ROX950 a universe in expansion
By Alain Planells
Each ROX950 creation is made with simplicity. The brand was created just over five years ago by Cuban jewellery maker Rosana Vargas.
The artisan thinks that this candor is directly related to her character and she confesses, with a girlish laugh, that it hasn’t been that long since she began wearing makeup, earrings, a watch and even her own pieces. This aura reaches each one of her designs, with a touch of elegance and the desire to convey a story.
“It isn’t only the simplicity, but what it carries – a message, an aspiration, an idea and the desire to communicate. We are mostly led by aesthetic laws because in the end what we do is art, but they are pieces that people will wear, and all that has to come together in a way that works and that attracts the public”, Rosana remarks.
The artist likes pieces that last a lifetime, which is one of the brand’s distinguishing features. Hence, while leather pieces may deteriorate, they can always be replaced.
“Another choice was that of semiprecious stones because they can be purchased easily, are not as expensive as emeralds and rubies, and, at the same time, can be marketed more easily. In addition they have great properties such as the variety of tones, textures, colors, shapes and they are for life, in addition to having their own energy”.
Her collections reveal a persistent preference for geometric forms. “I think that’s what I extrapolated from engineering to metal working, and in fact I chose this career for the geometric forms, perfect finishes, lines, polished surfaces”, says Rosana.
“Derivatives of that propensity, circles and spheres are perfect to recreate that particular vision of life in which, even if we have a future-oriented mind and look forward, we always travel back to the past to nourish ourselves and go on”. As such her first collections including “Seducción” and “Lo bello lo llevo dentro” have become Rox classics, stamped with the mark of the main designer, meanwhile, after the arrival of her spouse, her more recent work is more that of a team and not a one-person effort.
“He added what I call photographic instinct, in addition to wanting to leave photography and go to other dimensions. Hence, all the pieces were joined with movement, with volume, outdated, hinged... a mix of two minds and four hands,” Vargas says, satisfied. From this evolution emerged the Crucero 2017 collection, delayed for over a year because of the complex search for the stones to design it as they were very specific.
She recalls with relief that it was in a little shop in New York, when they had almost lost hope, that they found a few and then found other varieties of shades and colours with other vendors, because what they wanted to do was keep the original idea with stones designed for that collection.
“Crucero ((cruise ship in English) takes us to the port, to the chains that bind it to the dock, and at the same time evokes travel; we are Cubans that decided to stay, we will do the return trip. It is the illusion of a continuing journey around the world by sea, because it has to do with the sea, blue, and returning... circles,” she says passionately.
A long search for a masculine image for the brand now embodied by Cuban musician Alain Pérez almost ended at the same time. There is already a collection inspired by ADN, their latest album, brewing and loaded with the typical rhythmicity of Cuban popular music.
Attentive to each option on the market and willingly to share each new venture, Rox intends to open online sales in the United States soon, while opening her next store in the Sheraton Hotel, to add to the recently opened one at the new Manzana Kempinski Hotel in Havana.
According to Vargas, Cuba has good opportunities for this business. You have to know which doors to knock on, when to go and when to stop...paths Rox has already taken.