Designer Spotlight: Digby & Iona
We found ourselves walking into an empty but large artist space in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn to see where the magic happens behind the jewelry brand, Digby & Iona. The small studio space is just what you’d expect of a quirky and dainty Brooklyn-based brand. A vintage and beat-up American flag lined one of the walls, while the other had a hand-painted wooden Digby & Iona sign, and an adorable brindle dog named Nuki in a hand-knit sweater greeted us at the door. But the real magic was inside the small wooden drawers that sat upon a worn-in work table.
To say we were impressed with the work of Digby & Iona’s Aaron Ruff would be an understatement. Not only are the rings of the new Inigo & Atreyu collection impeccably made, but they’re made with intention. Aaron firmly believes that alternative engagement rings and wedding bands are exactly where the bridal world is headed— and we couldn’t agree more. Scroll down to read our chat with Aaron and to see more of our studio visit!
What we love most about the collection is that they’re extremely unique and intricate [and not to mention, pretty affordable as far as engagement rings go]. Check out the entire Inigo & Atreyu collection and see our favorites below:
Q&A With Digby & Iona Designer, Aaron Ruff
What is your background?
I grew up in rural Maine and came here [to New York City] when I was 18 to go to Parsons for furniture design. I started Digby & Iona 7 years ago when I was making the transition out of woodworking. At that time, I wanted to shift my energy toward creating a more heirloom quality and precious product.
What does Digby & Iona mean?
The names come from 2 small fishing villages in Nova Scotia. When I started the company, I liked the names and wanted some anonymity.
We see that this particular collection is only rings. Do you have plans to expand it further in terms of, maybe necklaces, bracelets, or earrings?
The collection is ever-expanding. My current focus is to continue to develop the higher-end collections.
What’s next for Digby & Iona?
The plan is to continue expanding our lines, as well as open a retail location or two in the coming years.
If you had to choose, what is your ultimate favorite piece, out of everything you’ve ever designed?
This is an ever-evolving question, it’s always something form my most recent collection, at the moment it’s the Raziel ring.
What gets you most inspired to design?
I draw most of my inspiration from my childhood experience and interests.
We love that you design alternative and unique engagement rings. What would you say to men who are looking to pop the question, but would only look in a traditional store like Tiffany’s or Neil Lane?
With a little risk comes great reward. A true heirloom piece of jewelry that you’d want to pass onto your kids should be a one-of-a-kind, rather than something mass-produced.
If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?
I’d prefer to get drunk with Oscar Wilde.
What is your favorite restaurant in New York?
I’ll never tell.