An interview with luxury jewelry designer Paul Morelli

Posted by charmslife on May 27th, 2014

Luxury jewelry designer Paul Morelli hosted a dinner on Thursday, May 15 at Neiman Marcus at King of Prussia Mall benefiting the Nativity Preparatory School of Wilmington in Delaware, a middle school that seeks to provide quality education as well as personal, moral and spiritual development for students of low income families. The store was shut down as the 40 socialite guests experienced his collection with little interruption.

Morelli developed an interest in the design world at an early age. His family was in the costume business and he assisted with garment production as a child. He studied journalism in college and after graduation Morelli started helping a friend make jewelry. He fell in love with the creative process and developed his own pieces on nights and weekends. After selling his collection at an arts and crafts festival, a Bergdorf Goodman buyer contacted Morelli about selling his line. Today Morelli’s pieces can still be found at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus’ sister store, as well as many other luxury retailers around the globe.

In the midst of a crazy week, we sat down with Morelli to find out what makes his Philly-made jewelry unique.

As far as the Script bracelets go, I think it's fun to be a little tongue and cheek. When a woman wears my bracelet that says, "Once I'm leaving, I'm not comin' back," it gives her some mystery. What is she referring to? Does she think it's funny or is she serious? When the wearer knows and the viewer doesn't, it makes the piece more interesting.

I came across the stone in the center of the Moderne emerald [cut] ring that’s featured in my new campaign, and I thought it was so magnificent and inspirational, I designed around it. It is truly a one of a kind piece.

How do you incorporate functionality into your work?

I like for the pieces that I make to have more meaning to them than just a piece of jewelry. The Appliqué mirror slider pendant allows women to check their lipstick. We have an eyeglass pendant that helps you see what you might not be able to read without reaching for your glasses. Our Meditation Bells are functional, meant to bring a moment of peace to a woman's busy life. I like for the people who buy my jewelry to feel like they are buying something of meaning, something that isn't generational. They are more than mounted stones in metal. Great thought has gone into every single item.

What is it like producing jewelry in Philadelphia? What happens on a normal day at Paul Morelli?

Honestly, I don't think about it much. It's my home; it's comfortable for me. A normal day starts off with me riding my bike to work, coming in and meeting with my model makers, overseeing all the jewelers and making decisions in the office that affect the company.

What's your favorite metal to work with?

I work exclusively in 18k gold, and the occasional platinum.

What's your favorite gem to use?

I really don't have a favorite gem. I like mixing colored diamonds to make unconventional combinations and I love anything unusual. I am intrigued by things that I have never seen before. After being in the business for so long, that rarely happens so when it does I get excited.

So a woman can only pick one piece of jewelry before leaving her house, should she take a necklace, bracelet, ring, earrings or something else?

Definitely a ring. If you're like the women in my family, you talk with your hands and the ring leads the conversation.

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