How VISNJA BRDAR Designs and Empowers
By Eden Herbstman
To step into designer Visnja Brdar’s world is to uncover a new approach to jewelry design, and an unexpected spiritual self-discovery. Adept in the fashion world, Visnja has years of graphic design and creative direction experience (working on campaigns for Michael Kors, Jil Sander, Van Cleef & Arpels , Estee Lauder), and not to mention a keen sense of style. Her transition into the world of fine jewelry came with a realization that nothing on the market spoke to her personal aesthetic, so with faith and courage Visnja set out to modernize the world of fine jewelry. Her jewelry brand emerged from her blending of her graphic design background with a deep understanding for the importance of a personal and spiritual representation through jewels. Visnja reacted against jewelry’s decorativeness in relation to fashion, and instead emphasizes its importance as an art form with personal and spiritual depth.
Her collections Courage, Love, Power, Freedom, and Faith are inspired from honest and pure human essentials that Visnja executes through exquisite designs. “I started designing six years ago, and I had no idea it would turn into what it was. I went in with a lot of blind faith. The minute I asked myself what I would do, and once I saw the designs on paper, I had a great feeling this had legs and was going somewhere.”
Visnja approaches her pieces by capturing an energy that she feels should be represented through the construction of her jewels. “For example, the newest thing I am working with is faith. It is something I feel like I need, and looking at what is happening in the world over the last couple of years and what people have been going through–times have been tough. Faith, I thought, would be a lovely thing to work with because it is inspirational, and everything I work with works around an inspirational point of view.” The eternal flame symbolizes the Faith collection as an intricately constructed abstract art form. “The complexity is what makes jewelry interesting, and I like the abstract as well. You don’t know for sure what the design could be.”
Her process begins with an energy she wishes to capture, and ends with an art conscious piece of jewelry. Because her pieces range from brooches, pendants, earrings, rings, as well as a men’s collection of pendants and cufflinks, Visnja is aware that her design has to translate on large and small scales. She chooses to stick to minimal palettes like diamonds, platinum and gold for their obvious chic simplicity. “I love the purity and cleanliness of a diamond, and I don’t think the jewels should be screaming at you. The color comes from your outfit. ” She stays away from louder gems like ruby or turquoise. Again, Visnja’s knowledge of the fashion world (evident by the stacks of archived Vogue magazine and design books decorating her studio) gives her the ability to design complimentary pieces for fashion. This marriage allows the jewels to convey their message while not taking away from a clothing.
Visnja’s philosophy of timeless jewelry extends from her belief of extravagant minimalism. “I always try and stay minimal, but there is a complexity to the simplicity. It is these two opposites that somehow work.” This dichotomy is evident through her artistic discipline for perfection. All of her jewels are handmade in New York under her supervision, undergoing a difficult and refined process with immense skill needed for the completed look. The diamonds are meticulously set, so that they appear to be floating. The hard work is apparent through the finished product of the piece’s museum-like quality, making them high end products. Every detail, down to the last diamond, is carefully thought out.
Visnja manifests the energy of the sun in her Power collection. “One thing we can’t live without is the sun, there would be no warmth, no heat, no light. The world would not exist.” With a defined circular diamond center, straight lines ricochet from the center creating luminous diamond sun rays. “The circle is a powerful shape. It looks chaotic but it isn’t.” Visnja herself proudly displays her power creation wearing it to different events. Not only is her mastery of the art and design world apparent, but she markets her collections by personally wearing them. “I must admit, every single piece I design for myself.”
Visnja’s connection to her jewelry is a personal one, not only are they a reflection of her taste, but she deals with her clients by private one-on-one consultations at her studio, or in the privacy of the client’s home. “It is a much more intimate relationship with the customer, which is something I enjoy personally. I like to know where the jewels end up.” Visnja even designed an Architecture piece in honor of her good friend who is a Pritzker Prize winning architect. Its representation is nothing more than a straight line, worn as a pin, entirely coated in diamonds. Even though this piece doesn’t display the graphic intricacies as the other collections, Architecture represents the extravagant minimalism Visnja captures.
Visnja Jewels began with an idea and desire to change the market for modern jewelry. Six years later her vision has become a business dedicated to the production of beauty, impeccable craftsmanship, and spiritually significant and chic jewelry collections. Her goal is to produce a theme a year, so the ringing in of a new year marks a new chapter for her collections. “I’m currently creating pieces around faith, but the next one is a surprise. I like to keep my clients guessing.”
Visnja Brdar is a New York based jewelry designer. She sells her collections through private consultations at her studio, as well as through VandM.com
Visnja Brdar interviewed by Eden Herbstman
Written by Eden Herbstman
Photo by Micaela Rosato
Design by Eden Herbstman
Visnja Brdar, NYC, Photography by Micaela Rosato
Pendant from Power Collection, Photo Courtesy of VisnjaJewels.com
Pendant from Faith Collection, Photo Courtesy of VisnjaJewels.com
Brooch from Love Collection, Photo Courtesy of VisnjaJewels.com
Cufflinks from Courage Collection, Photo Courtesy of VisnjaJewels.com
Brooch from Freedom Collection, Photo Courtesy of VisnjaJewels.com
Pin from Architecture Collection, Photo Courtesy of VisnjaJewels.com