BIANKO, designed by Belinda Madonini, recently arrived at HATCH in enex Perth. We interviewed WA designer Belinda, exploring her vision and craftsmanship behind her simple yet elegant pieces.

How did it all begin for Bianko?

My family has been in the jewellery industry for many years so even as a young girl I had a good understanding of jewellery and design. I worked at my parents store whilst studying at university, but wanted to make my own mark in the marketing and events world so my interests took me there for several years.

It wasn’t until about 18 months ago that I realised there was a gap in the market for women who loved the look and quality of high end jewellery (which is what my parents business specialises in), but wanted a less expensive alternative to diamonds and precious gemstones.

So, I created Bianko.

Can you walk us through the creative process of bringing a collection to life?

Given Bianko is still a hobby business and I work on it outside of my full-time job, the process of creating a collection is probably a bit different to most designers who can dedicate an allocated amount of time and creative energy into designing a collection.

For me, the process needs to fit in around work and general life, so I do alot of my creative thinking whilst walking the dog or sitting on the train, for example. For that reason, it can take quite a while to develop a design but once I have the inspiration and/or idea, I am able to get moving on it quickly, and I use my time more effectively.

From the conception stage, I then work with a CAD team to have the designs drawn up digitally, which I can then give to the workshop to begin working on samples. My drawing skills leave much to be desired so the digital designs are the perfect solution.

What materials do you work with and why?

All of Bianko’s pieces are crafted using gold or Sterling silver with natural pearls and gemstones. I wanted the jewellery to be high quality and long lasting, and of course, hypoallergenic so safe for sensitive skins.

Can you tell us what you’re currently working on?

Bracelets and bangles! My latest collection focused heavily on earrings so now I want to extend some of the designs into other areas and continue working with new gemstones like sapphires and spinel. 

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Everywhere! I am constantly inspired by experiences and the people around me. Travel is also a big inspiration; fashion styles, architecture, nature, lifestyles and different cultures have been a huge source of inspiration so far. I also draw inspiration from other designers and businesswomen; market and industry leaders but also local creatives that have worked hard to make their mark in the fashion industry and business world.

What three words best describes the overall mood of your collection?

Simple, elegant and modern.

Is there a designer you have been influenced by?

In jewellery, I’d have to say Cartier. There is so much history behind the brand and some of their most significant designs have stood the test of time. They are just as popular now as they were over 100 years ago.

If you could change one thing about the jewellery industry, what would it be?

Copycat and imitation designs but I guess that’s a fact of life for most industries now.

What is your favourite piece stocked at HATCH and why?

The single pearl ring is an absolute classic that is secretly one of my favourites in the collection. I wear mine every day and always get compliments. It’s the perfect every day accessory for any outfit, day or night.

What’s next for Bianko?

Good question! Bianko is still growing legs and finding its feet in the industry. I have several visions for the brand but I am willing to be guided by my customers and try different approaches until I find the best fit for me and the business. I am excited to discover where the next piece of the Bianko puzzle fits!

Images by Zahra Creative. Model, Aniqua Toquero. 

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