In one word, characterize your style?
Where did you get the idea to use real hardware in your STEELO designs?
I was speaking to my father, who also creates silver jewelry, about a design I had come up with. I wanted to cast a design piece, out of silver, that would hold beaded strands together; one in which I could reproduce for a line I was creating. After a very long discussion, we had decided that it would take too long to make the piece and it would come at a high cost, especially if I needed to make quantity.
As a joke, my father said to me "why don't you just go to the hardware store and get an S- Hook b/c that won't cost you anything!!" At that moment I thought "Hardware.....Crystals..." and the rest is now history. Most of the designs that I started with I've copyrighted and now I keep coming up with new styles each season to keep it fresh.
I called the line Steelo (redefining hardware), which come from the Spanish word "Estilo"and hip hop slang "Stilo" meaning style.
My father still thinks that it was all his idea and that the line should have been called Daddy's Hardware. I told him that when HE designs the pieces, we will create an extended line of STEELO which we will call Daddy's Hardware. I always give credit to my father b/c if he hadn't said "S- Hook," the line may have never come into existence.
What accessory do you wear everyday?
It's not one of my designs. THERE, I admitted it!!! My large sterling hoop earrings are a staple in my wardrobe. They wear well with every garment in my closet, whether casual or dressy, and always work with any of my accessory lines that I am wearing at the time. And if, by chance, I am not wearing any other jewelry, they make me feel complete and finished.
What tips can you give for selecting the right earrings to match an outfit?
The only tip I can think of is to "maintain your style". In other words, if you are wearing an outfit that is simple or basic, your earrings should really make a statement. For your accessories then make your outfit. Select a pair of earrings last, so that they match the other accessories that you are wearing, whether it is a belt, cuffs, rings, or all. If you are not wearing any other accessories, pick out your favorite pair of earrings that will stand out. No matter what your style may be: beaded, metal, crystal, etc., large or small; remember, maintain your style... always.
Alternatively, if you are wearing something that is busy or has beads or other embellishments, you should wear simple earrings that keep the look clean and consistent. The outfit will speak for itself, so maintain the style with simply stated earrings and other minimal jewelry, if desired, to make the look effortless.
Which stone is most popular in fashion accessories today? Why?
There are so many styles of jewelry today and each is different in its own way. I cannot say there is one specific stone that is used, especially in fashion jewelry, for with each season it changes. The only consistency over the past couple years has been Swarovski crystal. It is used in just about every accessory, from belts and handbags to hair accessories and jewelry. The list can go on and on. Swarovski crystal still has a lot of life left and with each season comes new designs.
Interviewed on 2006-02-07