Annie Basulto’s Cubannie Links gives fashion lovers something that they can feel. Her jewelry line is sharp enough to cut and glistens brightly with an envy inducing edginess. Glitzy neon-colored leather, bold statement rings and high-gloss gold chains with funky charms are among the standouts of the Links collection. For those with a taste for foreign cultures, these Cuban inspired designs will make your mouth water. Whether dainty or bulky, metal or nylon, you can have it your way. Who doesn’t appreciate fashion that caters to the senses and the needs of the consumer?
Hailing from Miami, Florida, Annie is a Cuban-American jewelry designer who has been blessed with the Midas touch. The name of the line is combination of her nationality and first name—Cuban Annie, and has been picking up steam ever since the 2007 launch. Basulto first started jewelry making as a hobby and now the line has gained popularity amongst culture femmes Rihanna, M.I.A., Alicia Keys and Tyra Banks.
Bullet earrings, glock-laced rosaries and four-finger rings make the line both unconventional and alluring. Cubannie Links is known for its whimsical items and Basulto’s streetwear consumers have grown quite the appetite. The Fall/Winter 2009-2010 “Inner Goddess” collection is still blazing, but Basulto anticipates a larger response in her future lines. It seems as though Basulto knows exactly what the urban fashionista seeks, and proves she can deliver.
25 Magazine: Tell me what Cubannie Links means to you.
Annie Basulto: CL means happiness, financial opportunity and a legacy (hopefully)!
25: Where does your love for jewelry stem from? How did it all begin?
Annie: I’ve always loved jewelry and always owned tons of accessories, but to say I thought I was going to be a jewelry designer or own a company, I would have laughed at you for not knowing me well enough. Apparently I didn’t even know me well enough. But the truth is, as it will always be my honest answer, it all began out of desperation to not work at job I don’t love for people who don’t appreciate me. New York has a special air about it. You can really do anything. New York has that survival air you can breathe in and it changes everything. Desperation. Motivation. That’s how it started.
Photo courtesy of Cubannie Links
25: What is the inspiration behind your daring and edgy pieces?
Annie: I am obviously inspired by the same things many designers are inspired by, but I have to admit I don’t follow the molds for conventional thinking. I just make jewelry that I would wear and I do wear.
25: You’ve been receiving amazing notoriety to say your line is only a little under 3 years old, why do you think people are so receptive to your collections?
Annie: CL will be 3 in July 2010. It speaks to everyone. Although there are pieces that more mature woman wouldn’t wear, there are definitely pieces for every type of girl: conservative, edgy, and glamorous.
25: How does it feel when you have stars like Alicia Keys, Rihanna, and Tyra Banks wearing your jewelry or your items are featured in top magazine publications?
Annie: It’s an amazing feeling. It’s a feeling you can describe as your child winning an Oscar or your sister becoming the President. It’s an achievement that happens through my work-its own entity.
Photo courtesy of Cubannie Links
25: What impact do you think Cubannie Links is making on the fashion and jewelry industry?
Annie: Gosh I wish an industry big shot would tell me what impact I am making in the fashion industry. As far as I can see, there are many supportive people who love the collection and those are the testaments that mean most to me.
25: Where do you see Cubannie Links going in the future?
Annie: CL has continued to expand internationally and that has really been a great fete. Mostly getting in department stores like Bloomingdale’s or Macy’s is something I hope to soon achieve.
25: Any advice for those with creativity brewing under their skin, but are too afraid to reach for their dreams?
Annie: Experiment, network, take risks, take classes, explore, travel, do research…anything you can do to expand you creative juices will be a great way to find your style and specific interest.