Meet Gaia Repossi: Creative Director of Jewelry Label Repossi
The designer is the only heir of the master jeweler Alberto Repossi.
As the only heir of master jeweler Alberto Repossi, Italian-born Gaia Repossi is known as the current creative director of the jewelry label Repossi. While the designer was studying painting at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, it occurred to her one day that she wants to build her own jewelry range. She was only 19 years old when she submitted her first idea for Repossi, and rebelliously insisted on styling a diamond necklace with a T-shirt. As Repossi’s father once said to a newspaper: “Times have changed. Mothers are now copying daughters in fashion, not daughters their mothers.” In 2007, the 21-year-old Gaia was appointed to be in charge of all Repossi collections. While managing the company to become one of the most coveted jewelry brands, the designer has also successfully obtained her master’s in archaeology and anthropology.
On her bestselling Berbere rings and ear cuffs: “I grew up in an era when wearing nothing was modern and bold. I was always interested in the African continent and in tribes, especially in Berber tribes. Through my archaeology and also anthropology studies, I learned a lot about the meaning behind tribal symbols. So while thinking of jewelry, I turn to tribes and their narratives. Every ornament is speaking. Berber women have these beautiful, minimal tattoos on their fingers, just black lines. When designing my first series I had these tattoos in my mind. And that’s how it was born. My work is mostly an echo of my mind.”
On who she designs her jewelry for: “I ask myself this question every day—who is that woman? We have a lot of clients that are very wealthy, but are attracted to things that are different or new in the world. And we have the modern, hard-working woman who wants to treat herself. When you’re responsible for a brand, you think of the markets, even if you don’t want to have this commercial point of view. But if you travel in a country and you see the different sizes of the hands it unconsciously comes.”
On how she comes up with new designs: “It always starts with a pattern—a shape, a sculpture, a drawing, a grid. It can be the way some kid in Ethiopia wears an earring, or a line of a Frank Lloyd Wright house. My references come from contemporary art, and the effects of metal within modern sculpture and architecture. I take inspiration from the works of Alexander Calder, Cy Twombly, Franz West, Richard Serra, and Le Corbusier, as well as from the brutalist, minimalist, and Bauhaus movements.”
On her latest unisex collection “Staple”: “The idea was born a year ago. The editors of Fantastic Man came to my office and said, “Can you please do an earring for men!” At first, I was like, “No, sorry, it’s too difficult, I don’t do earrings for men.” But then I talked to Jeremy about it and asked him to help me to think of it. Jeremy has this big scar on the ear, so we decided to work on stitches and straight lines.”
- Jeremy Everett