Inspired by a family vacation to Bogliasco in the Italian Riviera, the Zozo collection is a mesmerizing, fun and colorful addition to the Mimi So brand. Comprised of mainly one-of-a-kind, handmade pieces featuring boulder opals, the collection is one of the most complex to produce.
Every year, Mimi handpick the boulder opals for the collection from Australia. These stones, which originate from Queensland and other locations in Australia, are easily identifiable by the ironstone on the back or in a matrix. Boulder opals, strikingly beautiful stones full of fire, also offer the most value compared to others due to the makeup of the stone. As each natural stone varies in color, shape, size and depth, we need to create individual settings for every piece — a complicated endeavor. The opal is the most mysteriously vibrant and exotic of all colored stones because so much color exists in one single formation. The iridescence reacts with the light and reflects a vibrant rainbow at a single glance. For this reason, I chose to play with this beautiful material in my collection.
Each Zozo opal creation is handmade by our master jewelers. A single ring, for example, can require days of wax carving in order to echo the ripples of a watery seaside landscape. The silver mold takes up to 120 hours of meticulous shaving and filing —also in precious metal. Depending on the material that is presented to us, our lapidary genius will shape the opals based on the design of the piece. Occasionally, our lapidary will choose to only work with a portion of a stone what he deems to be the best yield from the entire rough that was purchased. From there, I decide how to create the best design to highlight the beauty of the stone. Necklaces are the most elaborate of all pieces in the Zozo collection because there are multiple shapes and gemstones such as tourmalines, aquamarines, diamonds and sapphires blended into the design. A typical necklace can take 6 months to create because we need to fabricate a handmade setting for each opal and colored stone in the design. Our preference to fabricate our own setting allows us the ability to provide a solid weight that feels substantial when held in your palm.
It takes patience and a keen eye to envision and realize the most complimentary setting for an organically shaped stone. Every piece poses a mathematical challenge for our jeweler to asses the best possible way to mimic the waves of the sea and to then translate that into a technical setting to meet Mimi’s approval. Our jewelers employ a renaissance style of artistry — one that is laborious but yields the most exquisite, high quality of work. From intricate folds to bending and shaving of the metal, the process requires lengthy hours with built-in breaks to give the hand a rest. As a general rule, Mimi prefers the weight of the gold in her pieces to feel strong and solid so clients can wear necklaces, rings, etc… with ease and comfort knowing they have a significant weight. We arrange the color palate of our ornate necklaces according to the opals and decide which color of tourmalines or gemstones will bring out the color in the necklace ideally along with adding accents of diamonds should it require the extra sparkle — making every piece truly one-of-a-kind.