Thursday, March 27th 2014

The Best of Both Worlds: Talking Bags with Reece Solomon

Since 2009, Reece Hudson handbags have embodied classic street style while maintaining the craftsmanship of a luxury product. Every bold, edgy design utilizes the finest materials, ensuring durable, functional wear that’s perfect for daily use. We spoke with the brand’s founder and designer, Reece Solomon, about the importance of quality and the inspiration behind her latest bags.

Shopbop: What inspired you to design handbags?
Reece Solomon: I grew up horseback riding, so I think that really inspired a love of leather craftsmanship from an early age. I always loved handbags, and it interested me that they serve such a functional purpose compared to other aspects of a woman's wardrobe—they conceal a woman's personal possessions. I found it really interesting to design the vessel for that.

SB: One of the goals in your work is to bridge the gap between luxury product and street style. What do you believe to be the most compelling way to do this?
RS: I strive to deliver a product that has easiness to it—to meld the quality of a true luxury product with a bit more of the boldness seen more often in street style without it seeming overworked.

SB: Your bags are handcrafted in Italy from leather and exotic skins, giving them the quality that is central to your brand. What is important to you about this type of craftsmanship?
RS: I love the tradition and history of leatherwork in Italy, so it's amazing to me that my product can be a part of that. It's also incredibly educational to me as a designer. Something that's also important to me in my designs are the details, especially the subtle ones that may only be apparent to the woman who's wearing the bag. But to achieve the subtle details takes a high level of skill and pride for the work, in every stage of the process—from the raw materials, to the hardware, to the final assembly and finishing of a bag.

Day and night Reece Hudson bags.

SB: Which bag in your collection do you think belongs on every woman’s arm?
RS: The Bowery Oversized Clutch. It's such a nice transitional bag and continues to be our bestseller.

SB: What is the best piece of advice on designing you’ve received?               
RS: Don't listen too much to what other people tell you, and don't get wrapped up in comparing your work to others'. That's how all the "greats" worked.

Shop Reece Hudson handbags.

FOLLOW: Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Tuesday, March 25th 2014

Structural Design: Talking Jewelry with Brittany Weiss of W. Britt

Just a few months after a late 2013 launch, W. Britt, the industrial-inspired jewelry line from Brittany Weiss, has become a red carpet staple. Her pieces have strong architectural lines, but maintain a subtle level of softness. We spoke to Brittany about the line’s debut and where she gets her innovative design ideas.

SHOPBOP: You launched your jewelry line in October 2013, but your background includes engineering influences. How does that background influence your designs?
BRITTANY WEISS: After graduating from George Washington University with a BA in art history and fine arts, I went to study in Israel at Shenkar, a design and engineering school. My area of study was jewelry design, but the school as a whole focused on engineering. Because of that, certain ideas and skills were also imparted to me during my time there. The industrial and technical elements that I learned while abroad have definitely inspired my work. I've always been drawn to architecture and elements of urban cityscapes. I like to take pieces from everyday functional design and reinterpret them in different ways.

SB: All of the collections have a unique theme. What’s the inspiration behind each one?
BW: All of my collections have dual meanings. They reference both the construction of the piece as well as the conceptual side of creation. Assembly Line, the name of the full collection, speaks to how things come together in both a literal and conceptual sense. Within Assembly Line, I also sought to tell a story with mini collections. Building Block is the foundation of the collection—fitting because it was the beginning of a journey for me. Pipe Dream is the second phase of the journey—it speaks to striving to accomplish a dream—and is also quite literally inspired by piping and scaffolding. Finally, Raising the Bar serves as a continuation on the scaffolding concept, but more analyzed and dissected. It also references the desire to keep raising the bar with everything that I try to do.

SB: The pieces are both tough and feminine. How do you balance the two sensibilities?
BW: I try to play with contrasting elements, creating a balance between the two, and bringing them together to create a more interesting and strong piece. I love to juxtapose the concept of masculine and feminine. To me, the two sides of the spectrum work to enhance each other.

