10.07.2011

Erica Weiner Jewelry

Images of Erica Weiner and Lindsay Salmon from a recent shoot of the store
Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about the history behind the company?
Erica Weiner: I started designing and making jewelry out of her Lower East Side apartment in 2005. Before that, i was a theatrical costumer and samplemaker for the NYC fashion industry.  Lots of fashion shows!. Over the years, I collected lots of stuff from flea markets, trim shops, and antique stores, and hoarded it.  Eventually I began collaging this stuff into jewelry, using various production techniques.  The collection grew exponentially, as did the fan base. Anthropologie, the chain store, got wind of it, placed an order, then we were off and running.  

Sarah Velasco: If you could quickly summarize Erica Weiner Jewelry, how would you describe it?
Erica Weiner:Erica Weiner Jewelry is irreverent, constantly evolving, and totally down to keep introducing awesome, new, limited, and vintage affordable jewelry.

Sarah Velasco: How did you get into this industry? 
Erica Weiner:Jewelry felt like an obvious next step after the frantic pace of working in fashion. You still get to be creative, but the pressure is much less intense and the work more pleasurable.

Sarah Velasco: Role models? Inspiration?
Erica Weiner:We do watch trends and try to give a nod to what happens to be hot at any given time, but we also like to riff off of antique jewelry styles (especially that of the Victorian era, what a bunch of nuts). Many of our components are vintage deadstock, often we will find a cool piece that wasn't ever intended to become jewelry and build a necklace/bracelet/earrings around it. The YSL zipper tag earrings (which have been a huge seller, and sadly, are nearly gone) are a great example of this.
 
Sarah Velasco: If you could design something for one person dead or alive who would it be and why?
Erica Weiner:Mick Jagger. Because he is an icon. Because he is still awesome and still a babe. And because it would just be great to give him something. 

Sarah Velasco: What is one piece of advice for someone wanting to get into fashion? 
Erica Weiner:It's a competitive industry and full of talented people. Rather than think of the business as a series of rivalries, think of your peers in the industry as friends. We have gotten great advice, resources, and support from other friends in fashion/accessories and have also come up with some awesome collaborations. So, I guess, the wider your network, the better. 

Sarah Velasco: How would you describe your personal style?
Erica Weiner:Currently, Catskills farm house in autumn with neon accents.

Sarah Velasco: Up and coming trends for fall/winter '11? Key pieces everyone should have?
Erica Weiner:A pair of heeled booties, a ring you paid too much money for, electric-colored lipstick 

Sarah Velasco: What is the best perk of being a designer? 
Erica Weiner:The validation of our customers. Seriously, I'm not being ingratiating here. There is really nothing like making something and having someone tell you how much they love it. 

Sarah Velasco: Up and coming things you want readers to look forward to? 
Erica Weiner:While we love the antique jewelry business and have no plans to abandon it, we plan to introduce more of our own wedding rings by late winter/early spring. 
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Some pieces from the Erica Weiner website 
Heart Attack! Necklace 
Birdcage Earrings