Vintage Pinoy jewelry with a contemporary twist | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

FULL NAME: Erica Carmela Marie Concepcion-Reyes

Occupation: “I design and produce a line of limited-edition fashion accessories and jewelry, under the brand name Riqueza.”

Where do you get your inspiration?

I find inspiration in people, books, fashion and travel. I get inspired when I read about the impressive and extensive jewelry collections of glamorous women such as Elizabeth Taylor!

What materials do you work with? Where do you get them?

I enjoy working with well-crafted and unique vintage materials and traditional Filipino components. It is always exciting to work with these materials because there is always something new to learn and discover. The idea behind Riqueza is to use vintage materials and components, combining them with materials ranging from crystals and beads to semiprecious stones… working them into unique designs that echo the richness of decades past.

Do you work with anyone?

I am very fortunate to be collaborating with Ramon Villegas of Yamang Katutubo Artifacts & Crafts. A fourth-generation jeweler, Villegas is the expert and a collector of antique jewelry, having written three books on the subject, which were reviewed in Arts of Asia (Hong Kong) and Vogue Gioelli Italia, among others. He was interviewed on the subject by Elsa Klensch for “CNN Style.” Ramon’s atelier not only restored artifacts that went to museums here and abroad, but his atelier has executed jewelry for Fred Leighton and Romeo Gigli, through Paola Ferro Snc of Milan, Italy; the Asian jewelry collections and silver sculpture of National Artist Arturo Luz; jewelry designs by the gold collector Dr. Arturo de Santos, Dr. Teyet Pascual for National Artist José “Pitoy” Moreno, avant-garde couturier Steve de Leon, Celia Molano, Hermin Aslañan, and Federico de Vera of Devera Gallery in San Francisco and New York.

What’s your design process?

When I have an idea, I immediately contact Ramon and ask him how we can interpret it into the design of our next piece. Ramon catches on very quickly, and he is able to work on a seed of an idea and turn it into a full-grown tree!

Who is your client?

My clients are in their mid-20s up to early 50s. What they have in common is they have uncommon taste.

Fave fashion brands?

Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Roger Vivier

Fave jeweler?

Cartier, David Webb, Jean Schlumberger, Verdura, Van Cleef & Arpels

Fave piece of jewelry?

It’s so difficult to select just one piece! But since I love emeralds, I always wear my art-deco carved emerald dangling earrings and emerald brooch with dangling natural south sea pearls, both given to me by my husband. Other favorites include a vintage ’50s rock crystal ring with amethyst, vintage ’70s French retro ring, antique cameo earrings and brooches from my great-grandmother, and all of my charm necklaces!

Biggest influence?

The glamorous style and fashion of the 1950s-1960s

You may contact Erica Concepcion-Reyes via; tel. 0917-8943115. Riqueza will also be participating in this year’s MaARTe Contemporary Arts & Crafts Fair. An annual event, MaARTe 2011 is organized by Museum Foundation of the Philippines to raise funds for programs that benefit art and culture in general and the National Museum in particular. Riqueza pieces will be available at the MaARTe Fair Oct. 22-Oct. 23 at SLab-Silverlens Gallery, 2/F, YMC Bldg., 2320 Pasong Tamo Ext., Makati City.

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