Silvio Hidalgo Stacks & Stacks of Animal-Inspired Jewelry
After graduating from engineering school, Silvio Hidalgo went to work for IBM. Seeking a new direction he moved to Monte Carlo in the ‘80s and found it in the famous “million dollar parties” given by Cartier and other big jewelers. Captured by the colors and inspired by the work of Marlena Bay and others, this self-taught jewelry designer made a splash with his animal bracelets and has never looked back. Animal Fair chatted with him at his Virgin Islands’ home to discuss his jewelry line and more.
“I did an homage to David Webb with frogs and it was a a hit,” said Hidalgo. “ Then we did turtles and ladybugs and they were all huge hits. Later, I was on a cruise in Antarctica and I saw 20,000 penguins lined up to march to the sea. That inspired me and it’s still one of my favorite bracelets.”
He continues to draw inspiration both from the island world around him and from his travels. “I live three minutes from the sea, so I always get to see these amazing things: octopus, dolphins. And when I travel I am always being inspired by something I see, textiles, architecture, even ads.”
For the animal lover that wants to incorporate that part of their personality into their style, Hidalgo recommends starting small and building. “I have in every category something with animals. Some of the rings we do now are more like a profile, almost a symbol. I would start there, with something subtle and then build from there.”
Hidalgo grew up in Cuba, where he had all kinds of animals: “I had my horse, my dog, my white rabbit, and a dozen canaries.” He plans to soon get a live-in housekeeper so that he can have pets at this home. “I just felt like I was always taking them [my dogs] to a kennel, because I travel so much and I didn’t want to leave them alone.”
The most important thing, Hidalgo says, is to give enough love to the animals in our lives: “I remember in Monte Carlo, I was having dinner with Princess Antoinette and her daughters. And she had this sign that said, ‘Dogs deserve better people’ and that just struck me. All they want from us is love and some food!”