Gabriela Berlingeri’s D29 Jewelry Line celebrates self-love
Even for those who want to be the center of attention, the attention often comes with a heavy price. In a world where gossip rules much of the media sphere, even non-famous people can get caught up in the heavy public attention. Especially if they are closely related to someone famous and well known. Gabriela Berlingeri explored that, and to a degree few can relate to, during the time she dated one of the most famous people on the planet – Bad Bunny.
The story of how Berlingeri and the Latin trap artist had a chance meeting and started a relationship back in 2017 has become part of his lore. The two were together for several years and even collaborated on a handful of songs. She even screamed out in “Acho PR,” a single from his latest album “Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana.”
Details of when and how the relationship ended were kept close to their chests, in keeping with an already very private romance. And while the media has covered every last move of Bad Bunny in the past year, Berlingeri has immersed herself in her passion project – her jewelry line, DiciembreVeintinueve. Named after her birthday, the brand has also helped her discover new and healthy perspectives on self-love and life outside of a high-profile relationship.
Raised all her life in the beach area of Isla Verde in Carolina, Puerto Rico, Berlingeri has always considered herself close to nature. She describes her family as full of “creators,” a trait she is proud to follow.
“My grandmother makes stained glass, my father designed his tattoos, and he loves to paint. My aunt is an architect. My family has been very creative,” Berlingeri told POPSUGAR. “The act of making something yourself, with your hands, is amazing.”
In her case, Berlingeri was influenced by jewelry. “A lot of people say they can’t sleep with their jewelry on, but I always sleep with them,” she says. “I wake up, and even if I’m not wearing anything else, I wear my jewelry. ”
Her interest only grew after working with a local jewelry designer and learning how to make pieces herself. In 2019, she began to sow the seeds for what would eventually become DiciembreVeintinueve (or D29, as it is also known). The brand launched in November 2020 after a pandemic-related delay, and has since churned out fine jewelry, bracelets, earrings, rings and more, all on made in-house by Berlingeri and her team using local materials.
Berlingeri says she has long-term ideas for collections but prefers to be inspired in the moment when it comes to individual designs. Asked how she comes up with them, she says: “It’s very random. I’ll sit down, go over the pieces I have, put on my AirPods, and start connecting them together. It’s like putting together a puzzle.”
This month, D29 is releasing the Rhea Collection, a line inspired by the colors of Puerto Rico’s natural lagoons, rivers, forests and beaches. It was an idea that suddenly came to Berlingeri just a few months ago. She decided to take a road trip around the island to look for more inspiration. It appears in a variety of pieces – just look at the green tourmaline stones that make up the collar of the Medare Necklace, which she says could represent more than just green the flora but also how it can take on river and ocean water. green color.
“The stones we use in our collections are natural, semi-precious,” she explains. “I’ve had a lot of inspiration on the beach before, but this time I wanted more rivers and include forests. Puerto Rico is famous for its beaches, but we have many beautiful rivers and I wanted to capture their colors.”
Another piece, the Casa Necklace, features a palm tree in the foreground and a mountain range in the background, which evokes a scene that many locals live with every day – the coast on one side and the central mountains on the other. As Berlingeri says, “Many people relate because we are a small island. It is not that difficult to get to the beach, although I know there are conditions.” She remembers a news report she once saw about communities in the highest places in Puerto Rico, where people had spent their lives without leaving their villages. “There’s a lot of poverty in Puerto Rico, up in the mountains, more than people realize,” she said. “There are families living there who have never seen the ocean, and they have no means [to visit the coast].”
As she talks openly and enthusiastically about this collection and future projects, including D29’s soon-to-be expansion to sell swimwear, her excitement is palpable. She is surrounded by a special team of women she considers close friends, including lead designer Shelby Díaz Esquerdo, who heads the waste-conscious One of One campaign, which re -using discarded elements to create one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry.
Berlingeri knows it will take time to escape from the attention she was in in the past, but she has changed her life around what helps her ignore the noise and move on. forward with her goals.
“The most important thing for me right now is to keep myself happy and at peace,” she says. “You have to push through a lot to feel good and stable. And I want to create things that I can achieve, and focus on my work.”
Berlingeri is putting that in the theme of her new line as well, designing it around the idea that her customers would be buying Valentine’s Day gifts for themselves.
“I’m in a period: love yourself! It’s high time to say, ‘I’m going to get this for myself,’ in this period of consumerism, [which was] created to make you spend money.”
“I’m in a period: love yourself! It’s high time to say, ‘I’m going to get this for myself,’ in this period of consumerism, [which was] created to make you spend money,” she says. “It’s a great opportunity for someone to think about themselves for the first time and not think about other people.”
Building D29 and making it successful was exactly the kind of healthy distraction Berlingeri needed last year, saying it was “100 percent” a form of therapy for herself.
“I get it [to the office] and I am happy. For me, getting here frees me from everything else; it keeps my feet on the ground – busy,” she said. “Sometimes I have days off and I think, “What am I going to do?” I don’t want to depend on anyone to make plans.” Currently, she likes to go to the beach alone; she knows certain places where she can have privacy, avoid too many followers, and just enjoy the surf.
That’s what this moment is all about for Berlingeri: focusing on herself, what makes her happy, and what makes her excited about the future. And that is never too much.
Although one of the famous quotes of the designer Coco Chanel says, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one thing,” Berlingeri wants to be different. “I’m sorry to Coco Chanel, but there’s more,” she laughs. More work, more happiness, more time with friends, and everything for anyone but herself.