Women We Laud: Meet Bespoke Jewelry Designer Cecilia Leibovitz

Cecilia Leibovitz is the founder and designer for the bespoke jewelry brand, Ceci Leibovitz. BeautyNewsNYC got the inside scoop on the artist herself, including her background, favorite pieces, and more.

BN:Tell me a little about yourself
I’m the founder and designer of jewelry brand Ceci Leibovitz. I grew up in Queens, NY and now live in Vermont. I appreciate the slower pace of life here, though I miss the autonomy and creative fire of New York City!

How did you get into jewelry design?
After studying millinery at the Fashion Institute of Technology, I realized that I really loved the small details involved in decorating hats, rather than making the hats themselves. I needed a smaller “canvas,” so I began to practice embroidery and beadwork, and applied it to small pendant necklaces, along with incorporating interesting bits of silk and antique fabrics.

BN:What are some of your favorite pieces?
I recently began adding resin and colored pigments to some of my pieces, which has been a lot of fun. I’m really loving the Age of Love necklace, Muse Earrings and the Marguerite necklace in blue right now.

Age of Love necklace

BN: The concept of bespoke jewelry is so personal, and quite frankly, priceless. Do you have any personal stories from customers that particularly stand out to you or touch you?
There was a customer who had been searching for many years to find the tartan pattern that belonged to her grandfather’s Scottish clan. He had been born in the 1800s in Edinburgh. She was finally able to figure out that the name Leith went under the clan of Hay and found the tartan! She sent me the fabric, and I made her a necklace using it. In her words: “I was moved to tears. Now my family tartan will be worn around my neck. So very beautiful!”

BN: I know so many people who postponed their weddings due to COVID-19. How, if at all, has your business changed during these unprecedented times?
There have been fairly steady orders from brides, surprisingly, though there was a lull for a period of time. I’ve had more requests for sentimental pieces incorporating heirloom family fabrics; for example, one woman asked if I could hold on to a large piece of wedding dress lace from her grandmother, who had just passed away. She wanted family members to have the option of ordering custom necklaces from me so that they could, in solidarity, all wear a piece of their grandmother’s lace at her celebration of life service.

The pandemic is inspiring me to think more about jewelry designs that bring comfort, togetherness and family legacy. I’m adding hand-engraved initials, monograms and special messages as a new option on pendant backs, as well as a collection of limited edition pieces made with antique lace and beads, some over 100 years old. Appealing to people who need unique gifts for anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas, Hanukkah and other winter holidays is more important now.

BN: Is there anything else you want BeautyNewsNYC readers to know?
I’ve always been intrigued and curious about the way things ‘used to be made.’ I feel that there is beauty in objects that last, that invoke good feelings, rather than just one more thing to have and quickly dispose of when tired of it. This is the inspiration behind each piece of jewelry I design.

You can order Cecilia’s stunning, truly one-of-a-kind pieces online HERE.

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