Mixing grand designs with trinket-size gifts

Real estate doubles as jewelry

Dec.December 30, 2011 06:27 PM

Didn’t get that diamond necklace over the holidays? Real estate lovers, get out your wallets. New Jersey–based designer Pico is unveiling the new line from its “Little Architecture” collection — a series of necklaces, earrings and bracelets inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, Santiago Calatrava and others. The jewelry will debut at this month’s New York International Gift Fair at the Javits Center.

Until recently, Pico founder Andrea Panico was director of product design for Clodagh, a Manhattan-based architecture and interior design firm. In June, she left to work on Pico full-time.

Panico’s designs are for sale at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the Guggenheim museum store. Made from silver, teak and ebony, her pieces don’t resemble specific buildings per se. Rather, she tries to imbue them with an architect’s overall visual style.

“The part of the design that is most interesting to me is the conceptual phase, capturing the feeling that you have when you’re inside a space,” Panico explained.

A necklace inspired by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, for example, feels “clean, minimal, sparse,” she said, while her Frank Lloyd Wright–esque pieces have “more decorative details.”

Panico’s new collection will incorporate the work of Pritzker Prize winner Gordon Bunshaft, who designed New York’s Lever House and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.

Pico isn’t the first to see the synergies between architecture and jewelry.

In 2005, famed architect Frank Gehry was tapped by Tiffany & Co. to design a jewelry line. Gehry once told the New York Times that these pieces, which are inspired by architecture but don’t depict actual structures, provide “instant gratification,” whereas “buildings take too long to build.”

Lois Weiss, a real estate columnist for the New York Post, is known for the building-shaped brooches she’s worn for years.

“I have a whole collection,” Weiss told The Real Deal.

Among her most prized pieces are a silver brooch depicting the old World Trade Center buildings, an Empire State Building pin and a platinum-and-diamond piece that reads “Real Estate Goddess.”

For Weiss, the allure of real estate–themed jewelry is simple: “It’s fun,” she said, “and if I have to meet someone, I always say I’m the one walking around with a building pin.”

Related Articles

(Image by Wolfgang & Hite via Dezeen)

Hudson Yards megadevelopment inspires a new line of sex toys

Cammeby's International Group founder Rubin Schron and, from top: 194-05 67th Avenue, 189-15 73rd Avenue and 64-05 186th Lane (Credit: Google Maps)

Ruby Schron lands $500M refi for sprawling Queens apartment portfolio

Wendy Silverstein (Credit: Getty Images)

Wendy Silverstein, co-head of WeWork’s real-estate fund, is out

Council member Rafael Espinal (Credit: Twitter, iStock)

For the birds: NYC buildings told to use flight-friendly materials

From left: 1 West End Avenue, 161 West 13th Street and 66 Ninth Avenue (Credit: StreetEasy and Wikipedia)

Porter House penthouse among NYC’s 5 priciest homes to hit the market last week

From left: Sam Chang, 52 William Street and New York Hotel & Motel Trades Council's Peter Ward (Credit: Google Maps)

Cuomo goes after Sam Chang as union drama unfolds

15 East 90th Street (Credit: Google Maps)

Lonely townhouse finds a match after years on market

From left: Jeff Cohn and Gary Keller

Gary Keller walks into Berkshire Hathaway’s backyard and takes its top team