Eddie Borgo

By
Photography Robbie Fimmano

Published March 21, 2011

D-rings, O-rings, latches, padlocks, corsetry, body piercings, harnesses, ball chokers: These are just some of the words that New York jewelry designer Eddie Borgo offers up to describe the improbable elements in what he deems his “most ladylike” collection to date. But then, last year’s soft-spoken and analytic Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund runner-up—who exploded onto the scene in spring 2009 after creating instantly iconic punk-meets-posh bracelets for 3.1 Phillip Lim—has always relished his ability to deconstruct traditional notions of masculine and feminine. For spring 2011, the 32-year-old designer took inspiration from Madonna’s 1992 book Sex, the infamous exploration of bondage and S&M, shot by Steven Meisel (and art directed by Interview’s editorial director Fabien Baron). “I found it really liberating when I read the book in high school,” the Atlanta-bred Borgo says. His lapis-inlaid and pavé crystal–encrusted padlock necklaces, for example, emblemize his ongoing interest in how to refine taboo elements of street culture into something elevated and covetable. “The kids on St. Mark’s can have them around their necks, and a woman who lives in Dallas, Texas, who shops at Neiman Marcus can have one around her neck too. It can be subversive in a very sophisticated way,” he says. “In subversion there is liberation and a sense of power when you overcome your fears.”