Our accessories can tell a more powerful story than our clothes. Bay Area jeweler Francesca Kennedy has been telling stories for the past 8 years with hardware, brass, and leather. Her materials are sourced from all over the world. Whether it’s beads that her cousin brought her from Beijing or a pendant made of ancient Roman glass, when Francesca explains the significance behind each piece in her collection, they suddenly become so much more than an accessory.
While chatting at a trunk show recently, Francesca admitted that even though she loves clothing, most of her closet is quite basic. She prefers to let her jewels take center stage. At the time, she was wearing a simple knit sweater with two long beaded necklaces. Instead of utilizing the hook and eye closures to secure the necklaces, she had tied them together in a loose knot. This creative twist demonstrated two of the best qualities about Francesca’s line. First, her pieces beg to be layered, and second, she takes great care with the details so even the hardware can shine.
The outstanding thing about Francesca is that she can tell a story about every element of her collection– from the way brass can be worn polished or tarnished, to the fact that anklets used to be worn primarily by the “bad” girls of her youth. When you put on one of Francesca’s pieces, you can feel the weight of the story behind it.
It’s this relationship between wearer and jewel that Francesca finds most fascinating. Even after the jewelry is created, she feels it is never really “finished.” The wearer ultimately adds her own layer of story once she puts the piece on.
Francesca’s work can be found in San Francisco at Poetica on Sacramento Street and at Limu on Fillmore Street. You can also find her on Facebook at Francesca Kennedy Designs.
By Bianca Barela