j.crew eddie borgo jewelry collaboration

Eddie Borgo for J.Crew. Courtesy photos.

As part of J.Crew's joint effort with the CFDA Fashion Fund, Eddie Borgo -- a young jewelry designer with a penchant for severe, but polished designs -- has debuted a collection which combines his edgier themes with more approachable creations.

In April, CFDA winner Billy Reid presented his menswear collection which displayed the designer's signature southern hospitality. Then, J.Crew revealed the second limited-edition collection of the three prizewinners, Prabal Gurung -- whose ladylike dresses, skirts and blouses blended seamlessly into J.Crew's aesthetic.

As Borgo's latest venture launches -- he has worked with Proenza Schouler, Marchesa and Jason Wu in the past -- the designer revealed the very adult symbols which litter his most recent collection, and where he plans to show off that CFDA trophy.

Eddie Borgo. Photo: Getty Images

StyleList: What was your inspiration for your most recent collection? What do the symbols you used -- like the padlock -- represent to you?
Eddie Borgo: My collection plays with the ideas we have of subculture, and then how those subcultures trickle up into the luxury and fashion market. I have looked a lot at the history of rock 'n' roll, as well as punk rock and glam rock, in New York City. I am interested in the many ways that music has helped to shape history. Also, I want to identify symbols that we relate to the different realms of NYC culture -- how and why a padlock around someone's neck can immediately establish their identity. My aesthetic has to do with the idea of high-end meets street. The SS11 collection was highly inspired by Madonna's book "Sex" by Fabien Baron, a high fashion interpretation of sexuality and its subcultures. I reconsidered metal fetish hardware by taking bondage cuffs, piercings, padlocks, and latches and making them sophisticated through the use of fine jewelry techniques. This S+M aesthetic is softened with the use of Lapis, Labradorite and Howlite.

StyleList: You've used the words "subversive," "modern" and a fusion of "high end and street" to describe your collections. How do you think your style will blend with J. Crew's more traditional aesthetic?
EB: I think that modern women have a real ability to experiment with fashion, and brands like J.Crew provide the accessibility to try new things. I like the many juxtapositions that exist today in fashion -- it is nice to see mixtures of ideas and sensibilities.

StyleList: Congrats on your CFDA win! Where do you plan to keep the trophy?
EB: In my open office (that I share with 7 others) - it really belongs to my incredibly talented, hardworking staff.

StyleList: You've worked with a variety of stylish women in the fashion industry, including Giovanna Battaglia, Vanessa Traina, Lauren Santo Domingo and Kate Lanphear. Who is at the top of your list of who you'd like to work with next?
EB: We are so lucky to have these incredible women supporting the brand and enjoying the pieces. Each day I am thrilled when someone chooses to wear something that you make, it really is the greatest support they could offer. I enjoy working with women who love fashion and understand my brand -- it will be interesting to see how this continues to evolve into the future.

StyleList: What do you do when you're not working? Favorite places in New York to seek inspiration? Favorite places to relax?
EB: Collecting music, reading books literature, watching films and studying geometry are some of the many things that inspire me and occupy my spare time. And I always make time for road trips with my best friend Jamie to her house in upstate NY.

StyleList: What sort of music do you listen to as you work?
EB: We listen to a lot of the Rolling Stones. There's Led Zepplin, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Iggy Pop, Siouxie, Stevie Nicks. Duran Duran, The Cure, The Doors, The Pixies, Joy Division and an amazing punk band from '70s Detroit we all love called Death.

*Editor's note: these pieces are in select J.Crew stores now!