Maria Parnell and Christina Capozzi are the sisters behind Sette Divini Designs, a new jewelry line launched just seven months ago, but already a favorite with fashionistas and celebrities from Rancho Santa Fe to San Francisco. Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt will be wearing pieces on her show The Client List, along with Playboy Playmate Brande Roderick of Celebrity Apprentice. Kristin Chenoweth is said to love the “Trinity,” a best-selling cross necklace with beads.
Parnell designs the collection of unique, affordable statement pieces using semi-precious stones as well as rough-cut emeralds, rubies, and sapphires she hand picks herself. Many are one-of-a-kind, and Parnell especially enjoys making custom jewelry for clients to complement their outfits. A USD business grad who earned an art minor while studying in Florence, Parnell is now working on a graduate gemology degree. She designed her own jewelry for years, before deciding to create for others. “She loves what she does,” says Capozzi, the company’s marketing director. “There’s a true passion — it shows.”
Maria named the company Sette Divini, translated “Divine Seven,” after her family. The collection is carried at such local boutiques as Blended Industries, Maggie B, M. Daskal, and Nicole Miller, as well as Cal-a-Vie spa. (619/246-7345, www.settedivinidesigns.com)
Have A Blue, Tiffany Blue Christmas
Lucky the lady who finds the iconic Tiffany blue box tucked in a stocking, or beneath the Christmas tree. In the late 1880s, the legendary jeweler chose a distinctive shade for all of its boxes and shopping bags, now recognized as “Tiffany Blue.” The company will soon open a second store in San Diego, at Westfield UTC, which has been undergoing extensive renovations, including new shops and restaurants, open-air plazas, eco-friendly features, and an upscale movie theatre. “As the world’s most trusted jeweler, we are pleased to offer our customers a second location with the excellence of Tiffany design and superior service,” says Tiffany’s Cathryn Ramirez. And wouldn’t you know it? The UTC Tiffany & Co. opens just in time for Christmas!
High-end fashion that is also affordable might seem like an oxymoron, but Neiman Marcus and Target are both banking on an unconventional — and they hope profitable — partnership this holiday season. Beginning December 1, the luxury retailer joins forces with the mass marketer to debut a joint holiday collection, available at both retail outlets and their Web sites, selling 50 gifts from two dozen top designers — Brian Atwood, Carolina Herrera, Derek Lam, Diane von Furstenberg, Robert Rodriguez, Tory Burch, Tracy Reese, and Jason Wu, to name a few. Products, including accessories, clothing, and even sporting goods, will be priced from $7.99 to $499.99, with most selling for less than $60.
Target has long teamed with big name designers, like Missoni, to offer limited collections at smaller price points. But the venture with Neiman Marcus is unprecedented. To stay competitive, each retailer wants to attract the other’s customers, who increasingly like to shop around, mixing the high and low, especially when it comes to fashion. But whether this odd couple continues to partner after the frenzy of the holiday shopping season, remains to be seen.
Fashionistas-in-the-know shop at the Salvation Army’s Thrift Stores for gently worn designer clothes donated by well-heeled ladies. You could “score” at its Sports Arena store, for example, which has its own couture section. And the shopping is guilt-free. “The best thing is when you buy an item, you are helping someone get back on their feet,” says the Salvation Army’s Nancie Geller. “It’s such a win-win purchase.”
Nowhere was that more evident than at the recent Transformed Treasures, a fashion show and brunch presented by the Salvation Army’s Women’s Auxiliary, with models wearing designs created from clothing donated to the thrift stores. The models are known as “A.R.C. Angels,” women who are part of the Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitative Centers (ARC), a six-month residential treatment program serving both women and men who are trying to recover from drug and alcohol addiction. ARC offers spiritual, social and emotional help, including housing, work and therapy to help participants re-enter society, find jobs, and reunite with families they may have lost. (800/728-7825, www.salvationarmy.org)
That’s A Wrap
A dozen emerging designers showcased their talents during Fashion Week San Diego, which wrapped up recently downtown after a whirlwind of events that included a meet and greet, interactive discussion, hair and makeup demonstrations, and a runway show in which designers presented their spring/summer collections. The audience voted for their favorite designers via app, based on creativity, wearability, and overall production. Kenneth Barlis got the most votes, winning a business package to help launch his line. Fashion Week San Diego’s goal is to introduce designers to the community, and help them grow. (www.fashionweeksd.com) ANDREA NAVERSEN