Her contemporary bijoux design the confines of a new jewel, artisan and always unique. Simple lines and shapes with a clear reference to elementary geometries combine with the complexity of a material and chromatic research that turns into essential wearability. In an exclusive interview the Pugliese architect Anna Maria Cardillo tells us her story and the one of her precious brand AMCardillo_design.

Large Anna Maria Cardillo leather bangles
Model wears semi-rigid leather necklaces from the Masai collection by Anna Maria Cardillo

Your jewellery and their voluminous shapes capture the eye: where do your inspirations come from? “My inspiration, which is very visible in my first collection, the Masai collection, derives from the necklaces worn by the Masai women: rigid ornaments that decorate the whole neck and the décolleté of African women.”

Your jewellery is an example, a beautiful example, of “made in Italy”. Where do you produce your creations? “I produce and implement everything in Foggia, in Puglia to be exact. That’s where I’m from. I conceive them, design them, then produce them all together with my capable collaborators, starting from the concept to the projecting, then arriving at the finished product.”

There’s a lot of black in AMCardillo_design jewellery. How do you choose and utilise colours, what relationship do you have with them? “Being an architect who works in interior design, I really use black a lot and I love this colour. It’s a base colour, that can be combined with so many tones, from the most strong and intense ones like red and blues, to the laminates, gilded,all the way to the delicate pastels.”

Do you remember what your first creation was? “Well yes, it was a necklace that I still wear today. It’s called Zero and it’s a remake, a reinterpretation of a chain, all done by hand with rings that I redressed in crocheted raffia and leather.”

Model wearing a large multi-strand black necklace by Anna Maria Cardillo
Anna Maria Cardillo semi-rigid open and adjustable leather necklaces

How do you imagine the woman who wears Anna Maria Cardillo jewellery to be? “Contemporary, confident, firm but with a very simple mood and spirit. My jewels have exuberant forms and important volumes that decorate, embellish the body. Therefore I imagine them paired with minimal outfits, aiming to complete the look.”

The research and experimentation of materials are definitely an integral part of the identity of your project and brand. Which materials do you use the most? “Leather is definitely the protagonist; I like to add other materials to it, possibly natural ones like small wooden elements, glass bubbles blown by hand, hand-painted cotton spheres.” Anna Maria Cardillo? An all-round designer. For info and contacts www.amcardillo.com