A small boutique jewelry store caught my eye one morning while walking through the San Jose’ Art District. The name of the store is iconocinco 5 and it carries jewelry by two incredibly talented designers: Elisabeth Paradon and Nada Zeineh.
Established in Milan, Elisabeth Paradon is the designer and owner of Ziio. The French born artist fashions beautiful collections of necklaces, earrings, bracelets and headbands. All Ziio pieces are hand made in Italy by artisans from Veneto, Tuscany and Puglia.The pieces are made with semi-precious stones (blue-violet amethysts, royal blue lapis, pearls, jades and different types of colored coral). Silver, gold and the semi-precious stones are enhanced by Elisabeth Paradon’s foray into Murano glass art techniques to the point of attracting the interest of established houses like Lacroix and Missoni. I was drawn to the vibrant hues and bold use of color immediately. The pieces can be worn with a sarong, jeans, tee shirts or a bikini, but it would also be perfect with a little black dress. Ziio is sold in more than 30 countries and is bought not only for its stones and workmanship but also for what Italy is famous for: Design. The new Ziio collection coming out in September this year is called the Angel Collection – fresh but also glamorous.
Based in Beirut, Nada Zeineh is an architect by training. Since 1987, she has been designing jewelry in various materials like threads and plates of brass weaved, twisted, hammered thin, cut and welded all by hand and then dipped in 22k gold. In 2004 she created her label Nounzein and dedicated herself exclusively to jewelry and to small sculptures. Greco-roman culture, Islamic civilizations, flora and fauna, and ethnic jewelry inspire her creations. Nada is Lebanese and her pieces reflect the area she is from but she is Christian and she takes a lot of inspiration from the Bible. Nada Zeineh pieces are also hand made in Lebanon.
In an interview in 2014, Nada said: “My favorite jewelers are the thousands of women who bead, embroider, and knit; the women who spend their lives creating adornments for themselves to fulfill a dream—adornments with no brand and no name.” Shouraeyak.
I interviewed Marcela, one of the owners who is Mexican and lives in Italy. She and her business partner, Maribel, own inconocinco 5 and MYM Design. They have several projects to be added to the store such as MYM Gold. These pieces are handmade by master artisans in Mexico. MYM Gold was described to me as evolving jewelry – pieces that can be worn together. These designs are 14k gold and you buy one piece and then add on to collect.
In my interview with Marcela, she told me that she was greatly influenced by Nada Zeineh. “Somebody gave me a necklace by her and I finally found my style.”
What surprised me most about these incredibly beautiful designs was the price. The least expensive piece is $70 and the most expensive is $700 so there really is something for everyone. Marcela told me that they are awaiting a new shipment from Guadalajara in a few days. I will back with my daughter who is visiting.
Located across the street from The Baja Brewing Company and La Lupita restaurant in San Jose’ art district.
Last but certainly not least, thank you Ari for all of your help with the photos.