Bellissima’s Augie Moschitto saw a future in plastics — Italian Rhodoid plastic, to be precise, also known as acetate — when Benjamin Braddock was still in diapers. Having worked as a stone setter for a large jewelry house and as an optical laboratory technician, Augie was the first of three generations to own and operate fashion jewelry company Bellissima by Moschitto Designs in Jamaica, Queens. For more than 50 years, Augie, his three children, and now his granddaughter, Lisa, have made handcrafted pendants, cocktail rings and bracelets with acetate as a base. Their staying power stems from Bellissima’s clever blending of references, from the colorful bangles sported by club kids in the’80s all the way back to the Art Deco and Bakelite designs of Augie’s heyday.
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