25 years after beginning her solo journey as Donna Distefano Ltd. she releases Rock Ready, a collection of rock-themed jewelry, adding to her selection in her New York City atelier.
Highlighting this silver anniversary is a silver rock-themed necklace inspired by the Blade Runner guitar that Aerosmith lead guitarist Joe Perry played in the famed 1986 music video Walk This Way” with Run DMC. That culture-shifting video broke down racial barriers—MTV had up until then only played Michael Jackson—and catapulted Aerosmith across musical genres.
The actual guitar will be on exhibit at the Met’s “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock and Roll” exhibition, (April 8, 2019 through October 1, 2019). The sterling silver Joe Perry Blade Runner commemorative guitar pendant is a true replica, down to six fine silver wire strings and tiny silver dials.
The guitar necklace will be on view at the Donna Distefano atelier as a limited-edition item. “This necklace pays homage to that guitar and also to a friend,” says Distefano, who’s become the de facto jeweler for bands like Aerosmith, plus The Hollywood Vampires featuring Aerosmith’s Perry, Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp. Distefano came of age at clubs in New York City in the ‘80s while studying jewelry design at F.I.T., and rockers like Debbie Harry would see Distefano’s jewelry at Danceteria or the Mudd Club and acquire pieces. Today, Distefano designs jewelry for many rockers and their spouses.
“Donna Distefano’s jewelry is rock and roll jewelry at its finest,” proclaims Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, who is setting up residency with Aerosmith in Las Vegas beginning April 6, 2019 at the Park Theatre at Park MGM. Distefano’s meticulously hand-made jewelry has always resonated with the Perry’s who appreciate handmade and authentic works of art. Distefano will have 15 new pieces at her New York City atelier paying homage to rock and roll and the shared motifs that have long inspired music and jewelry. Included in the collection are sterling silver Elixir of Love rings—Renaissance-style “poison rings” that flip open to hold tiny possessions. “I like to make sterling silver precious by adding diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires, and using the same techniques I’d use for my rich yellow 22-karat pieces,” says Distefano.
Other rock-inspired jewelry includes handmade sterling silver chains as well as skull, crown, flower and snake motif pieces, partially inspired by Henry Weston Keen’s drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.