When she lost her brand in 2011, Morganne Bello needed a break . She used that time on her own to focus on her family and career plans. Today, she comes back with a new label all about the colorful gemstones that not only she has always cherished but she enhances with innovative designs. The Eye of Jewelry had the chance to meet Morgane Bello in her Parisian showroom and talk about Layone, the jewelry brand she launched last summer.
What is behind the name of Layone?
Morganne Bello: A happy coincidence! After two years of hard work, the only thing that was missing was the name of my jewelry line. I had my sketches, the stones, my French workshop …but no name! I was quite concerned about this issue but one morning, everything came to me so easily. I was listening to my daily horoscope when I heard that sentence saying that “a Lion will always rebirth form his ashes”. Suddenly, all was clear, the name of Layone and the logo.
Why did you chose a green military color to embody your brand… It’s quite unusual in jewelry?
As a designer, I don’t pay a lot of attention to trends, I trust my intuitions. When I launched Morganne Bello in 2004, something was missing in jewelry where most brands or collections were quite conservative. I changed the rules in freeing the gems from their sets. My previous brand was characterized by pink and purple, two colors that inspire peace and softness. At the opposite, I chose a military green to enhance Layone’s universe, more instinctive and animal.
Your first line “Envoûtante” celebrates your long running love affaire with fine stones, what makes them so special?
Throughout this collection, I wanted to create a special link between the women who wears my jewels and the gems. There is no better way to experience the gem effect on your skin with large stones! That’s why I chose to work with pear cut and crown pear cut stones – which is a little bit wider with a wide range starting at 5 carats going up to 40 carats.
How do you manage to make the largest stone size seem so delicate and light that you completely forget that you are wearing a 40-carat stone ring?
I am happy to hear this! It has been a long reflection process to find the design that enhances the stone whilst keeping the set mostly invisible to your skin, like a gentle caress. For the rings, I have chosen to end the band with two diamonds to allow the stone to be gripped in the most delicate way.
For your second line entitled “Bengale”, you said that these jewels where made to be worn like a perfume, why?
Actually, it is always the idea of freeing the stone from its set but this time I have been drawn by the concept of skin jewels. The piece becomes one with your skin like a tattoo or a perfume. It is a feeling you can get with our necklaces set on a thin 18 carat gold chain and our open-rings. Once worn, you have the impression that the jewel is floating on your skin and you can’t help but asking “how is this holding together?”
“Bengale” is also the line you have chosen to introduce diamonds to your collections…
It has been a while that I wanted to do something with diamonds. Diamonds are really special and give an incredible sparkle tone to any jewels. The Bengale’s design is perfect to bring out the beauty of the diamond due to its amazing stones ‘cutting.
You said that you were often inspired by women for your creations, in what way?
Each time that I have to design a collection, I hop on the subway as much as I can to see how women are moving, styling their outfit and her jewels. In that way, when they wear my jewelry, I want to bring them on a daily basis as much happiness as I get when I work on stones!
What piece of advice could you give those women about your entrepreneur background?
I would never provide any advice but If I had to review my past experience and particularly the loss of my name and previous brand, I would say that whatever happens to you, try to act without losing you. As any women, I went through hard times, especially when I was asked by customers about a brand I was no more involved with! I felt powerless but I knew that I had to move on about what happened. Layone is so meaningful for me: more than a jewelry brand, it embodies the strong desire to create that never left me.