Designers Robin Basile and John Pape have worked in fashion since 1998 as fashion editors and photographers. Robin spent nearly half of her life in the fashion industry as a makeup artist and wardrobe stylist before becoming a fashion editor and photographer for a regional lifestyle magazine. In 2009 Robin left her position at the magazine to work for a local jewelry company. Her role there was to create a new division for the company to attract more of a fashion savvy clientele. Robin, along with her husband John, founded, conceived, designed and promoted the entirely new division of the jewelry company. After a whirlwind 9 months of phenomenal success, Robin & John decided to branch out on their own to continue their designs under their own name - BASILE&PAPE.
John cuts, bends, shapes and finishes most components in their pieces by hand. What might look like a simple hinge on a necklace or cuff can take an hour or more to make by hand. It is exacting, tedious, and physically and mentally demanding work. John happily invests his own sweat equity in their creations every day. He works hand-in-hand with Robin throughout the entire process.
BASILE&PAPE doesn't ship off their designs to China or Mexico to be mass-produced cheaply with inferior materials and shoddy workmanship. They sweat every single detail from the initial design all the way to the last detail of production on every single piece of jewelry that they create. Robin and John will not allow their taste-level to be compromised by shoddy workmanship from disinterested foreign factories.
In the end, it costs BASILE&PAPE more money and time to produce their jewelry than it would if they farmed the work out to foreign factories, but that doesn't matter to them. Their endeavor isn't about getting rich by churning out mass-produced, throw-away trinkets. Instead, BASILE&PAPE represents a labor of love between two people. Their priority is in the art, the taste-level and the craftsmanship.
Robin and John are a true team in every sense of the word. They collaborate on designs and every other aspect of their business's strategy. Robin's club days in New York City and Miami Beach has been a major inspiration throughout her career as a Fashion Editor and designer. Basile says. "When I was in my 20s, I was a major club queen and was a D.J. and eccentric jewelry was a mandatory part of my nightly wardrobe, so designing dramatic jewelry comes naturally for me. John and I share the same design aesthetic, so our collaborations are always smooth."
Celebrities like Beyonce, Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Roland, Demi Lovato, Fergie, Britney Spears, Tyra Banks, Jessica Alba and more have been seen wearing BASILE&PAPE in major publications, red carpet events & music videos. Editor in Chief of Allure Magazine Linda Wells accompanied by Creative Director Paul Cavaco chose BASILE&PAPE's signature Chiarro Pyramide Necklace as her statement neck piece for the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty Gala at the Metropolitan in NYC in 2011 - the most prestigious fashion event of the year.
In addition to designing the jewelry, Basile and Pape conceived and photographed and styled the entire contents of their website and lookbook. They are truly a hands-on team.