Industrial-inspired W. Britt jewelry.

SB: Your designs made quite a few appearances on the red carpet this winter, but they work equally well dressed down. How do you work them into your everyday look?
BW: As I design, I try to create pieces that are versatile for many occasions. I wear my pieces while running errands, but the celebrities who are fans have shown that they can be worn just as easily on the red carpet or to a black tie event. On any given day, you can find me in a simple black shirt with my Big Block Necklace and Big Block Studs, but I also love piling on rings for an edgier look.

SB: What is the one W. Britt piece every woman needs in her jewelry collection? Why?
BW: When I designed the Building Block pieces, I worked to develop them so would be extremely versatile. Some styles can be worn as a bracelet or as a choker, giving them duality and the ability to be personalized. I like having options in my wardrobe, especially with my jewelry!

Shop W. Britt jewelry.

FOLLOW: Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Thursday, March 6th 2014

Exclusive Interview: Margaret Zhang

Known for her innovative approach to fashion and ability to mix pieces in a truly unique way, Margaret Zhang of Shine by Three is one stylish—and busy—girl. Since the spontaneous creation of her blog, the student, photographer, and Harper’s Bazaar Australia contributor has quickly made a name for herself in the fashion industry with her fresh and fearless interpretations of the latest trends. We spoke with Zhang about how she stays organized amidst the chaos and the inspiration behind her blog.

Margaret in a Veronica Beard blazer, DKNY x Opening Ceremony tee, GOLDSIGN jeans, 3.1 Phillip Lim sandals, and carrying a Jerome Dreyfuss bag.

Shopbop: What inspired you to start a blog?
Margaret Zhang: Growing up, I was all about the performing arts (dance, music, drama) and visual arts (painting, film, photography), so when chemistry and economics hit high school, I was pretty uninspired to say the least. Shine By Three was a late-night decision to share my artistic inspirations online. For about 6 months I thought I was the only one, but then I found all these other “fashion bloggers,” and realized I’d been living under a rock.

SB: Shine by Three is very well-rounded—the fashion is fresh, the photography is compelling, and the writing is hilarious (besides being informed). What do you love most about the process?
MZ: I love creating an experience and conversation for my readers. Over time, they’ve evolved to have strong opinions about everyday issues, fashion or otherwise. They’re not afraid to write essay-style comments to defend or oppose something I’ve photographed or written about, which I think is fantastic. I make a point of shooting almost all of my own photos, too, which makes the process very much my own. If I mess up, then I reshoot until I have exactly what I’d envisioned for the piece or editorial. Over the past year, I feel like social media has changed the blogging landscape a lot, so this year is about building different tiers and categories of content to keep myself inspired.

SB: Between blogging, writing for Harper’s Bazaar Australia, and school, we’re guessing you stay pretty busy. What is a typical day like for you?
MZ: My creative life revolves around my university schedule. Fashion is flexible at the best of times, and thankfully, hardcore collections times when I need to be overseas don’t tend to clash with exam seasons. My day starts with exercise and missing my train to uni, and then it’s on to classes with meetings in between, an evening dedicated to books, writing, photo-editing and social media, and explaining to my dad for the millionth time that I do not, in fact, run an online store.

Margaret in an O'2nd Coat, A.L.C. shorts, Rochas booties, and carrying a Loeffler Randall bag.

SB: From layering skirts over pants to wearing tucked-in blazers as shirts, you are fearless when it comes to fashion. Which rules, if any, are you careful to follow, and which do you love to break?
MZ: Rule to follow: dress for your personality, comfort, and body—in that order. Rule to break: wear pieces as the designer intended—hold on one second while I wear a jacket as a skirt and a sweater as a hat.

