Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Meeting of the Minds in the Big Apple? An Insider's POV

by Toy Taylor - So I was bound and determined to snag this interview with handbag designer Lynn Rosetti of New York City. A longtime client of mine told me all about her sis-in-law so I knew I had to grab this opportunity. 

(Recap from March 2016 Adventures)
Here it is my last day in the Big Apple, I hopped the downtown subway and was on my way to the Tribeca area. Was I nervous? Um heck yeah I was. This girl is from sunny Glendale so the subway is a wee bit intimidating. Not to mention the array of "entertainment" you see on the subway.

So here I am walking the concrete jungle to my first real designers gallery, yikes! I felt all swanky when the doorman had to ID me to permit me into the building. Nope, it doesn't take much to make me feel

Designer Lynn Rosetti

When I arrived at Ms. Rosetti's studio she was just finishing
up with jewelry designer Vanessa Lianne. So you know what I was thinking.... interview times 2!

I thoroughly enjoyed chitchatting with both of them. They
were very eager and open to share their passion for the
accessory game with me.

First up, my sit down with local handbag designer Lynn Rosetti:

Describe your brand  
Oliveve handbags are made in NY and have a laid back yet luxurious vibe

What type of style do you portray in your handbags? 
Easy going luxury... comfortable yet stylish. We don't try too hard!

What was your very first piece? Do you still own it? 
Our first piece was the Izzy hobo bag in black lamb. I still own it and I still love it!

You shared with me you’ve been in the industry for quite awhile, is there a particular person/brand that may spark an inspiration in you? 
I have been very inspired but my former boss Steven Alan. Steven is a wonderful business man and has an incredible eye for new design talent. His own clothing designs are still my favorite. I also love the vintage look of Anna Sui who I worked with and the punk rock style of Stephen Sprouse who I was also fortunate to work for.

Was becoming a handbag designer a “dream” of yours? I always dreamed of creating a product and owning my own business but did not think handbags until I fell in love with leather. Leather is everything.

Living right in the midst of the handbag mecca, how do you keep your style new and fresh? 
Shopping shopping shopping!

What advice would you give our readers who are dreaming of becoming a designer? Whether it’s clothing, handbags, or jewelry. 
Listen to your inner voice. Learn everything you can about your craft. Make strong relationships with your factories and suppliers.
In your showroom you also represent other designers like Vanessa Lianne. Is this your way of “paying it forward”?  
I love helping emerging designers but repping is also a great business. Having several designers under one roof attracts more buyers.

Do you wear any other hats in the New York fashion world? 
I also consult with designers and some other fashion related businesses.

Where can we get a hold of one of your magnificent designs? 
Oliveve is sold on and as well as about 100 other stores worldwide

Designer Vanessa Lianne

Vanessa Lianne was gracious enough to answer a few questions 

for me as well. I could tell she is one spunky girl. I got a great 

vibe from her. VL designs are very unique in their own right. 

Nature and outdoorsy stuff inspire Vanessa Lianne. There is a 

definite feminine vibe to her style but masculine enough to be 

worn by the likes of Lenny Kravitz lets just say. Her designs have been worn by many celebrities from both the film and music industry. 

 Here's what Ms Vanessa Lianne had to say...

Give me ONE word that describes your style of jewelry. 
I describe my jewelry as Delicate Armor

Do you work with all types of metal? Do you have a fave? 
I work in different types of metal from brass to platinum but my favorite metal is definitely gold. It is like cooking with butter.  It is malleable and responds beautifully to being soldered and manipulated. My jewelry has a matte finish which makes the gold look buttery- which I adore. 

What matters to you most as a jewelry designer? 
I am trained as a fine jewelry goldsmith so I care greatly about the quality and the source of my materials. I only used recycled metals and ethically sourced stones. I also care about craftsmanship. I hand make each of my pieces to ensure the quality and finish adhere to my high standards. With large orders I enlist help from master craftsmen in the diamond district of New York that have been working as jewelers for many many years. I want my jewelry to be comfortable, durable and make the wearer feel empowered and chic. That is why we call it delicate armor.
WTF Ring

What is your favorite part of conceptualizing a new piece? I love making new things. I find the process of designing to be really relaxing and almost meditative. When I sit down and make the piece that I have been designing in my head it is extraordinary fulfilling. That moment when I turn an idea into a wearable piece of jewelry- that is my favorite part.   

