. Perhaps we put more value on science than the spirits these days, but these properties were so widely accepted that they carried over to modern day. Birthstones are still given as gifts. This tradition has been passed along from ancient times when a birthstone was given to a baby’s parents to keep the child safe and sound. I like to believe they still bring a lot of that love and positive energy to any recipient. It’s my favorite gift to give.
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Nina Nguyen Designs, Heritage Necklette, 14k yellow gold, tourmaline

Have a Spring Fling with Harmony!

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We’re celebrating Spring, 2015 here at Nina Nguyen Designs, and are excited to announce “Harmony,” a beautiful addition to the Nina Nguyen Wisteria Collection.
Harmony embraces the best of the 2015 jewelry trends, including layering, the beauty of natural stones and beaded jewelry, which unite to create THE fashion statement piece your jewelry wardrobe can’t live without!
Available in a variety of gemstone choices including Garnet, Amethyst, Aquamarine, White Topaz, Emerald, Moonstone, Ruby, Peridot, Sapphire, Pink Topaz, Citrine and Blue Topaz, Harmony features the exclusive “Necklette” design, a favorite of Nina Nguyen jewelry fans. A fabulous hybrid between a beautiful, bold necklace and a bracelet, the Necklette easily allows for fashion forward versatility  which is a huge plus for fans of the Nina Nguyen brand.
Harmony features an ombre mix of 4mm Rondel gemstone beads in a variety of colors that lend themselves to mixing, matching and layering. Want to go for a bolder effect? Stack or entwine several of your Harmony favorites together to create a dazzling gemstone “Collar.”
 
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And don’t forget the arm candy! The exclusive Necklette design makes every Harmony necklace instantly able to convert into a delicious rainbow of fun for your eyes and your wrist.
Ready for Harmony? Start your collection now!

INSTORE Magazine gets a little more Zen

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“Most of us returned from our last vacation with a suitcase crammed with souvenirs of questionable quality; Nina Nguyen, on the other hand, brought back inspiration for her latest collection. Her travels to Bali were the seed of the Zen collection. It consists of colorful Druzy and turquoise stones cut into geometric shapes and set in sterling silver with a 22K gold overlay.” 


INSTORE Magazine

ZEN

Nina Nguyen Fall 2014 ‘Zen’ Jewelry Collection

 

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Nina’s Fall 2014 ‘Zen Collection’, inspired by her recent vacation in Bali, merges Zen with the Art of Geometric thinking.

More than just jewelry, the “Zen Collection,” is a lifestyle statement, created to reflect the belief that keeping it simple is key to a happier life. The “Zen Collection” combines curves, angles and gemstones in a visually stunning presentation which embraces Zen ideals of doing more with less, and elevates jewelry from a physical object to a spiritual experience.

Complementing the minimalist design, Nina chose amethyst, sand, black and snowy white druzy along with turquoise as the stone for this collection. Drawing from her love of nature and travel, Nina continues to design fashion-forward collections using all-natural stones.

All pieces of Nina Nguyen Designs ‘Zen Collection’ is now available for purchase from retail partners in the United States and abroad.

 

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Nina Nguyen Featured in INDESIGN April/March 2014

INSTORE Cover

GOLDEN BEGINNINGS: “I used to help my mother trade gold in our hometown of Pleiku, Vietnam. Every Sunday, my mother would set up her little table, and workers from the nearby river who’d panned for gold would line up to sell my mother the gold they had found. My uncle used to make the beautiful sparkly gold dust into rings. My job was to bike to the market to deliver the gold. The gold rings were fastened on a chain for me to easily disguise under my clothes. This was to evade the communists’ eyes and ears on my parents. Being able to work with my family is a major part of my jewelry designing process today.”

FAVORITE STONES: “Anything that is unique, mineral, fossilized and can’t be found in a traditional jewelry store. Right now, I am obsessed with druzy and geodes.” 

                         Maharani Wisdom Cuff

THE GREATER GOOD: “I think all products should be made in a manner that benefits everyone involved. I would love for my jewelry to help bring this message: That people should always be concerned with where the things they purchase come from, who made them, where the materials came from, how long will it last, and what will become of it when its life is over.”