SB: What is unique about the fashion scene in Sydney, and how is your blog influenced by Australian culture?
MZ: I think our perfect contrasts of beach culture, city life, and the beautiful, natural landscapes that surround Sydney have worked well with our geographic isolation to breed our own inspirations and ways of approaching style. For me, spending a lot of time by the ocean definitely changes the way I look at my daily wardrobe, and not just because of our higher temperatures—it’s inspired a relaxed, even masculine way of mixing and matching across seasons.

SB: What advice do you have to offer aspiring fashion bloggers?
MZ: Do not aspire to be a fashion blogger. Aspire to something bigger, and use your website as a means of getting there.

Margaret in a Parker sweater, Clover Canyon skirt, Rag & Bone jacket, and Rachel Zoe sneakers.

Check out Margaret's blog, Shine by Three.
Shop What's New.

FOLLOW: Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Friday, February 21st 2014

Exclusive Interview: Oscar de la Renta

Rightly deemed the “Guru of Glamour,” Oscar de la Renta has been designing for more than 40 years and shows no signs of losing momentum. He is constantly expanding his label in order to reach new customers, never failing to produce works of sophistication and unreserved femininity on and off the runway. We talked to Oscar de la Renta about his passion for ready-to-wear and the inspiration behind his latest jewelry collection.

Shopbop: Growing up, you were interested in art. What sparked your change in focus from painting to fashion design?
Oscar de la Renta: While I was attending art school in Madrid, I started doing fashion sketches to make money. I was lucky enough to meet Cristobal Balenciaga through friends, and he gave me my first job in fashion.

SB: How did you decide to bring accessories into your label?
ODLR: I love accessories—you can completely change the look of an outfit just by switching the jewelry. It’s interesting: even though I am a designer of clothes, when I see a woman, I always look at her accessories to see if she is well dressed.

SB: We love your jewelry line. It’s the perfect balance of exotic detail and feminine refinement. What elements do you try to incorporate into every piece?
ODLR: I have always been drawn to bigger pieces. When I design ready-to-wear as well as jewelry, I like things that are bold and vibrant—I never hold back in my designs.

SB: You have dressed first ladies Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, and Laura Bush. What features of haute couture translate into your ready-to-wear lines?
ODLR: Couture is where I got my start, but my heart is in ready-to-wear. When I was still at Lanvin in the ’60s, I started to see a shift in the way women were dressing. Factories would come to Paris, buy couture patterns, remake them and sell them to women in New York. I knew ready-to-wear was the future of fashion. Today the houses that make haute couture don’t make couture to sell couture; they make it to sell other products. Ready-to-wear is a very specific thing—it is clothing that you can buy in your size. I always think of my customer when I am designing.

SB: With such unique and wide-ranging designs, you seem to have put something out there for everyone. What is one accessory you believe every woman needs?
ODLR: I think a beautiful pair of face-framing earrings is unbelievably elegant. 

Shop Oscar de la Renta jewelry.

Tuesday, February 18th 2014

An Illustration of Style

Last week we featured several hand-drawn sketches in a Swimsuits by Body Type post. We’re huge fans of line drawings in general, and so excited to be able to showcase them on Shoptalk. They were all created by our very own off-figure stylist, Kate Cullen. We wanted give you a little info on the woman behind the pen, so we sat down with her to talk work, history, and her interesting source of recent inspiration.

SHOPBOP: How long have you been working at Shopbop?
KATE CULLEN: My one year anniversary is this month!

SB: Happy anniversary! Can you explain what do you do here?
KC: I’m an off-figure stylist. I style the items on Shopbop and East Dane that are not photographed on the models. It rules. I get to give movement and life to the apparel, and I get to work with my hands. I had a foundry professor who always said, “If you work with your hands, you won’t go crazy.”

SB: That’s good advice. Foundry class? It sounds like you have a background in art.
KC: Yes! Metalwork was one of my favorites. I was a sculpture major and then moved into fashion design, so I’ve always been making, drawing, or sketching something.

SB: Nowadays, what is your favorite thing to draw?
KC: It depends on my mood. I tend to like weird, dark art, but I like drawing women and feminine features too. Lately I’ve been drawing flowers and fun things to get through this long winter! Also, a lot of houses and fairies for my little girls.

