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Newport Beach Blog

Uno de 50

July 29, 2013

Shopping is a statement and it typically falls into two categories — trendy or unique. We buy what everyone else has because it’s the cool thing to own or we buy something individual that best represents our personality.

It can be pretty frustrating and uncomfortable to be at the same place as someone else wearing the exact same thing. You pray nobody calls you a twin and you go home and toss that outfit in the closet where it will never be worn again.

We’ve seen the mags highlight the fashion faux pas when celebs walk the red carpet wearing the same thing. The designers love it.  After all, who wouldn’t want Katy Perry and Jennifer Lopez wearing their fashion?  But it’s a nightmare for A-listers in front of the cameras.

Mass production is great for sink faucets, cars, and socks.  When it comes to accessories — bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings and other small pieces — Uno de 50 specializes in unique works that you likely won’t find every time you turn the corner at the supermarket or out at a party.

The concept was originally inspired by Concha Diaz del Rio, a Spanish creator of art, displays, and jewelry.  She first began creating pieces for the Rasto, a big flea market in Madrid.   Whatever she created, she limited the amount of handmade pieces to 50, numbered for exclusivity.

As the number of Uno de 50 stores grew, the concept changed slightly. The company no longer limits each design to 50 pieces.  With the exception of a couple of popular pieces, items are sold seasonally.  When the run is done, they will not be created or sold again.   Artisans hand craft all of the items based on their inspiration. They handle each piece individually.  There is no assembly line or machine process to produce these treasures.

The designers are influenced by Spanish culture and incorporate items you may see walking down the cobblestone streets of the Spanish capital. Most of the items combine hand dyed leather and silver-plated hypoallergenic metal.

Here at Fashion Island, in Newport Beach, I checked out some of the pieces being offered in the fall and winter collection. The new collections evoke the origin of creation, with pure, authentic, and surprising designs. The four concepts examined in this theme are strength, instinct, protection, and energy.

In addition to the leather pieces featuring a silver rustic finish, Uno de 50 is now adding pieces made with Murano crystal, or other items with colorized Swarovski crystals into their accessories.

Many of the pieces in the store are bold and exciting.  Others are subtle and make a more elegant statement. The store manager, Brandon, told me that some of the women’s pieces were so popular with men that the company began creating a men’s line.

While I am not traditionally a wearer of jewelry, there are several pieces that caught my eye, and I might have to make a return visit back to Uno de 50 muy pronto. And if you are in the market for something unique and stylish, you might want to check these pieces out the next time you visit Newport Beach.

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