DESIGN INSPIRATION: “I first experienced wisteria’s allure as a tourist traveling through Tokyo by bicycle. Pedaling a bicycle path completely surrounded by wisteria, I was immediately fascinated by the graceful purple blossoms cascading into view. Wisteria’s enduring beauty and charm will be represented in my spring 2014 collection.”

Wisteria Melody Necklette

Wisteria Melody Necklette

CELEBRITY CONNECTION:  “In 2013, Miranda Lambert wore our Audrey earrings in black druzy to the season premiere of THE VOICE. That was such a pleasant surprise! Her stylist contacted my PR firm, so I guess my unique design is being mentioned in the celeb stylist circle.”

STYLE EVOLUTION: “I think my work has evolved as my personal preferences evolved. The styling of my design has changed from having a more modern and minimal look to having a somewhat classic, heirloom look while retaining the composition of a modern material”

STANDING ON PRINCIPLE: “In 2009, my line was represented by a New York showroom. I was dealing with the constant pressure from department stores and buyers to produce cheaper products. I don’t know how I did it, but I walked away from some very large purchase orders to focus on bettering my designs. The biggest achievement of my career was when I learned to stay focused on what I do, who I am, who my audience is and what my brand represents.


Q & A  / Getting Personal with Nina Nguyen

WHAT IS ON YOUR MIND WHEN YOU ARE NOT DESIGNING? “Children of Vietnam project. I plan to bring my experience to assist with raising more funds and bringing awareness to the organization.”
WHAT CAN’T YOU RESIST BUYING WHEN OUT SHOPPING? “Is there a hotline for Shoeaholics Anonymous?”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE VACATION SPOT AND WHY? “I moved to Boulder, Colorado a year ago. There is so much to do and it is always nice to wake up in my own bed since I am on the road so much.”
IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY OTHER CAREER. WHAT WOULD IT BE? “Eco-handbag or eco-apparel designer. Have you tried to look for eco-clothes? I could see myself taking an interest in this industry.”

Inside Spread

by INDESIGN Magazine 

 

Wisteria: A Whimiscal New Collection By Nina Nguyen Designs

Depending on where you live, you may well know the magical beauty of Wisteria. — It has a sweetly intoxicating fragrance emanating from white, blue, purple or Lilac flowers with cascading petals. And vines that are strong enough to pull down buildings.

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Wisteria flower tunnel at Kawachi Fuji Garden in Kitakyushu, Japan.

Nina Nguyen discovered Wisteria while bicycling around Tokyo in 2005. She was immediately captivated by its vibrant color and delicate, whimsical flowers cascading down.

Nina’s memories of Japan deeply inspired Nina Nguyen Design’s coming Fall 2013 collection, has been she named Wisteria in homage to its wistful color and style.

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The pieces in the collection are both delicate and graceful in design, yet timeless in their beauty. Like the Wisteria vines, which wrap around trees and trellises, the pieces – dubbed ‘necklettes’ – can be wrapped as a bracelet or worn as one-strand or multiple-strand necklaces.

Recently Nina has also collaborated with renowned high-fashion photographer Joanna Kustra to capture the beauty of Wisteria and her other collections in photographs. Nina traveled to London to work with Joanna, and the result of their collaboration is simply mesmerizing.

2013 FALL (9) 72 DPI

As Nina discovered in Tokyo, Wisteria grows plentifully in Japan, where it is seen as a symbol of love and victory over hardship. Wisteria is allowed to grow wild in many places in Japan and can be seen twining up and around through trees, especially in the mountains.

wisteria combo

For Nina, Wisteria symbolizes many of the qualities shared by women around the world – love, grace, honor, strength and passion. It also personifies her own creative expansion, as each of her collections grows organically from her own experiences and interests.

In coming weeks, she’ll share more of her 2014 Wisteria-inspired collection here on the Nina Nguyen Designs blog. Check back soon to see more of Wisteria’s wistful beauty!