we had a jewelry crush on Caroline Ventura of BRVTVS (pronounced “Brutus” and named for the unfaithful friend of Julius Caesar) well before we actually met her. now that we’ve teamed up with her for the launch of our fine-jewelry collection, we thought it was high time we invited ourselves over to her West Village studio to see how she puts it all together.
Caroline wears her own COS button-down and the Point Sur hightower skinny jean in epic wash.A Google search reveals that you learned about soldering in middle school. True? The other kids were making friendship bracelets and you were an aspiring metalsmith?
My dad worked as a video engineer in Hollywood on a lot of films—all the Rocky and Rambo movies and the Naked Gun series, to name a few—so he was always fixing video equipment in his workshop. A lot of it required him to fix circuit boards, so he was always soldering things. I used to love to go in there and ask a million questions about what each part did and what needed fixing. Like many good lines, yours began with the desire to create a bracelet you could wear every day. Can you tell us a bit about that?
I wanted a delicate bracelet for myself—something simple that I could wear daily. At the time, most of the jewelry out there was really flashy; costume jewelry was a big trend. The few pieces I liked, I couldn’t afford, so I just decided to make a bracelet myself. I researched where to buy gold at wholesale, and it just happened from there. My first trip to the diamond district in New York City opened my eyes. I bought chain, clasps, gold sheet and metal shears and pliers and went home to mess around.
How would you describe the BRVTVS aesthetic? How does it reflect your own personal approach to style?
I think things are at their best when they are simple. I love the idea of having a uniform of sorts, and I really try to design things that you put on and don’t want to take off, so it becomes a part of you.
I’m really into the idea of combining opposites. Pairing my thick ring with the delicate chain link ring is one of my favorite combos. Even the way I dress—I gravitate toward clothes that are a little more boyish, but I love feminine materials like linen and silk.
Your own personal piercing mix-and-match approach to earrings is pretty unique too…
I’m really drawn to asymmetry and mixing shapes and metals. I sell all my earrings individually, as opposed to doing them in pairs, so you can mix different pieces together to create your own unique setup. My friend Colby, who works at NY Adorned, is my go-to when I need a piercing fix. He’s brilliant at creating something unique for each person he sees.
Where does your design process start?
Each piece comes to life differently. Sometimes, I have an idea that needs to be sketched out so I can get proper proportions and see it on paper. Other times, I just have an idea and start working with the metal right away. Living in New York is great inspiration. I’m really drawn to architecture. I love when I come across an interesting shape and can figure out how to translate it into something wearable.
Photography by Bryan Derballa. Makeup by Suzy Gerstein for the Magnet Agency.
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. Then, explore the J.Crew fine jewelry collection here