SB: What’s inspired you recently?
KC: It’s a little strange, but right now I’m obsessed with drawing the in-flight escape pictures from airplanes. I love how they make the woman incredibly calm and poised as she climbs out of the window. My goal is to make my art funny and to make people laugh.

SB: That’s amazing and awesome. Survivalist instructions aside, what do you have planned for your next drawing?
KC: Next up is my daughter’s Wonder Woman snow globe. It’s going to end up being life size, and she’s going to freak out!

Stay tuned for Kate’s next feature!

Shop What’s New.

FOLLOW: Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Monday, January 13th 2014

Talking with Cousins Undercover Anthony Carrino & John Colaneri

East Dane is all about straightforward fashion for straightforward men, and we couldn’t think of two guys who better align with that mantra than Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri of HGTV’s Cousins Undercover. We tapped the contractor pair for this week’s cover story, and snagged a few moments of their time to ask them about home remodeling, working together, and their personal style.

What’s the first thing someone should do before starting a renovation?
JOHN: Have a clear, concise vision of your design and layout of the space. You need to stick to that plan, and if changes are needed try to keep them small. Too many times people shift design and focus, and that is why their projects double in time.
ANTHONY: PLANNING! That is in caps for a reason. It is absolutely paramount to your success and to staying on budget!

What’s a contractor secret every homeowner should know?
JOHN: Always have a 15% to 20% contingency when starting a project. You will find issues or problems you did not know were there nine out of ten times.
ANTHONY: If you’re afraid you can’t cut a super straight line with a skill saw freehanded, clamp a long level or straight edge to the plywood and run the guide along it—straight as an arrow.

What are your favorite sources of design inspiration?
JOHN: Travel is the best design inspiration you can have because you are able to experience different design aesthetics and elements from around the world.
ANTHONY: The blogs are endless: Remodelista, Design Milk, and Design*Sponge, just to name a few. But my ultimate source for design inspiration is travel.

What is your favorite room to renovate and why?
JOHN: I would have to say the kitchen because it is the heart of the home and is the most used room in a house.
ANTHONY: Without trying to avoid the question, I don’t have one. I just love to renovate a full room. Helping a client realize their vision is the best part of what we do, so it’s really about their needs. We are always ready for a challenge.

What’s your design go-to?
JOHN: When looking for a wall color my go-to color is grey. It goes with any design style, and it gives you the ability to use great accent colors that will really stand out.
ANTHONY: For me, it’s the use of organic or reclaimed materials. I love mixing old and new, and organic materials and shapes serve to both warm and create visual interest within a space.

If you could design a kitchen for anyone, current or historical, who would it be?
JOHN: I am a history buff so I think it would have to be John F. Kennedy.
ANTHONY: Ha! I think it would have to be Brunelleschi himself. More so because I would love to see what he thinks of our work and company (Brunelleschi Construction) named after him.

John, what are some of Anthony’s best work qualities?
JOHN: Anthony is a true leader when it comes to construction and business. With the over 100 workers and volunteers involved in Cousins Undercover episodes, there needs to be one person driving the ship, and Anthony is that person.

Anthony, what about John?
ANTHONY: John is the most organized guy I know, and this translates into him being a ninja on the job site. With no less than fifty moving pieces on each of our projects, it is an invaluable skill—not to mention John always has the ability to make me laugh, even at the most stressful point of a job. I think I appreciate that more than anything.

What’s more important: comfort or style?
JOHN: They are both equal. Anthony and I always say: design and function go hand in hand.
ANTHONY: On the job site: comfort hands down. Out on the town: I like to be comfortable, but style rules. Fortunately, my style is comfort.

Any style go-tos?
JOHN: My favorite style is Contemporary Rustic.
ANTHONY: I love henleys, and they’re great for layering. As it gets colder, they look great under a button-down. My other winter go-to is a cardigan. I might have one in every color. Oh, and I can’t resist a good elbow patch.

