AceShowbiz - Actress Penelope Cruz has paid tribute to her grandmother with her new Swarovski fine jewellery collection by designing a ring in her honour.
The "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" star officially launched the Atelier Swarovski by Penelope Cruz line at a Paris Couture Week party on Monday night (July 2), when she unveiled the completely sustainable 14-piece collection, and revealed the family connection behind one particular piece.
"I didn't have any jewellery growing up," she told Vogue. "Just a few tiny earrings and a red garnet ring from my grandmother, Modesta."
Penelope recreated the treasured piece with three pear-shaped rubies, surrounded by diamonds, with all of the stones created in a laboratory.
"It was lost or stolen," she explained to The Hollywood Reporter of the family heirloom. "So we did this ring as an homage to that. I've wanted to do this for so long."
The Oscar winner found the perfect partner for the project in company boss Nadja Swarovski after crossing paths last year, when Penelope first learned of the crystal brand's process of creating coveted stones in a lab.
"Before speaking to Nadja I didn't realise that it was possible to create stones in a lab," she admitted to Vogue. "When I saw how much she cares about not creating a negative impact on the environment, it was very inspiring."
And Penelope made sure she was involved in every step of the design process, so she wouldn't have to pretend to love each piece.
"It's not a fake project where you just give your name to a brand, I have been part of every decision," she said. "I don't have to lie about anything in the collection."
Indeed, Penelope has been more than happy to use her own designs to accessorise her red carpet gowns of late, debuting the first few pieces at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
The collection, which features items as pricey as $58,000 (£44,000), is due to hit Swarovski stores in September, but it's not just the rich who will be able to copy Penelope's sleek style - she and Nadja are also working on a lower-priced version of the whole range.
"I want to be able to create things that more people can afford - to be able to do both is great," Cruz smiled.