The series of interviews with women and men who have personalities, story to tell and their own GEM style. They make it happen for themselves all over the world and follow GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla.

Bettina Santa Domingo is your perfect best friend in NYC. She is the girl you want to hang out with and have fun with: young, tomboyish, sweet and strong. An outspoken free-thinker, Bettina stays true to her heart and her style, regardless of the exclusive access she has to the thrilling wold of fashion and celebrity. Always floating around the world, she calls many cities her home. 

Bettina Santo Domingo is one of the faces at the helm of Moda Operandi, a luxury fashion e-tailer headquartered in Manhattan that allows you to pre-order looks straight from the runway months before they hit stores. She is also a documentary film-maker. Bettina is one of those capable young woman exemplifying that if you want to achieve something and work hard for it, it will happen.

Name: Bettina Santo Domingo
Alma Mater: Northeastern University in Boston
Occupation: Media Manager at Moda Operandi
Hometown: Los Angeles

LOCATION AT TIME OF INTERVIEW?: Moda Operandi pop up.  Every time I come to London, it is usually for a short visit. I always check out a new place, but I do admittedly have an accidental routine. I stay at a friend’s in Belgravia, so that is always my base. First, I will go to the V&A, if you have not been to the McQueen exhibit yet, I suggest you run over there. I love to pop into Vicky Sarge to see her treasures. The best kept secret in London is Debbonnaire, it’s an amazing store for unique gifts. If you are lucky enough to get an appointment, you will leave with bags filled with everything from ashtrays to neon lamps. The Moda Operandi Mews is really special (and not just because I work here!) there are always different designers circulating through so you can be sure to be the first to see some of the collections.
IN THE BEGINNING: I really fell into fashion. It was never a focus of mine but I think once you get into it, it’s hard to get out. What I love most is seeing young creative designers. Working at Moda Operandi, you really get to see someone’s career take off, it’s a very thrilling experience. To discover someone and give them a platform to grow.

LAST THING THAT MADE ME LAUGH: I only laugh at inappropriate things, so you will have to ask me in person.

Bettina Santo Domingo

LONDON OR NYC: I can never make up my mind. If you were to ask me in winter, it would be London. But at this very moment, it’s New York. There is an energy in this city that cannot be matched. I love to go to Miss Lily’s on weekends then to Paul’s Baby Grand for a little boogie. The David Zwirner gallery in Chelsea is a great spot to start the Chelsea gallery tours. What is fun about New York is the variety and mix of people. It’s hard to get bored, even harder to sit still.

DEBUT?: I’ve had a few projects at Moda Operandi that I consider my babies. We started with ‘The One That Got Away‘ a series about that one piece of fashion that you wish you had bought. We interviewed Karlie KlossAnna Dello Russo & Giovanna Battaglia, Poppy DelevingneLeandra Medine, Elettra Wiedemann and Caroline Issa.  For the following fashion week, we had a series called ‘The Fashioneasters‘, this was a lot of fun, we interviewed a bunch of little kids and asked them about fashion, it was so successful we did it again for the holidays. Last fashion week we started something that was really exciting for me ‘Fashion Firsts’ , we interviewed Diane von FurstenburgCarlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, Naomi CampbellAndre Leon Talley and Zac Posen. This is a series I really hope to continue because it shows people opening up and speaking about their most vulnerable moments, before they became who they are now.

Bettina Santo Domingo

TOPSHOP OR CHANEL: Why not both. I think it’s important to be able to mix high and low. That’s what differentiates fashion from style.

FIRST JEWELLERY: Aside from some charm bracelets, my mother bought me an aquamarine at the Gem Palace – its one of my favorite stones.

Bettina Santo Domingo

JEWELLERY TRENDS: The choker and the ear cuff are coming back strong. People are getting back into the nineties. Big statement jewellery pieces by big designers such as Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel are also very much en vogue. Nowadays people want to have fun with their jewellery: its about taking crazy pieces and mixing them together.
Bettina Santo Domingo

MY EVERYDAY JEWELLERY: The best designers for every day jewelry are Venyx WorldSabine G and Noor Fares – all three have an amazing ability to create pieces that are both unique and wearable. They are real investment pieces because you will never tire of wearing them.

PERFECT ENGAGEMENT RING: A massive paraiba tourmaline.

Bettina Santo Domingo

ROLEX OR CARTIER: Cartier, only because it reminds me of my grandparents.

MEN JEWELLERY: Medallion or pinkie rings are a definite NO. Anything else might go!

FINE JEWELLERY: Fine jewellery has a lot to do with the quality of craftsmanship. It not just about the size of the precious stone within it. Fine jewellery is all about a piece that you cannot get anywhere else. I love Daniella Villegas for her unique one of a kind creations. Elie Top just launched his fine jewelry collection and it is really unique, there are so many mechanics and things to discover in every item.

Bettina Santo Domingo

JEWELLERY AS AN INVESTMENT:  I absolutely believe in the concept of jewelery as investment, but what is most important is to buy something YOU will want to keep forever.

Bettina Santo Domingo

VINTAGE JEWELLERY: I love vintage anything! However, you have to be careful about what you buy. Vintage jewellery carries with it the soul of the person who used to wear it.

FASHION JEWELLERY: Vicky Sarge is the master of fashion jewelry, she’s been doing it for years. I also love Lanvin pieces for their theatricality. If you are like me and wear a lot of black, fashion jewelry is a staple.

Bettina Santo Domingo

POWER COMES FROM: Confidence in yourself.

WEAPON OF CHOICE: Cyanide and humor.

Bettina Santo Domingo

WILD WISH: More wishes.

COACHELLA OR BURNING MAN: Coachella really does not appeal to me.

PERFECT GETAWAY:  Visiting Burma was unforgettable. Lake Inle and Bagan were the two special highlights. I got a chance to visit that exotic country before it started to change. I also absolutely loved Bangkok, the city which does not seem to appeal to everyone. My fondest memories are in Cartagena, it’s where I spent my childhood.

Bettina Santo Domingo

I would love to hear what you think by leaving me a comment below. Thank you!


I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery. 

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GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.

Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

*Photographed by Julia Flit. Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.

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