Check out the Cousins Undercover story on East Dane.
Follow East Dane on Instagram for exclusive behind-the-scenes access.

Friday, January 10th 2014

Shopbop Loves SoulCycle

Our exclusive collaboration with SoulCycle launched today, and we couldn’t be more excited! The cozy pieces are perfect for hanging out post-workout or easing into a warm-up routine. With fitness on our minds—and a cartful of activewear—we chatted with four SoulCycle NY instructors, the stars of our latest lookbook, about fashion, beauty, and their off-duty looks.

SoulCycle NYC instructors Karyn (left) and Madison.

SHOPBOP: Do you have any fashion tips for going straight from class to a night out?
KARYN: Keep it simple. If you're going straight from the studio, you don't want to carry around a bunch of extra stuff. Pack a pair of jeans, a loose flowy tank—because even post-shower your body wants to keep sweating—a blazer, wedge sneakers or heels (depending on how fancy you’re feeling), and a long necklace or some fun earrings. For me, my hair is almost completely drenched after class, so I like to throw it up into a high bun and call it a day.
MADISON: A quick rinse is always nice. I never want to put anything tight on after class—I'm definitely always on the casual side—but I always make sure I have a pair of cool sneakers or some motorcycle boots to give my outfit a bit of edge.

SB: What is your go-to outfit when you’re not working out?
KARYN: I lived in LA for the last five years, so my go-to is suited for warmer weather conditions. (Let's just pretend it's not the dead of winter outside.) Black tights, cutoff jean shorts, a slightly oversized graphic tank with a colored bra underneath, and wedge sneakers or boots. This is on the rare occasion when I'm not wearing sweatpants or shorts with legwarmers.
MADISON: My leather leggings, a white tee, blazer, and a great pair of shoes! I'm a uniform kind of girl.

SoulCycle NYC instructors Jaws (left) and Taye.

SB: Any beauty secrets to looking fresh during a killer workout?
TAYE: No make up! You think that it’s working for you, but actually, it’s working against you by clogging your pores. I love lash extensions since mascara and liner ends up burning your eyes. I also like accessorizing my look with a headband, head tie, or bracelets.
JAWS: I agree. Go in with a clean, fresh face. I always put on a nice lip balm.

SB: When you’re off-duty, what do you like to wear?
TAYE: Anything black and edgy-chic. I love the neutral look. The only pop of color that I wear are my denim Rag & Bone jean—the fit is AH-mazing! I’m also obsessed with sneaker wedges because you get the best of both worlds.
JAWS: Black jeans, heeled boots, T-shirt, and leather jacket. And of course my rings and gold watch.

SB: Which of the SoulCycle for Shopbop piece is your favorite?
MADISON: The pink Soul Sweatpants! And the grey I Love Soul Cropped Tee! Love, love, love!
TAYE: The SoulCycle Happiness Hoodie. Not only is it comfy and cute with everything, but the fabric is so soft. I also need pockets in everything that I wear.
JAWS: I'm into all black, so the Hacci Sweatshirt with Skulls!

Shop the SoulCycle collection.
Check out SoulCycle.

FOLLOW: Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Monday, December 23rd 2013

Shopbop Weddings: Picture Perfect

There are a lot of decisions to be made while planning a wedding, with one of the biggest being the photographer. This was the case for Shopbop photographer John, who married his wife Heather in a beautiful farm setting. We talked to the newlyweds about their amazing wedding—seriously, there were chickens!—and got a few insider photography tips for brides-to-be.

SHOPBOP: Congratulations you two! Tell me about where you got married.
JOHN & HEATHER: We got married on John’s parents’ country property, under an arch that Heather and her aunt made from cedar trees, surrounded by wildflowers.

SB: That sounds beautiful. Did the weather hold up?
J&H: It was perfect—sunny with a slight breeze. But exactly when the ceremony was scheduled to start, it started raining. We delayed by 30 minutes and our guests waited under the tent and had a few drinks. The best part was that with the rain came a double rainbow that stayed through the ceremony.

