Betony Vernon

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Betony Vernon
Betony Vernon.png
Betony Vernon with her book, The Boudoir Bible - The Uninhibited Sex Guide for Today (Rizzoli)
Born (1968-08-15) August 15, 1968 (age 50)
Tazewell, Virginia
Residence Paris, France
Nationality American, Italian
Education Virginia Commonwealth University, Domus Academy
Occupation Designer, Writer
Known for Design and sexual anthropology
Label(s) B.V. Betony Vernon, Paradise Found Fine Erotic Jewelry
Spouse(s) Barnaba Fornasetti (married 2004–2014)

Betony Vernon (born August 15, 1968) is an American author, designer and self-described 'sexual anthropologist' based in Paris. Her works in precious metal and marble are inspired by the human body, eroticism and sexual well-being.[1] Vernon is known for creating luxurious, durable and safe Jewel - Tools as a response to the sex toy industry.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Tazewell, Virginia, Vernon is the third of four daughters. Her mother Ann Dearsley Vernon, was a British civil rights activist and art historian, and her father was an American pilot and inventor.[3]

In 1990 she graduated Cum Laude from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Art History and a double minor in Religious Studies and Goldsmithing.[1]

After graduation, Vernon moved to Florence, Italy to direct the metal-smithing program at Fuji Studio Art Workshop.[4]

In 1992, Vernon developed her first erotic jewelry collection, naming it Sado-Chic.[5]

After 5 years in Florence, she moved to Milan.[3] Here she earned a master’s degree in Industrial Design from Domus Academy.[6] At the same time she founded her first design studio “Atelier B.V.” in Milan and she created one-of-a-kind objects for Luisa Via Roma.[7]


In 1995 and 1998 she designed table objects for Florentine silversmith Pampaloni. During that time, she was also appointed as Design Director for the Italian interior design house Fornasetti.[8][9]

Vernon has collaborated with several fashion designers, including Missoni, Alain Tondowski, Gianfranco Ferré and Jean-Paul Gaultier.[10][11] In 2006, she designed a neckpiece for Swarovski’s Runway Rocks project that was later used by Lady Gaga for her Paparazzi video.[12]

In 2006, Vernon worked with Los Angeles-based photographer Jeff Burton in the museum house of Carlo Mollino in Turin, Italy.[13]

Vernon made “L’Envol” in 2008, a short video for SHOWstudio and her first collaboration with Nick Knight.[14] Betony wrote, hosted, and co-produced “The Boudoir” for MTV Italy. The episodes aired on Love Line, a show dedicated to sexual education.[15]

In November 2012, Vernon designed the Origin Chair, a functional sculpture carved in statuary marble from Monte Altissimo, Italy. It was unveiled in December 2012 at the Triennale Museum of Design and has since traveled to MUDAC - Museum of Design and Contemporary Art, Lausanne.[16][17] In November 2015, the work was exhibited in Vernon’s carte blanche for the Gewerbemuseum, Winterthur.[18][19]

In 2017, Vernon unveils her Boudoir Box (1999-2000, leather case and sterling silver objects) for the first time to the general public as part of the Medusa exhibition at the City of Paris Museum of Modern Art.[20]

In October 2017 Betony was interviewed and photographed for The New York Times in her Paris atelier Eden, where she receives clients for bespoke fittings.[21]

Personal life[edit]

From 2004 to 2014, Vernon was married to Barnaba Fornasetti, son of Piero Fornasetti. She lives in Paris, France.[22]



  • Vernon, Betony (2013). The Boudoir Bible: The Uninhibited Sex Guide for Today. Rizzoli. ISBN 0847840166. 


  1. ^ a b Colman, David (August 23, 2013). "Betony Vernon's Guardian Angel". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  2. ^ "Betony Vernon: Jewel Tools". Rude Magazine. Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  3. ^ a b Zahm, Olivier (2007). "Betony Vernon". purple Magazine. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  4. ^ "Ana Belle - I studied jewelry techniques here with Betony... | Facebook". Retrieved 2016-10-11. 
  5. ^ "Sado Chic Set". Arcane Gallery. Retrieved 2016-10-11. 
  6. ^ "Betony Vernon". Show Studio. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  7. ^ Luisaviaroma. "Betony Vernon -". Retrieved 2016-10-11. 
  8. ^ "Q&A with Designer, Author and Sex Educator Betony Vernon". Time. February 13, 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  9. ^ "Hey Fornasetti Fanatics! More Fun Collaborations & Custom Designs". Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  10. ^ "Jean Paul Gaultier @ Paris Womenswear A/W 09". Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  11. ^ Hanania, Estelle (November 23, 2012). "Betony Vernon: Sex & Design". Nowness. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  12. ^ Phoenix, Helia (April 8, 2010). Lady Gaga: Just Dance: The Biography. Orion Publishing Group. ISBN 1409115704. 
  13. ^ "Casa Museo Carlo Mollino". Purple Magazine. 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  14. ^ "L'Envol (Take Flight)' by Betony Vernon". Show Studio. 16 April 2008. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  15. ^ "Le Boudoir di Betony Vernon - MTV Loveline". Giovanni Consonni. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  16. ^ "Betony's Boudoir". V Magazine. January 23, 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  17. ^ "Nirvana - Strange Forms of Pleasure". Mudac. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  18. ^ "Nirvana - Strange forms of pleasure". Gewerbemuseum. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  19. ^ Festival, Edinburgh International Fashion. "Betony Vernon". Edinburgh International Fashion Festival 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  20. ^ Vernon, Betony. "The Boudoir Box". Flaunt Magazine. 
  21. ^ Fortini, Amanda. [ "A Paris Boudoir Where Everything’s Meant to Be Touched." The New York Times, October 12, 2017.
  22. ^ "Betony Vernon (@BetonyVernon) | Twitter". Retrieved 2016-10-19. 
  23. ^ "MEDUSA - Jewellery and Taboos". Retrieved 2017-07-04. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Madsen, Susanne (18 December 2012). "Let's Talk About Sex". Dazed. Retrieved 2016-09-25. 
  • Stagg, Natasha (23 January 2013). "Betony's Boudoir". V Magazine. Retrieved 2016-09-25. 
  • Nelson, Karin (1 February 2013). "J'adore: Betony Vernon". W. Condé Nast. Retrieved 2016-09-25. 
  • Brenda Strohmaier (2013). "Her mit der Gerte", Welt am Sonntag, p. 44-46, March 17, 2013.

External links[edit]