- Brenda Schoenfeld was born in Taxco, Mexico into a dynasty of legendary artisans. Her late uncle’s were famous master silversmiths known since 1946 as “Los Castillo’s”, While her grandmother, fashion designer, Tachi Castillo. Provided visiting european aristocracy and sophisticated fashion conscious American women With beautiful extravagant couture wardrobes.
- Brenda’s formative years were an amalgamation of artist, materials, design, form, detail, and craftsmanship, a combination which significantly influenced her expressive styles as a designer
- Brenda’s fascination with design was nourished and cultivated while exploring her fertile ideas in the renowned Taxco workshops.
- Initially brenda experimented creating exclusive jewelry pieces for personal friends, and by 1990 requests for her creations grew dramatically, leading to the opening of her first signature boutique in Dallas, Texas. Brenda was very soon recognized as a source for uniquely feminine and finely articulated silver jewelry. The success of her flagship boutique sparked the interest of major national retailers and encouraged Brenda to expand her collection into the wholesale market. By 1992, “Brenda Schoenfeld” jewelry was selling throughout the united states in over 2,000 locations.
- Living in Italy provided close access to artistically stimulating cities and provinces, throughout Europe and North Africa. She has successfully achieved a balance between her silver pieces handmade in Taxco and her dramatically inspired creations made in the workshops in Florence, Italy.
- During this time Brenda also began an additional design journey of passionately restoring, constructing, and remodeling several personal Villas within Tuscany. In the Villa projects she was able to express additional artistic image and form, and designing unique objects and creating moods.
- The culmination of these artisan projects resulted in beautiful, visually stimulating homes, sanctuaries, and inviting spaces. After having lived in Florence, Italy for the past 18 years Brenda has now come back to live in her beloved United States, The country that nurtured her entrepreneurial dreams, gave her confidence and support, encouraged her to express herself, and enthusiastically welcomed her as a young designer in 1989.
- Brenda has re-established her satellite workshop in her native Taxco, Mexico where she schedules commutes to from USA to guide her active production. Her Taxco atelier is the base for her craftsman to produce the newest collections, the unexpected, a new aesthetic balancing both powerful forms and splendor.
- Brenda Schoenfeld burst onto the fashion scene in the late 1980’s with an assortment of luxurious jewelry-inspired belts handmade in her family’s silver workshops in Taxco, Mexico. She began dabbling with making unique pieces of jewelry for friends, an experiment that quickly grew into a full collection inspired by demand. Brenda’s distinctive namesake silver adornments were soon carried by such top fashion retailers as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and over 2,000 specialty stores in the U.S. and Canada.
- Brenda opened her eponymous flagship in 1990 on Lovers Lane in Dallas, Texas.
- Relocating to Florence in 1996 inspired Brenda to evolve her brand further by offering commissioned designs made of gold and precious gems by experienced Italian artisans. She is capable of expressing her vision in endless forms, attracting an international, high profile clientele. Whether crafted in her native land of silver or of gold in Florence, Brenda’s jewelry is timeless.
- In 1939, the young Castillo brothers Miguel, Coco, Antonio, Chato and their cousin, Salvador, began working as apprentices in the Taxco workshop of American-born artist William Spratling, who is widely acknowledged for his important influence on 20th century Mexican silver design. Having learned from a master, the Castillo brothers established their own silversmith workshop in 1946 under the name Los Castillo. Inspired by the heritages of the Toltec, Aztec, and Maya peoples, their innovative, award-winning designs became known throughout Mexico and Latin America and were widely exhibited in the Americas and Europe. Their works of art were exhibited throughout the Americas and Europe. They were recognized and celebrated with five Mexico Presidential Awards.
- Brenda’s first cousin Emilia Castillo grew up playing in the wonderful Taxco silver workshop of her father, Antonio Castillo, watching him and her uncles design and craft beautiful housewares and jewelry. Surrounded by silver, copper, iron, gemstones and tools, Emilia began creating toys and fun objects. She dove right into the family business, developing a new, patented technique for applying silver to porcelain.Her appreciation for nature, which is grounded in the magnificent waterfall, gardens and wildlife surrounding the Los Castillo workshop, inspires her magnificent work. Every piece is entirely hand made in accordance with the tradition of Los Castillo, Many notables have commissioned her to create works for special occasions and for prominent individuals, including His Holiness Pope John Paul II, presidents of the Republic of Mexico, HRH Prince Charles and various heads of state. Emilia is a two-time winner of the top award at the National Silver Festival, the most prestigious silver design competition in México.
- Cristina Romo was born in Mexico City and reared amid the beautiful flora, fauna and waterfall of the family homestead in Taxco. Her mother, Emilia Castillo, promptly introduced her to the world of design and metalsmithing, teaching her the ancient techniques she had learned from her father, maestro Antonio Castillo. Cristina Romo’s passion for nature manifests in her stunning, lovingly resolved contemporary designs.
- Brenda’s beloved grandmother Tachi Castillo was the famed fashion designer who created the timeless “Mexican look.” Her innovative design revolutionized the way Mexican clothing was perceived by the world, establishing her as a key player in the international fashion industry. Tachi Castillo started in the mid 1930’s and her fashion styles made a lasting impression that spanned for over 5 decades. Tachi, combined colors, fabrics, native prints and embroidery, with modern tailoring creating a unique style, that would become the famous “Mexican Look”, favored and imitated by thousands. Famous personalities who followed Tachi’s fashion were: Frida Kahlo, Paulette Godard, Lana Turner, Joan Fontaine, Dolores del Rio, Maria Felix, Brigitte Bardot, Princess Anne, and many more. Fun, feminine and romantic, Tachi’s deft blend of modern tailoring with native prints, embroidery, colors and fabrics created a unique style that was favored and imitated by thousands. Inspired by the artistic movements of the era and the promotion of Mexican nationalism, Tachi, created stylized versions of native costumes that appealed to the artists and stars of her time. Her cotton pin tucked dresses became the hallmark of her brand and were world renowned as the signature Mexican wedding dress.
- Brenda’s cousin Michele Michele was born in Taxco and grew up in an astonishing multicultural family from different corners of Mexico and the world. From birth she was exposed to different cultures, food and languages and became a fluent speaker of Spanish, English, Italian and French. Michelle studied fashion design in Rome at the Istituto Europeo di Design. She worked as head designer for a Roman fashion firm before and after she graduated and also had the opportunity to design costumes for a small film directed by Mauro Borrelli. Michele so enjoyed storytelling through wardrobing that it became her passion. This led her to serve as a customer on Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather: Part III. Michele now works in Los Angeles as a costume designer for film and television and is a member of the Costume Designers Guild.