Jewelry is a personal notion — it’s our memories cast in metal, little reminders that become like a second skin. The execution of capturing a moment, illustrating a feeling, is something Jessica Comingore knows well— and thus our collaboration seemed like a natural pairing. With a long history in creative endeavors, the graphic designer looked to the Harissa Basilica in Lebanon to show her the impact of light and shape. We delve into her inventive process in hopes a little some of that talent rubs off on us, and to let you see the intentions of our newest piece, the Harissa Cuff, a 925 sterling silver bracelet with 1.5 mm diamonds atop either end.
Name: Jessica Comingore
Occupation: Designer and Creative Director
Tell us a little bit about yourself, who is Jessica Comingore?
I’m a graphic designer and the creative director of Marbury, a boutique branding studio that specializes in refined visuals for lifestyle brands. My background is in interior design, but I segued into graphic design early on in my career by virtue of running a lifestyle blog. That platform really allowed me to explore my creativity beyond interior design and develop the niche that I operate in today. I can say it’s been a roundabout path, but each chapter of my creative journey largely informed the next.
"I found myself revisiting the Harissa Basilica designed by Pierre el-Khoury, which I stumbled on seven years ago during the making of a lifestyle magazine. There’s just something so dramatic and eye-catching about it — it’s unlike any other piece of architecture I’ve seen."
What led you to start your own creative studio Marbury?
After five years of working under my own name, I really felt ready to up-level my business and create something that was beyond just me as a designer; something that I could build a brand and a team around. I like to think of Marbury as the culmination of a decade of fine-tuning and exploration. I think it took removing myself from the equation (despite still being the one running the show) to begin to see things from a more objective and less personal place. It also gave me an opportunity to marry my interests as a designer with my passion for helping fellow creatives craft a life and business that they love. I plan to really nurture that side of Marbury this next year.
How do you come up with a fresh approach for each client, and for collaborations like Vrai & Oro, yet still keep them true to your personal aesthetic?
Time away from the screen is critical! I really attribute the success of my time at work to the use of my time away from it, if that makes sense. Whether it be a self care centered morning routine, traveling (even just a day trip will do!), reading, or museum visits, it’s those experiences that allow me to come back to the studio more refreshed, more informed, and ready to bring a unique perspective to the table.
Why did you choose silver for the Harissa Cuff?
While I’ll always love gold, silver has made its way into my jewelry collection in a big way these past few years. I love it for its versatility and approachability when it comes to putting an outfit together in the morning. I wanted the Harissa Cuff to be an everyday piece that any woman could throw on with ease, and silver seemed like the natural choice.
What was the process of designing this piece with Vrai & Oro like, where do you begin and end?
Jewelry was completely new territory for me, so I began the process by crafting a story for the piece and pulling inspiration as I would with with any other design project. It wasn’t long before I found myself revisiting the Harissa Basilica designed by Pierre el-Khoury, which I stumbled on seven years ago during the making of a lifestyle magazine. There’s just something so dramatic and eye-catching about it — it’s unlike any other piece of architecture I’ve seen. I explored a variety of sketches to translate the unique curves of the façade into a cuff, eventually landing on the design in its current state. One of my favorite details is the two subtle diamonds that sit on either end, making the design reversible. These are intended to speak to the flickers of light that shine through the windows of the Basilica.
What were your very first impressions when you came across the Harissa Basilica?
Remarkable, innovative, and awe-inspiring. Despite no longer working in the interior design and architecture world, there is no denying that it continues to be my biggest source of inspiration. There’s just something about a well-designed space that has the ability to transform you.
When you have outpoured all the creative energy you can, how do you unwind and recharge for your next project?
Long walks, meditation, reading, and baths. Maybe a few naps in there too!
What is your most special piece of jewelry?
My engagement ring. It holds so much meaning to me, and makes me smile every time I look down at it.