Los Angeles-based Mexican jewelry designer, Daniela Villegas, has been featured in numerous high fashion magazines from Harper’s Bazaar to Elle to Vogue, as well as on the bodies of some of the most fashionable celebrities (Demi Moore, Minnie Driver, Ines Gomez Mont and more). Maybe you’ve caught a glimpse of her beetle rings sitting atop someone’s pointer finger? Or glimpsed her la colmena (“beehive”) necklace sparkling around someone’s neck? This Latina designer has been touted for her fiery jewelry design work that reflects her worldview: fully incorporating and embracing her Latina heritage. Villegas is clearly not trying to be someone she is not.
What Inspires Villegas?
Where does the inspiration come from for Daniela Villegas’ vibrant jewelry collection? According to Culture Trip:
- “… the blur of colors that is her daily life. She draws inspiration from everything around her, including her native Mexico and the many places she has traveled. The key to her success is that each piece is entirely unique and made with the finest materials for longevity. The brand is typified by the delicate gold rings that sit on the top of the finger, often in the shape of insects and flowers to reflect Villegas’ love of nature.”
Villegas gets her jewelry design inspiration from varied sources, many of which are deeply rooted in her Mexican heritage: from the piñata to Mexican pre-Hispanic cuisine to Mexican feather art. One of her most interesting sources of inspiration for her jewelry collection are alebrijes, Mexican folk-art sculptures made from cardboard, wood and/or paper — and hailing from Oaxaca, Mexico.
Like other famous female jewelry designers in our series who found inspiration from the world around them (snowflakes on windowpanes, for example), Villegas’ imagination is rooted in both the fantastic and the real world — the elements of earth:
- “(Villegas) often combines real organic elements such as beetles, porcupine quills, feathers, shells, pebbles and wood with 18K gold in every color mixed with precious and semi precious stones.”
For the #Feministas Among Us
Similarly, Villegas’ jewelry is inspired by events in the world around her. For example, paralleling the recent news and #MeToo movement, her “sisterhood” collection is well worth your time. You’ll be inspired to see how Villegas uses the powerful and delicate image of bees (think: “Queen Bee”) to emphasize women’s empowerment, stressing that sisterhood transcends the “Queen Bee” syndrome in which women are in competition with one another. Instead, the Villegas brand champions the idea that “we need to come together – as together we are stronger.”
Where Can You View Her Work
If you’re in the New York area, you can see some of Villegas’ work in New York City’s Bergdorf Goodman, as well as online at danielavillegas.com. She also has quite an Instagram portfolio.
Contact My Jewelry Repair if Villegas has inspired you to refinish, repair or simply better care for the jewelry in your own collection.