What girl doesn’t love some sparkle in their life? That’s why I am so excited to share this exclusive interview with costume jewelry designer Gerard Yosca and share private photos of him inside his studio doing his magic. So read on to learn more about this self-described, “wacky and talented” designer.
ICON: How did you get started as a designer, and why accessories?
GY: I studied graphic design and advertising in college and got a job at a fantastic agency right out of the gate. But, the corporate world and I were not meant for each other. It was not creative enough, and I was way too wacky! So I decided to move into fashion and never left. Short of starting college all over again to learn how to drape and draw patterns, I had to come up with a way to pay rent fast. I figured that I could find a way to make the belt I was sketching. As a kid I was artsy and crafty, and I’m very determined. So I taught myself how to make jewelry, and, almost 30 years later, I think I’m getting the hang of it.
ICON: What inspires your designs?
GY: I’m inspired from two directions at once. Things that are tangible: art, furniture, maybe even a whole room. How the parts make up something beautiful. Nature. If you look down, there is plenty to be inspired by. Color inspires me. Sometimes a color we don’t like suddenly becomes the favorite. But there are also the things we feel, rather than know, that indicate a shift in our design sense. Do we want to stay “in” rather than socialize? What kind of music are we listening to? Is the world in turmoil or relatively peaceful? Fashion design reflects who and where we are, and the things we choose to
wear demonstrate that.
ICON: What type of woman wears Gerard Yosca designs?
GY: Age is irrelevant. My woman is confident, quirky and loves to express who she is through her jewelry.
ICON: How do you make your costume jewelry pieces look so rich, vivid and exciting?
GY: I have a painting and sculpting background. Besides my odd color sense, people respond to the “hand” of my jewelry. I still sit at the workbench and saw and solder original molds. So much jewelry now is drawn on a computer and fabricated by a machine. It has no life. I believe you can really see all of the work and decisions that go into a finished piece of ours.
ICON: Is there a certain piece or theme in your collection that you absolutely love,
and keep bringing back season after season?
GY: There is always something rough and sculptural in the collection. I love mixing
organic with refined. That look is a real signature.
ICON: What is your workspace like?
GY: The design room is a fun house: year round Christmas lights, jack-o-lanterns and jokes; hundreds of CD’s. It’s important to build an atmosphere that supports creativity. Design is serious and very focused. When we are stuck, it’s great to be able to look up, disengage and clear our heads with something fun.
ICON: What’s next for the Gerard Yosca line?
GY: I’m most excited that soon we will launch our own retail website. I can’t wait to be able to show what we make in our own environment alongside our inspiration. I mean really, doesn’t gelato always taste better in Italy? I’m also dying to collaborate with other designers or companies that have nothing to do with fashion. It’s so exciting to apply our color and pattern sense to a different medium.