MELANIE BARSE · LEAD DESIGNER/VP
What do you think will draw retailers to the Barse collection this upcoming season?
Our bold use of colorful stones like vibrant orange, sponge coral, blue-green turquoise, deep blue lapis and purple opal.
What is the meaning behind the brand’s name?
The name Barse is an artistic legacy. My great-uncle, George Randolph Barse, is a renowned American artist with art in museums and institutions throughout the nation including the Library of Congress.
How has the company developed over time?
Originally, my focus was exclusively on sterling. However, with the price rising over the past several years, the Barse look of bold and richly detailed pieces became cost prohibitive. My designs now also incorporate the metals of bronze, copper and silver overlay. This way, Barse lovers can still get the rich, bold looks they want in a more affordable selection.
Where can your jewelry be found?
On Home Shopping Network, where I have my own segment called Studio Barse, as well as Dillard’s, select boutiques and catalogs.
What materials and techniques are used in Barse designs that help make its jewelry so unique?
Organic stone shapes and unusual tonal mixtures have become a trademark for Barse. Most stones used in Barse designs are cut from huge rough pieces that we source from miners around the world. They are cut in our own factory by our expert lapidaries, so we are not limited to ordinary geometric shapes that you can find anywhere. Also, the Barse factory utilizes the age-old practice of lost-wax casting. This method allows for the rich details and flawless finishes that you will find in our pieces. It is rare in today’s jewelry market to find an affordable designer that does not use ‘stamped out’ methods of production, and the quality shows in Barse Jewelry.
How do you personally stay up to date with fashion?
Like anyone, I look to magazines and trend shopping in the fashion forward cities of the world. But the thing I always do is stay true to my personal style. I like a Bohemian flair mixed with classic pieces from around the world that have interesting textures and patterns; a real global feel.