SANTAVANITAS is a collection of jewellery inspired by old pieces of religious and pagan jewellery, from Ancient Rome to the English Court of the 19th century, a fusion between popular culture, art, mythology and fetishism.
The name of the brand is constructed with two Latin words: SANTA, which means saint or sacred, and VANITAS, vanity, an allusion to the human quality that inspires culture as we know it today.
Each design is based on a different story and offers an interpretation that serves as tool for the personal expression of the wearer, a declaration of will, a celebration of love.
Hong Kong-based Pilar Cano Romero studied Fine Arts at Sevilla University. Upon graduating in 2007, she continued her interest in the Art scene and design and she got a Master’s Degree in Exhibition Space and Museography at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and a Master’s Degree in Graphic Design, all the while waitressing by night.
She spent four years doing branding for different brands and collaborating with artists, with projects that gave her the opportunity to work in other countries as Peru or Portugal.
Pilar left Spain due to the Economic Crisis and arrived to Hong Kong in February 2013. Through the difficult process of adjusting to a new life, in a different country with a totally different culture, her jewellery -all inherited and special pieces with high sentimental value- became powerful objects with the property of connecting her with her roots, they were totems that acted as a symbolic armour, charged of strength and protection. She knew then that she wanted to create pieces that inspired others on their journey.
Since Pilar’s background has always been linked with the art and design world, she seeks to continue collaborating with professionals from different areas. It’s very important that the vision of other creatives enriches and helps the brand to evolve, creating a community where the support and the admiration between creatives is essential to communicate our reality, representing all the views in the most sincere and beautiful way.
Since her arrival in Hong Kong she worked as graphic designer and art curator, all the while dreaming of her collection and creating it by night.
With an obsession about art, iconography and memorabilia, SANTAVANITAS was officially launched in Madrid in December 2018.
Tradition, heritage and craftsmanship are a very important part of the core’s brand, so although it would have been easier to produce in Asia, Pilar decided to make her jewellery back in Spain, more specifically in Córdoba, a city with centuries of experience in jewellery making with the most eclectic background.
Mixing past and future, every piece is designed from the latest 3D techniques and crafted by local artisans through the old process of lost wax casting.
The process is slow and the productions are small, but always responsible, sustainable and human. Pilar wanted to create a brand that is rooted in a purpose beyond aesthetics, contemporary heirlooms that make the wearer feel empowered, protected, stronger. We all feel vulnerable and lost every now and then and we all have a fetish object to which we entrust ourselves in those moments.
SANTAVANITAS is not limited by gender, it moves between parallel worlds that represent different faces, all of them real, valid and unique. This is a genderless brand simply because she doesn’t want this to be part of the equation. Masculine and feminine, both are always present in Pilar’s personal aesthetics, for her there are no divisions and she thinks that it is something totally alien to each individual’s sexuality.
Pilar was born in Úbeda, a small Renaissance town in the South of Spain. Raised in the Catholic faith, although she’s not a believer, the respect for tradition, religion, mythology and popular customs are very present in SANTAVANITAS aesthetics, the same way that they are part of herself and her cultural heritage.