Kids, there's a new jewelry line on the block, and—excuse the easy pun—we feel in our bones that it's gonna be a big hit, if it isn't already. Broadsheet lifestyle columnists Bea Ledesma and Ria Francisco-Prieto have teamed up to create Narra, a jewelry line driven by a clean, timeless, and unfussy aesthetic.
We bumped into Ria before the Narra launch and were quite captivated by the tiny rose gold thing resting casually on her wrist. It was an intricately carved skull, which sat daintily next to her workaday watch, almost invisible were it not for the neon string it was looped in. Turns out it was the first piece in their first collection, a universal symbol of our mortality, of what's left after life expires.
"The first collection centers around the theme of what remains, what happens after time passes," Bea explains. "What's left of us are bare bones—the essence of what we used to be." The concept seems quite morbid, but the execution is anything but. The duo commission local artists to sculpt the pieces, who work with .925 sterling silver dipped in white, yellow, or rose gold. The pendant and charm sizes are small and precious, carefully sized so that the pieces can be worn daily without clashing with other jewelry or accessories one might pile on.
"We started the collection because we wanted to make things that we would wear," Bea shares. "We started with the skull, and it grew because Ria wanted to add a bone cuff, and I wanted to work with elements like shark teeth—Jaws was a big deal growing up. These are all different elements but they're tied together because they're fossilized remains."
She continues, "We wanted to make items that are timeless, not trendy, although bones are a trend right now, I admit. One of the signature things we hope to maintain about our label is the tension between things that are delicate and tough. People were shocked that we didn't make chunkier pieces—we do like chunky jewelry, but we wanted the pieces not to look so much like accessories, but jewelry, something we could wear everyday."
As for the name, Bea tells us that they wanted the label to have a distinctly Filipino sensibility. "We wanted a name that was Pinoy, Asian. We wanted to be proud of our roots. We also like the idea of wood. It ages well, it lasts long, and it looks good." Indeed, the Narra pieces are designed to age well, to last long, and they definitely look good. It also begs to be mentioned that the Narra pieces are extremely affordable. For such timeless, precious pieces that carry a whole lot of attitude without yelling for too much attention, they're well worth the purchase.