Ongwat: Elegant, Affordable Jewelry

Times are hard and compulsive spending has become a thing of the past, so affordable, elegant jewelry is not something to take for granted. Ongwat Jewelry, a privately owned luxury jewelry company founded by Paranee Ongwat in New York City fuses skill, classic design and the designer’s own youthful innovation into pieces that are unique without burning a hole in your wallet.

“Jewelry has to develop in a more practical way price wise and quality wise to give more options to shoppers, to make the most of their money,” Ongwat says of her professional ambition. The New 2009 Urban Collection showcases simple geometrical pieces with prominent gold and silver highlights. Ongwat’s singular, tasteful construction and subtle commentary on contemporary life has situated her as the next star in jewelry making. The pieces take inspiration from the society we live in: imperfect, rigid, rough, polished, confused. And yet, the designs feel simultaneously ancient and modern—like a Sol LeWitt minimalist sculpture merged with a relic left over from Ramses II, all situated prominently on your fingers or dangling around your neck.

This amalgamated method reflects Ongwat’s willingness to take chances, to gather influences from all areas of life and culture. Though highly influenced by historical precedent, Ongwat’s designs fit into the present through a confident exuberance that is not often found among designers these days. “I seek out inspirations from the simplest things such as a crack on the footpath or a rough of the skin,” she willingly admits. Ongwat Jewelry is affordable without taking away from design, practical and functional without being bland.

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—Michael Miller

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