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September 2016

New Jewelry Designer: Venessa Arizaga

By Katrina Caspelich

If you have children (or plan to) and secretly hope they grow up to become fashion designers—let them play in your closet! Here’s yet another up-and-coming designer—Venessa Arizaga—who discovered a love of fashion while playing dress-up in her parents’ clothes. Then, she got to play dress-up in Zac Posen’s clothes, spending 2½ years as his design director. There, she supervised the design team and handled special products such as custom designs for celebrities.

A New Designer Jewelry Line Is Born
Venessa fell in love with jewelry design by accident, while on vacation in the Caribbean. As she remembers it: “I would walk up and down the beach collecting shells and piling them on a charm necklace I was wearing. I found the mix of shells, metal, and rhinestones so beautiful! From that point on I was hooked!”

What Inspires This Jewelry Designer’s Unique Look
This New York-based maker of designer jewelry finds inspiration in culture, color, proportions, and textures. A fan of fashion lines such as Chloë, Junya Watanabe, and Chanel, Venessa designs her jewelry for women with a sense of humor, an eye for anything shiny, and an appreciation for all things sentimental. Sign us up! Her line is filled with wearable statement pieces adorned with kitschy charms and rhinestones. Venessa’s favorite piece, the Piñata bracelet, has a bit of everything she loves—color, humor, spirituality, and sparkle.

The Jewelry Designer’s Fashion Tips & Favorite Activities
This designer’s fashion item du jour is her father’s 40-year-old army jacket, a happy coincidence, given this season’s military-look mania. A fan of a good classic piece, Venessa recommends splurging on a leather motorcycle jacket as well as pearl jewelry—they all mix well and can be dressed up or down. When not working on her jewelry line, Venessa likes to cook, shop for antiques, sew, and take road trips with her husband. Their favorite destination? The Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, N.Y., for a jolt of fresh air and its amazing modern sculpture collection.

Fun Fact about Venessa
If she were not a designer, she would make pottery and weave baskets.

Buy Venessa Arizaga Piñata Bracelet, $275, at venessaarizaga.com

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