Cool, laid back and modern, with a touch of the American Southwest, is how I describe the jewelry collection by Pamela Love. Love, one of this year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund nominees for the Swarovski Award for Accessory Design, was in Denver to showcase her jewelry. Love’s collection is available at Goldyn, a boutique that offers up-and-coming as well as iconic labels, a shop that looks direct from SOHO, luckily here in Denver. Pamela Love kindly shared her time and creative spirit with us.
303 Magazine: You have credited several artists, nature, science, astronomy, and travel as sources of inspiration. Is there any one in the fashion industry specifically who inspires you?
Pamela Love: Elsa Schiaparelli, her jewelry from a million years ago is mind-blowing and weirdly modern for what was going on at the time. Also Alexander McQueen, his work is beautiful and morbid at the same time. That is something we definitely play with.
303: You have said you are deeply connected to the American Southwest. This connection is evident in your collection. How did this develop?
PL: I was born on Coney Island, and I grew up in a beach town in Florida. Growing up I never fantasized about a tropical vacation. Going to the Bahamas or Saint Martin had no appeal. My ideas of paradise are places like the Grand Canyon and the plains. I love the romance of the west, especially Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. I find the co-existence of Mexican and Native American cultures inspiring, especially in the craft world of the American Southwest. I am inspired by Colorado as well. I used to visit towns like Copper Mountain and Breckenridge with my family. I tried to snowboard once, it was awful.
303: In your jewelry collection, which is your favorite piece and why?
PL: Currently it is the huge collar with the cut outs. I actually wore one of these to the CFDA Awards the other day. The piece is strong yet the cut outs keep it soft and delicate. We did this piece in the fall with turquoise inlay and it is my favorite piece.
303: You have been part of many designers’ collaborations, for example, Marchesa, Zac Posen, Twenty8Twelve, J.Crew , and Yigal Azrouel. You have also worked in film and television, helping to create pieces for the movie, “Where the Wild Things Are”, and HBO’s “True Blood.” Which collaboration was your favorite?
PL: I’d have to say one of my more recent collaborations, J.Crew. Working with J.Crew was a great opportunity to work outside the jewelry category. It was denim jackets, jeans and belts. It was fun because I was working with someone who had the capacity to do something I can’t necessarily do myself. I was obsessive about the fit of the denim jacket. It is just the way I wanted it to fit, the sleeves are a little short but it’s the way I wanted it. The jacket is embellished with all kinds of pins and things, it is very cool.
303: Speaking to the J.Crew collection, do you have plans to incorporate apparel and other accessories into your brand?
PL: The belts in the J.Crew collection came out really amazing and the pins were fun. I think we will do something people can wear on their motorcycle jackets or denim jackets. For me, it’s all about customizing stuff. Having your own personality and your voice, that is really attractive.
303: Your jewelry collection is special, carefully designed and handcrafted of course all made in New York City. What was the challenge of keeping true to your process while working with British mega-retailer, Topshop?
PL: We did a lot of the production for the Topshop collection in-house. We just used pewter instead of bronze and silver so it was less expensive. The collection was still around 200 Euros a piece. The jewelry retained quality which was important. We had control as well to ensure things were done in an ethical way.
303: How important are shops like Goldyn for the Pamela Love brand?
PL: Local boutiques are really important. They are the ones who best understand the brand. They are going to give you the unique displays. It’s a completely different thing than in a Department Store where you go in and everything is uniform and it looks the same. We have a much closer relationship with our boutiques. We can travel around to do Trunk Shows. It is vital for us to build these partnerships.
303: In just a few short years you have taken your passion and launched a successful, full-time business. What advice do you have for those creative people looking to turn their passions into a career?
PL: I think, just don’t spend a ton of money in the beginning. Let things happen organically. A lot of people get overzealous really quickly and they spend too much on packaging, this, and that, then it’s a lot harder. I was able to be successful because I was minimal in the beginning. I started with a few pieces, let them start to sell and pay for themselves. It’s about following your vision, but also not putting the cart before the horse.
Goldyn carries a great assortment of Pamela Love jewelry including pieces like the Talon cuff and Talon ring, the Arrowhead ring, and the Crow Skull necklace. Coming next month to Goldyn are new pieces from the Fall/Winter 2012 Pamela Love collection.
According to Vivienne Westwood, “You have a much better life if you wear impressive clothes.” As a stylist in the fashion industry for over 10 years, I have found this to be true. I work with Neiman Marcus Denver, People Stylewatch Magazine, and I am the current Fashion Director for 303 Magazine.
Tracy E. Bozarth