SB: You’re kidding! That’s incredible. Ok, on to wardrobe. What did you both wear?
H: I wore a strapless ivory lace dress and some hand-crafted jewelry made for me by a friend.
J: I wore grey pants with a white long-sleeve shirt and suspenders. We added color with ties. All the men had a different print.

SB: The dress is gorgeous. John, you also looked very handsome. I have to ask about the hair. (Check the pictures—John has some enviable locks.)
H: I guess we both did braids! I had an updo, with multiple braids woven throughout. And my sister-in-law pulled John’s hair back into a french braid.

SB: Love it! So, what was it like when you saw each other for the first time?
J&H: It was very emotional seeing each other for the first time walking down the aisle! We both could not look at each other without crying.

SB: I can imagine. Next up is the reception. How did you decorate?
J&H: With the help of family and friends! As a group, we did all of the decorating and prep, from growing our own flowers to cutting placemats out of burlap. Heather’s mom even made the cake. We had really cute cake toppers too—a hen and rooster, of course!—but we forgot them.

SB: Oh no! I’m sure you’ll find another place for them. What was the vibe of the reception?
J&H: It was very laid back. We wanted our guests to feel comfortable, to just be able to enjoy dinner and each other’s company. From our first dance—Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon”—to the last, people were having a great time. At about 4am we could still hear music playing from our “honeymoon suite”—a.k.a. our tent—about 500 yards away.

SB: Sounds like a wonderful day. It’s hard to narrow it down, but try to describe the whole day in 5 words or less.
J&H: Perfect, amazing, real, love, fun!!

SB: Lovely. Now John, you are a photographer here at Shopbop. How did that influence the process of selecting someone to shoot the big day?
J: As a photographer, many of my friends are photographers too. I had worked with Cory many times and we are pretty close. Heather and I both knew he would be the perfect fit.

SB: How involved were you on the day in setting up shots and asking for pictures of things?
J: We let Cory do his thing—he is very talented.

SB: Did you take any pictures that day?
J: Yes, I took a few pictures before the ceremony while getting ready, and then busted out the camera later that night on the dance floor.

SB: Awesome. Did you learn anything from being on the other side of the lens that would be helpful to future brides?
J: Yes, I realized how hard it is to smile for a million pictures, when there is so much going on around you. My advice is to try to relax and stay in the moment. It all goes by so fast, and you want to be able to remember it all.

SB: That’s so true. All right, last question. What is the most important thing to look for when picking out a wedding photographer?
J: Compatibility. You will spend so much time with them on what is such a huge, important day. You have to be comfortable with that person.

Shop the Shopbop Wedding Boutique.

FOLLOW: Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Thursday, December 19th 2013

Holiday Heels from Casadei

From holiday fêtes to New Year’s Eve, party season is in full swing, and one surefire way to make a festive impression is with a killer shoe. Cesare Casadei, creative director of designer shoe brand Casadei, knows a thing or two about crafting a statement sandal. We talked to him about the origins of the brand and what goes into a Casadei design.

SHOPBOP: Casadei started out designing sandals for fashionable vacationers on the Adriatic Riviera. How has the collection evolved since then?
CESARE CASADEI: The brand Casadei was founded in 1958 by my parents, Quinto and Flora Casadei. Since the very beginning, we focused on quality, research of design, and use of innovative materials, proposing collections entirely made in Italy. This approach has not changed. Of course, there has been an evolution in style. I always look to the future to find new forms, materials, and structures that can give the woman who wears Casadei shoes new emotions.

SB: All Casadei shoes are proudly made in Italy. How important is that to your company heritage?
CC: I’m very proud to preserve the company’s heritage and to uphold its complete in-house production at the headquarters in San Mauro Pascoli. This way, we control all our production, giving to our customers a product that is 100% made in Italy.

