Diamonds and Chocolate and Snake Skins Oh My!

Jewelry designer Mimi So hosted a holiday soiree in New York City to launch Stefano Marcantonio’s new handbag collection. The event was held at the Mimi So Studio Penthouse, a space that houses offices and the work studio where all of So’s pieces are created.

Guests sipped wine and snacked on Lindt chocolate while they perused Marcantonio’s bags and So’s jewelry. Model Kim Alexis, MSNBC Anchor Christina Brown, and America’s Next Top Model Finalist Jennifer An attended.

Of note was So’s new “switch” line, which refers both to the angles, faceting and clasps of the pieces, as well as the change in the economy. To reflect this change, So said she wanted to create multipurpose pieces that can take the wearer “from blue jeans to black cocktail dress.” Natural sapphire earrings and necklaces with rough-cut black diamonds were particularly striking.

So also told Haute Living that she designed a special bow-shaped diamond ring for the next Sex and the City movie. The identity of the character that wears it is under tight wraps, but I’ll wager on Mr. Big.

Stefano (whose family members all seem to call him Steve) began his business with a line of leather jackets in Florence and recently decided to branch into handbags. He grew up in Connecticut and spent summers travelling to Europe and his father’s native Italy in particular. Marcantonio said the trips imbued in him an “appreciation of the finer things and detail” and an interest in “a lost art of creation” which he hopes to replicate in his products.

The bags, which come in colors like purple, teal and burgundy, are all handmade from exotics skins, a process that takes 8-16 hours. Marcantonio hopes they will have a timeless appeal. When I asked if there was a particular kind of woman who was his inspiration, he thought for a beat and then answered, “My mom.”

Mimi So

Photography by Tasha M Gordon-Solmon

Jennifer An

(Photography by Tasha M Gordon-Solmon)

For more exclusive photos from the launch, please visit our events page.