Ippolita was founded in 1999 by artist/designer Ippolita Rostagno. She was born in Tuscany to an American mother and Italian father. Growing up in Italy and inspired by the Renaissance art all around her and the jewelry in the shops and stalls of the Ponte Vecchio, she was motivated to attend the Instituto d’Arte in Florence where she studied sculpture and ceramics.
In 1986 she moved to New York City and continued to explore sculpture within the context of craft. She began to create “sculpture” out of 18K gold. This was not a huge leap as many tools are the same, except in miniature. Her first foray into retail however did not come in the form of fine jewelry, but in costume jewelry. As fate would have it, Banana Republic had just approved the creation of an accessories line and Ippolita was there at just the right time. Ippolita was able to hone her skills at understanding customers, which led her to creating a fine jewelry line for Bergdorf Goodman. She saw a need to create pieces that could be worn every day and more casually.
Her design aesthetic developed from a contemporary fashion point of view. She began with jewelry fashioned out if her proprietary alloy of 18K gold and later added color through the use of precious and semi-precious gemstones hand cut in Thailand. Later she would add 925 silver to round out her line and make her work accessible to more people.
Ippolita is credited with helping to propel fine jewelry into fashion by embracing color, comfort and exuberance. Some of Ippolita’s more noteworthy clients include Kate Hudson, Charlize Theron and Jennifer Lopez.