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Jennifer Paccione Angulo has a good luck charm that she almost never goes without. Growing up in New York as part of an Italian-American family, and later moving to Venice and Milan with her husband, whom she met in Italy, cultural roots and traditions are hugely important to her. One of the most significant symbols of her heritage comes in the form of a small hot chili pepper. “The peperoncino is a popular ingredient in Napoli, Bari, Calabria, and Sicily, but it’s also regarded as something that is believed to bring good fortune and protect against negativity,” Paccione Angulo explains. “While I was living in Milan, I had the idea of creating a collection of jewelry called Mediterraneo, and I wanted the designs to reflect the meaning of the peperoncino in Italian culture.”
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“I started my first sketch book when I was eight years old,” Paccione Angulo explains of her design beginnings. From there, her career spanned a stint as a trend forecaster, a move to Milan, Italy, to work as a freelance fashion editor, until her current role at the brand marketing studio By Babba, where she oversees all creative content. But over the course of the past year, the first seed of an idea for her own brand began to take root. “I started making things myself, and people started picking up on the designs,” she says of Mediterraneo’s beginnings. “I thought, If I can’t find these designs, then other people can’t find them either. Everything I make now, if it’s not something that I would wear, then I won’t move forward with it.”
"[Jennifer Paccione Angulo is the] founder of Mediterraneo Studio, an adorable ‘shoppable creative studio’ that is known for tiny chilli and shell earrings that beg to be worn to take the wearer on a mental vacation to Southern Italy. She sources all her charms from an old lady in Italy, and her gold from an old man in Chinatown.
Her company is calming, her sense of style is playful and the ease that she balances all these different things in her life is inspiring. We sat down for happy hour at Caffe Dante in the West Village amongst the sound of wine glasses and Thursday post-work chatter to chat about Mediterraneo."
"I wear Mediterraneo Studio earrings literally every day. They’re my own designs, and I always feel a little sense of happiness wearing something that I created myself. I usually wear the peperoncino (representative of good luck in Italian culture) or the caracola, one of nature’s symbols of life and femininity.
Other than that, I am never without my wedding ring — a gold marquise diamond with a second gold band. I never understood why I was always so drawn to such an obscure shape until I learned that my late grandmother had the exact diamond shape herself. It makes me feel like I have an everyday connection to her.