Big Earring Energy – The New York Times


“I just love the sound,” Natasha Ghosn said of her jewelry and fragrance brand name Mondo Mondo. “I was thinking of Mondo, Italian, kitsch and campiness films. “

Ms Ghosn, 34, started her line in 2008, when she lived in New York City and made digitally printed t-shirts that she painted by hand. Today, the brand embodies the daring jewelry of the moment, influenced by the 80s. After years where subtle jewelry – delicate bands, fine chains, small studs – dominated the trends, Mondo Mondo stands out. These are jewelry for extroverts, or at least those who want to look like them.

The extravagant and golden shapes make a nod to the 80s creations of Christian Lacroix, Moschino, Verducci and Chanel. But rather than being collected by socialites to be worn at lunches, necklaces, earrings, rings, and cuffs are adopted by people born long after the Reagan administration.

One of those fans is model Bella Hadid, 24, who posted several photos of herself on Instagram wearing Mondo Mondo’s 18k gold-plated Tropicana necklace ($ 225). Its heart shape is intentionally imprecise and studded with large glasses and crystal stones which give it an appearance that is at the same time clever, primordial and glamorous.

“I love when something goes through a filter, and that’s the Mondo aesthetic,” Ms. Ghosn said. “When I wear jewelry, I want to get something out of my personality that might be hard for it to come out.”

Ms. Ghosn studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and then at a small jewelry school in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. “It was very hilly, at your own risk, but you learn really fast,” she said. “You’re going to cry in class.” All of his creations, which are made in Los Angeles, are sculpted in wax.

“What I love about sculpted jewelry is that it’s so free, so big and ridiculous,” she said. “And it’s really liberating to work on that scale with the body because jewelry tends to be tiny, tiny, tiny.”

Her grandfather was an artist in Mexico City and her mother owned women’s boutiques in Houston. “She had these really amazing little designers in the ’90s that a lot of people don’t even know anymore, like a line called J Morgan Puett,” Ms. Ghosn said over tea at Café Grumpy on the Lower East Side on a recent Saturday. . . At first, her mother’s store carried Miss Sixty, Fornarina, Fiorucci – all clothing lines with low waists and shrunken silhouettes that have recently made a comeback.

One of Ms. Ghosn’s favorite Mondo Mondo designs is a pair of two-inch-long blue and crystal oval earrings called Tinseltown ($ 150). They have postal backs but were originally sold as clips. “I love it when you take off an earring before you answer the phone, and when you slide the whole phone across the room and throw the lanyard on a chair,” she said, freely associating the chic. inherent in jewelry.

“Jewelry is kind of a visual storytelling,” she said. So too, she said, it’s the perfume.

For the end of the year celebrations, Mondo Mondo will present three new fragrances: Rosa Milagrosa (“a really soapy rose”), Lounge Lizard (“a fresh cologne with orange blossom”) and Tobacciana (“a tobacco amber ”). “So in my head, Lounge Lizard is a very gen X swinging vibe,” she said. “And then Tobacciana, it’s an antique mall vibe, although it will actually come across as very fabulous. Rosa Milagrosa is kind of a botanical vibe from Jane’s Addiction.

Even though Ms. Ghosn is part of the millennial generation, her credentials are often biased compared to the previous generation. Perry Farrell, the singer of Jane’s Addiction, is a major influence, as is “Route 66, comedy, romance, drama, jazz, fantasy, ancient mythology,” she said. “I identify with Generation X, but I think like a millennial.”

“I think the brand has really grown with me,” she said. “I would say they’re probably people in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties for the most part, but we have such a range. More and more men are interested in it now, which is really exciting.

Hearts are selling well and future collections will have star designs. “A little more sassy, ​​less emotional or performative… showbiz,” she said.

Ms. Ghosn runs a boutique outside her studio in Los Angeles’ Highland Park neighborhood, far removed from showbiz associations. She and her business partner, David Pacho, were in New York City to investigate the locations of a pop-up store. “Because it’s jewelry and perfume, it could be a very small space,” she said.

Beyond that, Ms. Ghosn leaves the future of the brand loose. “I don’t know where Mondo will go,” she said. “It might just be a momentary thing. It could be a legacy brand one day that has all product categories. I just let him tell me.

“If I could be like Tiffany or Hermes that would be really cool,” she said with a laugh. “But we’ll see.”

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