DUNGEONS & DRAGONS at 50: RockLove CEO Allison Cimino on what inspires her intricate designs

Why RockLove CEO Allison Cimino always creates D&D pieces that open, move, or reveal…

Allison, you’re the Founder and Designer at RockLove… Among other things, you make DUNGEONS & DRAGONS inspired jewellery! For the uninitiated, what kind of thing?
Our DUNGEONS & DRAGONS and RockLove jewellery line draws inspiration from the game’s rich lore. We offer pieces inspired by the 12 basic character classes, plus Dungeon Master, iconic monsters and artefacts – and a capsule of props as seen on-screen in the feature film DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: Honor Among Thieves.

We’ll have to include some pictures here – maybe side-by-side with some of your concept sketches… I want people to see how intricate they are! And from what are they made?
Thank you! They’re some of our most elaborate sculpts to date; they have some quite innovative articulated components… They’re handcrafted in nickel-free sterling silver. From chunky unisex rings featuring fearsome creatures like the Red Dragon and the Beholder, to the Fighter Sword and Shield and the Cleric Vial, the range caters to fans seeking to embody their own personal relationship with the game.

Allison Cimino, RockLove, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, Hasbro, Fashion, Film & TV

They’re incredible. Which of these should we home in on?
Well… Among our proudest creations are the Bag of Holding Necklace, in which the sack’s front flap hinges open to reveal an empty compartment… There’s also the spreadable Dungeon Master Screen Necklace, a wearable tribute to the game’s master storytellers.

Oh my days, look at that! What’s the most obscure piece you’ve made, Allison?
One piece that deserves more attention is our Mimic Necklace. This intricately sculpted pendant immortalises one of the creature’s favourite disguises… A wooden treasure chest! The toothy pendant includes magnets to keep it closed when worn, and the inside is engraved with the playful message, ‘Definitely not a Mimic.’

“I immersed myself in Wizards of the Coast’s epic asset library.”

Brilliant! Tell me: what’s the process for designing jewellery like this?
RockLove prides itself on only designing for fandoms that our team loves. My first step when ideating jewellery – for any franchise – typically begins with a deep dive into the property. I draw inspiration from the most beloved aspects of the characters and world-building… I’m never sure where inspiration will take me; sometimes it’s the low-hanging fruit – accessible imagery we all know and love… At other times, it’s the ‘deep cuts’ – the jokes and references that only the most devoted fans would recognise.

Allison Cimino, RockLove, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, Hasbro, Fashion, Film & TV

And for DUNGEONS & DRAGONS specifically?
For DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, I delved into my and my husband’s own experiences with the game… He was the kid tag-along to his older brother’s crew, and then became the DM to his own group in the 90s. On my side, I was interested in Live Action Role Playing as a teenager… I also used to perform at our local Renaissance Faire through the summer, so my friends and I did more of a live-action re-enactment over tabletop. Anyway, I pulled out my husband’s Players’ Handbooks and original Fiend Folio, and I immersed myself in Wizards of the Coast’s epic asset library.

Once inspired, I sketch out initial designs. Then, with the Wizards of the Coast team, I’ll refine the concepts until they capture the essence of the source material. After approvals, we move to sculpting and sampling, ensuring each piece meets RockLove’s standards of detail and craftsmanship. We also pay close attention to packaging – designing our beautiful Collector’s Book Box…
That’s reminiscent of the classic Handbooks, and even includes a travel jewellery pouch brilliantly featuring Bag of Holding artwork.

“It speaks to humanity’s timeless love of fantasy, world-building, and creativity…”

So having been a fan yourself, what do you think is the appeal of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS? Why is it still popular after 50 years?
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS has endured for over 50 years because it speaks to humanity’s timeless love of fantasy, world-building, and creativity, all while fostering camaraderie. It’s a game in which the more theatrical and wilder you are, the better – and the only limit is your imagination. The bonds forged around the tabletop transcend age and time.

Great answer. You have a very creative vibe, Allison… What’s your background?
I’ve always been most interested in sci-fi, fantasy, and history, with a special love for antiquated fashion and crafting techniques. I pursued studies in metalsmithing in Florence, Italy, thereafter honing my skills in creating wearable art that tells a story…

Allison Cimino, RockLove, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, Hasbro, Fashion, Film & TV

Originally, I felt more like a craftsman than a designer, and when I started RockLove, I created every piece by hand in my home studio. As I gained more experience and began working with a larger team, I was able to expand RockLove’s technical capabilities and design more freely.

Which accounts for the intricacy, presumably? The articulation?
Yes – the defining aspect of my work is incorporating elements of engineering: pieces that open, move, or reveal. These add layers of storytelling that draw the wearer closer to the fandom. I like to imagine that each piece serves as a conversation starter; when you demonstrate how your jewellery spins or moves, it becomes the perfect segue into discussing your shared love for the fandom.

What inspires you, Allison?
My passion for history and fantasy realms has always been a driving force in my creative journey. It’s this authentic blend of old-world training and personal passion that fuels RockLove’s artistic style, allowing me to capture the integrity and magic of these beloved worlds.

Fantastic. Let’s close things off with a big old plug, Allison: if people want to take a look at these pieces – and they really should, they’re amazing – where do they go?
Thanks, Deej. You can see all the D&D products on our website: RockLove.com… You can also find us across social as @rocklovejewelry.

Allison Cimino, RockLove, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, Hasbro, Fashion, Film & TV

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