RockLove has a history of highlighting female heroes and villains through jewelry, which now includes Tiana, Mulan, and the upcoming Black Widow collection.
If you haven’t heard of RockLove yet, then it’s time you get on the bandwagon! Allison Cimino started RockLove in 2007 with the intention to explore “the evolving relationship between fashion and fandom through highly sought-after style.”
With an incredible amount of franchises under her belt, including Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel, just to name a few, Allison is able to bring to life some of our favorite characters and provide us with incredibly detailed and high-quality jewelry.
I’ve been a fan of RockLove for a while, starting a few years ago when I came across their Nightmare Before Christmas and Disney Villains collections, which are perfect for Halloween — or any time of year, honestly.
Then, in late 2019, we helped introduce their Frozen 2 collection, which included some truly classic pieces, like the snowflake pendant and ring, as well as a few quirky items, like the Bruni salamander necklace and ring.
RockLove’s track record speaks for itself, and it doesn’t look like Allison will be slowing down any time soon. Today, we’re highlighting the recent Princess and the Frog and Mulan collections, as well as previewing the upcoming Black Widow collection.
Read on to learn a little more about each collection, which includes a conversation with designer Allison Cimino.
RockLove’s ‘The Princess and the Frog’ jewelry
I love the detail that comes with the lifestyle images showcasing the jewelry, which includes a clearly careful selection of models, backgrounds, and props. Can you talk a little bit about the process and how involved you are?
Crowned Frog Necklace | $135.00
Model: Jerrelle Guy
With RockLove, it is important to me that all facets of the company, from social content to final product, be a positive and empowering experience for customers. And that doesn’t end with the jewelry itself. To model our collections, we select real-world men and women who are inspiring, hard-working, and represent the positive messages of the character and fandom. Whether it’s featuring a professional chef and baker for Princess Tiana or an MMA World Champion for Mulan, each collection is an opportunity to highlight and celebrate real people who embody the characters that we know and love.
Tiana’s collection seems like a perfect balance between classic pieces (like the water lily and ring) and quirky movie-specific items (like the crowned frog necklace). Do you go out of your way to maintain this balance between subtle nods to the characters and more obvious pieces?
Being our first Disney Princess collection launch, I wanted to create items that specifically celebrate Tiana and all her virtues that make her an inspiring Princess. During the initial concept phase, I revisit beloved characters, and The Princess and the Frog was no exception: Tiana demonstrates love of family and heritage while always pursuing her dreams with steadfast dedication and a positive attitude. I designed this collection to be both elegant and sophisticated (just like Princess Tiana herself), while including subtle Art Deco motifs which nods to the era in which the movie takes place.
Do you do anything in particular to get in the mindset of these characters? For example, did you eat a lot of beignets in order to get the pendant and earrings just right?
Pave Beignet Earrings | $75.00
Model: Jerelle Guy
I wish — that sounds like a delicious form of inspiration! Princess Tiana was an easy one for me because as a fellow female entrepreneur bootstrapping her business dreams, she is the Disney character to which I relate the most! Being in New York City, I’m not in the most ideal place for beignets, however I did re-watch the film many times and danced around my kitchen singing to the soundtrack.
Check out the RockLove Princess and the Frog collection.
RockLove’s ‘Mulan’ jewelry
The last time you spoke to Hypable, you said Mulan and Tiana were your favorite Disney princesses. What was it like to work on Mulan’s collection given how much you appreciate her and the message she sends to women?
This collection was especially exciting to me as it has long since been my very favorite Disney movie. I have found that the modern princesses are far more relatable to the everyday woman and offer virtues that can be appreciated and emulated in real life. Mulan was a chance to share the dichotomy contained in all women, as she represents both family, tranquility and balance, but also strength, courage, and self-discipline.
Is there a piece in the Mulan collection that was particularly tricky or challenging? How did you work past those obstacles?
The Cri-Kee Necklace in the Disney X RockLove Mulan Classic Collection is my personal favorite, as it includes multiple components that had to be assembled and the pagoda door actually hinges open. The more fashion-inspired pieces from the Live Action collection include tassels, which I’ve never gotten to work with before. We made these tassels from scratch using satin silk thread, so as you can imagine, figuring out how to make that fan shape was a technical challenge!
When designing jewelry reflective of cultures other than your own, how do you ensure it’s as authentic and genuine as possible?
In creating these pieces, I crowdsourced both first and second-generation Chinese friends, to make sure I was understanding the cultural connotations across generations. It was actually a Chinese-American friend and her parents who helped me choose and transliterate the words “Fire Dragon” inscribed in Mandarin on the Mushu Firecracker. Cheeky, while still a positive message.
Check out the RockLove Mulan collection.
RockLove’s ‘Black Widow’ jewelry
The Black Widow collection hasn’t been announced yet! How long have you been sitting on this information and are you bursting at the seams to tell everyone what you’ve been working on?
Definitely excited as Black Widow is the first of many superhero collections I have in the works for Marvel! I’ve been working on a jam-packed calendar of new releases featuring some of my top favorite characters, including mischief-making, mysterious, and outcast figures. I’ve been holding back and preparing a Marvel halo line since last year (2019), which is why fans haven’t seen much since the beloved Captain Marvel collection. Especially eager to share this new Marvel X RockLove line because I’m ever-evolving as an artist and jeweler… as I learn, I apply those new techniques, capabilities, and ideas to the MCU!
Can you give us a little information about these sketches you’ve provided and what you’re hoping to accomplish with this collection?
While I’m very excited for the new movie, this collection focuses on the classic character as a whole, spanning both the comic books and films. Black Widow, from a stylistic standpoint, allows me to design following my own personal edgy aesthetic – a black and red palette in metal and crystals. The collection has three different silhouettes, so it can suit a myriad of fan styling.
Is there anything special or different you wanted to bring to the table with these Black Widow pieces?
I’m excited to bring a subtleness and sophistication to the classic Black Widow hourglass iconography. By combining classic logos with on-trend jewelry silhouettes and custom-cut crystals, I think fans are going to love the edgy versatility of this new collection!
Keep an eye on RockLove’s website for the upcoming Black Widow collection.