Wonderland.

SPONGEBOB GOLD × MFP

Jewellery designer Maria Francesca Pepe spills on the new character collab.

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Debuted at London Fashion Week back in February – and introduced to the Wonderland shop last week – SpongeBob Gold is the animated character collab of dreams: six contemporary designers tapped by Nickelodeon to do their thing with Mr SquarePants and his crew.

While Bobby Abley reimagined the Bikini Bottom dweller in his hero character sweatshirts and Peter Jensen went in hard for the polite graphic tees and repeat print womenswear pieces, jewellery designer Francesca Maria Pepe went bold with gold. Celebrating the label’s decade anniversary in tandem with the collab, below she fills us in on the best bits.

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What makes SpongeBob SquarePants such an icon?

I reckon anything that reaches “iconic” status is mainly ‘cause despite its uniqueness, people can see themselves in it; SpongeBob is one of us, plus he’s gorgeous, and a lot of fun! I also think that graphically, the way he’s been designed makes him so memorable – my son cannot resist staring at his big blue eyes and biting his tiny arms and legs.
 
So what led to your involvement with the SpongeBob Gold project?

I felt it was an instant match! I have always been inspired by pop culture in my work, and was so thrilled to have SpongeBob be part of a collaboration with the Maria Francesca Pepe brand! His Gold celebration just happened to be at the same time MFP is hitting 10 years. It simply made total sense to celebrate together.
 
Can you talk us through the pieces you’ve made for the collection?

I have created an exclusive capsule made of interchangeable engraved and enamel ‘Moody’ charms: each charm shows SpongeBob in one of his moods – happy, looney, in love – so you can basically wear your own daily mood either on a band ring, a neck cuff, a bracelet, or hoop earring. I like the idea of customising your own jewellery pieces. I also created a bold rapper chain with a solid gold miniature SpongeBob pendant – that has got moving hands and feet! Probably my favourite piece. And a statement cuff engraved with Spongey’s big blue eyes on it.

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What was the biggest challenge you found in marrying your aesthetic with SpongeBob’s?

Possibly conceiving pieces of jewellery that felt so special and cool that could be worn despite not being a teen. I wanted to make pieces my usual customers would also love and wear.
 
And from the other designers involved, are there any pieces you’ve got your eye on?

I loved Suecomma Bonnie’s shoes. I just happen to love the brand itself and found its take on SpongeBob – the decorated sneakers – was genius.
 
Finally, which animated character would next be a dream to receive the MFP treatment?

I always loved Doraemon ‘cause he is so sweet! But also doing a capsule for The Simpsons would be a lot of fun – I’m already visualising Marge’s high blue hairdo worn as drop earrings!

SpongeBob Gold is available to buy now – here – or head to the Wonderland shop, 192 Piccadilly, London W1J 9ET.

SPONGEBOB GOLD × MFP

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