When Jason McNary first walked into the production facility of Uno de 50, he knew it was a special place. During a visit to the company headquarters near Madrid, Spain, he saw employees handmaking hundreds of styles of jewelry produced by the decades old brand.
“The level of detail as well as the quality control, that is what won me over,” said McNary during a recent visit to Atlanta.
He joined the company as CEO of North America just a few years after the brand began expanding into the U.S. market with a single store in Miami. There are now 24 branded stores across the country including Atlanta where Uno de 50 opened its first boutique at Lenox Square in 2016.
“Atlanta was a market where given our performance in the South it has been very strong for us. We felt it would naturally be a good decision for us to open there based on our experience in Florida,” said Roxanne Whittaker, marketing and communications director.
Already, the brand has resonated with locals.
In Atlanta, bracelets have been among the biggest sellers, Whittaker said. And the unique nature of the designs has drawn in local shoppers searching for standout accessories that are different from what everyone else is wearing.
Uno de 50, which means “one of 50” in Spanish launched in the late 1990s. In the early days, each design was a limited-edition run numbered from one to 50, giving a level of exclusivity and uniqueness to the brand and resulting in the company name.
When designer, José Azulay, acquired the brand he replaced traditional jewelry making traditions with a new process that still held to the brand’s DNA of original, creative design but allowed for them to produce on a larger scale.
Jewelry makers for Uno have the option of working in the production facility or working from home using pre-organized kits containing all the materials needed for a particular design.
Azulay’s designs are inspired by forms found in nature and are influenced by emotions and feelings. Two collections per year are rolled out in phases at stores around the world including some limited edition designs.
The newest collection for spring/summer 2018 includes four themes -- Ocean, Jungle, Ice and Oasis -- with each design reflecting the colors and shapes of each theme.
Other favorites include the Classics collection, items from the archives that are reissued each season as well as items released in traditional limited edition runs of 50. There is also the Genderless collection which offers items that can be worn by men or women.
Uno de 50 jewelry is made of silver or gold plated alloy and styles may feature a mix of materials ranging from leather to Swarovski crystal. Most prices are in the range of $70 to $200 and up.
While the brand appeals to fashion forward wearers who don’t follow trends, with more than 500 unique items for men and women ranging from rings, bracelets, watches, necklaces and more, McNary said there is something for everyone.
“Atlanta is one of the markets that really loves strong international fashion brands,” McNary said. “When people find us, they fall in love with the brand and what Uno de 50 stands for and that is really creativity.”