SB: What makes a Casadei shoe special?
CC: For me, the most important qualities that make a shoe design special are the combination of brilliant ideas in terms of innovative structures and materials, sense of aesthetic and proportion, as well as technical skills in the art of footwear. Our aim is always to create elegant and sophisticated styles with a perfect fit.

SB: It’s holiday party season, and the statement-making detailing on Casadei shoes makes them perfect for special events. Which styles would you suggest?
CC: For the holidays we propose any of our elegant sandals—for example, the Strappy Stiletto Sandals in black are beautifully highlighted by gold metal details.

SB: Any styling tips to really showcase a perfect pair of pumps?
CC: It depends on the woman who is wearing and interpreting them. For me, style is something very personal.

Shop Casadei shoes.

FOLLOW: Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Tuesday, December 10th 2013

Exclusive Interview: Gift Ideas from Melinda Maria

Jewelry designer Melinda Maria has a profound passion for jewelry. It’s evident in the incredible detail and quality of each one of her pieces. The Goddess Collection specifically uses semi-precious stones and 14k gold plating as a tribute to the inner beauty and power of women. They also happen to make a fantastic gift! We spoke to Melinda about her creative start, perfect presents, and her inspirations.

SHOPBOP: Your start in design came at the expense of your mother’s jewelry box. What drew you to re-crafting her pieces?
MELINDA MARIA: I have always suffered from what I like to call "Shiny Objects Syndrome." As long as I can remember, jewelry has been my passion and my obsession. I found that I was drawn to the warmth of gold, the sparkle of diamonds, and the rich color of gemstones in my mother's jewelry box. I often took it upon myself to modernize some of her pieces by pulling them apart and recreating them. The process always brought me such joy!

SB: The Goddess Collection is truly a celebration of women. Where did the inspiration for this line come from?
MM: My aim was to create a beautiful keepsake charm collection that was centered around the strength of women. I wanted each necklace to tell a story and to remind us all of some of the special qualities that women inherently possess. I have always surrounded myself with amazing women who I consider to be true goddesses.

SB: The detail and craftsmanship of designs are incredible. How do you achieve such a high quality?
MM: As a jewelry designer, ultimate craftsmanship and design is something that I strive for with each new collection. Our quality control after the collections are completed is rigorous, with the utmost attention to detail. Since the start of my line, one of my main goals has been to have customers who become collectors of Melinda Maria. In my experience, I've found that this is only possible if each and every piece is well-made and wears well.

The MELINDA MARIA Goddess Collection.

SB: The Goddess necklaces make a perfect gift. Who would you give each one to?
MM: The Goddess of Sisterhood pendant is for every woman in your life. To me, sisterhood means developing meaningful relationships with one another. I believe that all women are connected, and we need to be supportive of each other. It's truly amazing what a room full of women working together can achieve! Nothing can replace the relationship between two women who want the best for each other. The Goddess of Love pendant is the perfect gift for that special someone you just want to wrap your arms around. It's for mothers, daughters, sisters, and best friends who have been there for you through thick and thin. The Goddess of Power pendant is a great way to remind someone of the strength they have within themselves. This necklace is the ideal piece to give to someone who needs support, providing a reminder for her to be fearless in her journey.

SB: If you could give one of the necklaces to any woman in history, who would it be and why?
MM: Oprah has had an enormous impact on my life. I would give her the Goddess of Power pendant. The tagline for this goddess is, "No one can diminish your personal power." Coming from a small town in Washington state, I always had big dreams. Whenever I would set goals for myself, I aimed higher and higher, thinking, "Why not me?" Oprah is the perfect example of that. She had all the odds against her, but never gave up. She built a global brand and network from nothing! Her story is beyond inspiring to me. Because of her, I realized that everyone has a past, but it's the future that you can write for yourself.

Shop MELINDA MARIA jewelry.
Shop the Shopbop Holiday Gift Boutique.

FOLLOW: Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

© 1999-2017 All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy Conditions of Use