Pearls are getting an upgrade courtesy of a new fine jewelry brand, Rosēate, which specializes in chic, youthful-feeling designs while practicing sustainability on the business side.
The collection was designed by veteran jeweler Eddie Borgo, but Rosēate was founded by Pamela Cloud, the former head of merchandising at Tiffany & Co. Cloud conceptualized the company with her former boss (and former Tiffany & Co. CEO from 1999 to 2015), Michael J. Kowalski. Kowalski is now a founding investor for the new brand and is one of its three board members—Cloud and her husband, Christopher Cloud, are the other two.
Pamela recruited another former colleague, Linda Buckley, to run public relations, and she reconnected with Los Angeles-based Borgo, who had previously designed a capsule collection for Tiffany & Co.
We caught up with Borgo as the company debuted Rosēate’s latest collection in New York City, who told us he looked to the seas for inspiration. “I kept going back to the water; the brand was quite literally born from the water, so I thought about how to incorporate it through the different pieces,” said the designer at the brand’s Grand Street headquarters. The sale of two of the brand’s latest styles have been earmarked to raise money for a pair of charities, Conservation International and the Billion Oyster Project.
And Rosēate is committed to environmentally friendly, socially conscious practices. The company works with two sustainable pearl farms—the Paspaley Pearling Company, near Kimberley, Australia, and Kamoka on the coast of Tahiti—and uses Tahitian and South Sea pearls instead of freshwater-farmed pearls to support a cleaner oceanic ecosystem.
The finished collection is sculptural, featuring an elongated water drop motif that repeats. Pearls hang on chains with the TreasureLock detail that resembles a chic kettlebell (with the pearl as the ball—see it below).
The collection’s signature chain type, the WaterDrop link (see it above) is formed by interlocking four drops and twisting the middle. That the brand is striving to create timeless-feeling and mass-appealing design signatures so early in its existence feels like a strategy ripped from the pages of Tiffany & Co.’s playbook.
“We had lots of Zoom calls and emails, and created a mood board to gather ideas,” said Borgo, adding, “Pam never put parameters on the designs [and] Australian pearl farmers shared techniques that helped me utilize the pearls in a modern, nuanced way, such as the embossing [raised design] and debossing [depressed design] on the mother-of-pearl pieces.”
The company’s sustainable, artisanal ethos appealed to Borgo, who noted, “The approach was the antithesis of greenwashing; Rosēate thinks about the environment, ocean health, sourcing recycled gold, and sustainable packaging. I’m as responsible as I can be with my own brand, but this level of environmentally conscious approach is interesting to me.”
Top: Rosēate Light Wand Pendant in 18k rose gold, $1,600