What was your very first piece? 
That is a hard one. I have been making jewelry since I can remember.  When I was in elementary I used to make Femo bead Jewelry. Femo is a clay material and I would make necklaces and sell them to my little sister’s friends. My first piece of metal jewelry that I created was a hammered silver ring with a gold square. I still have it and it was really thrilling to finally be able to have the tools and skills  to work in metal because I had so many ideas.
Singer Yolanda Adams

When I meet new designers I’m always intrigued by their creativity and wonder where it comes from. So I ask….what motivates you, Vanessa? 
I find inspiration everywhere I go. I love to travel and see new things because I always find sparks of inspiration and I never know where they might come from. I am fascinated by the natural world. I use a lot of texture in my jewelry so I am inspired by bark, rock textures, leaves, shells, interesting insects. Going for a walk in the forest can be a treasure trove of inspiration.  I am inspired by women. I will see a woman on the subway and just dream up a necklace that I think would look wonderful on her. This is where the beginnings of a concept come from and then I work through until it becomes a real object. 

Yara Shahidi
Kimberley Perry
The Band Perry
Do you have big goals set for 2016?  
Vanessa Lianne Jewelry has seen exponential growth every year since we launched in 2013. 2015 was a huge year for us I have plans for  2016 to be even bigger, with the  launch of Vanessa Lianne Alternative Bridal Line. Our Bridal line offers non-traditional,  one-of- a- kind affordable engagement rings and wedding bands and it was just featured on!

Constance Zimmer
A little birdie told me you styled for one of my favorite shows Orange Is The New Black (oohhh Crazy Eyes!!!). How did that go? 
It was so amazing. I am a huge fan of the show and  inspired by all the incredibly talented, gorgeous and  powerful women.  They are all wonderful people and it was an honor to meet them and so exciting to see how much they love Vanessa Lianne Jewelry!

 Felicity Huffman

Any other celebrities you’ve had the pleasure in working with? 
Vanessa Lianne (VL) has built a nice celebrity following starting with Katy Perry wearing the VL Ruby Snake ring on the cover of Vogue magazine in our first season! Many of my celebrity customers also wear it on TV. Constance Zimmer is a huge fan and has become a friend - Her daughter even has a pair of VL studs for when she got her ears pierced! Constance she will be wearing (VL) on her hit show UnReal as Quinn. Yara Shahidi from the acclaimed show Blackish is a customer and a fan. Recently I met with the costumer designer for Blackish who loved the collection wanted it for the show. So look out for VL on Blackish! Elaine Hendrix is also wearing VL on FX Sex Drugs and Rock’n Roll.  
Singer Lenny Kravitz

Yara Shahidi

Other celebrities fans include, Felicity Jones, Lenny Kravitz - (Lenny wore our willough ring as a pinky ring on stage at the Grammys), Joshua Malina from Scandal is such a big fan he buys his wife VL jewelry and she has a little boutique in LA that now sells VL! Zendaya, Tori Kelly, the Roots, Kourtney Kardashian, Molly Simms and many more.

Where can our readers pick up one of your sweet little baubles? 
Vanessa Lianne Jewelry is sold at Lord & Taylor, Calypso St. Barth, Anthropolgie, Steven Alan and specialty stores across the country but the best selection is definitely on our website

Ugh! I'm still on cloud nine from the whole experience. All the love I received from the people in the Big Apple makes me even more excited to be going back. Definitely stay with me in the blogoshpere as you (and me) don't know where I am going to end up next. Again, a big thanks to Lynn Rosetti and Vanessa Lianne for taking time out of the busy day to chat it up with me. Whew, I love what I do!

See you on the runway!

Presented by     @chronicbehavior