Friday, May 9, 2014

Feature Friday - Q&A with Marla Aaron

So here's the thing...I'm sentimental.  Full-on cry in movies when the animal gets hurt (I mean, seriously, have you seen the movie, "Dreamer"?!?!); the guy gets the girl...You get the idea.  So it should be no surprise that jewelry with a meaning can make me all teary-eyed too.  And, in my other life, I work as a volunteer search & rescue canine owner/handler/trainer.  So 'sentimental' is big part of my life.

What does that have to do with jewelry, you ask?  Well, until I saw today's Feature Friday artist for the first time, Marla Aaron, not much outside of the major gift-giving holidays.  But from the first time I laid eyes on her 18K locks....I was hooked.  Yes, they look like carabiners.  Yes, they are fully functioning. No, you should not go rock climbing with them.  But to me....they represent SO much more.  They remind me of my life in search & rescue.  You see, they are a staple of our work.

But what Marla has done with this simple, functional design element is nothing short of stunning!  She has turned these amazing little tools into a wardrobe staple - a bit of mix-and-match perfection!  And she didn't stop there!  She's taken clean, simple, classic lines inspired by the urban landscape and turned them into wearable art.

Without any further ado or gilding the lily, please enjoy this edition of our Feature Friday Q&A with Marla Aaron!



Marla Aaron

1.  What prompted your passion for jewelry and jewelry design?
I don’t think I remember a time when I wasn’t passionate about jewelry and jewelry design.  I have very vivid memories of both of my Grandmothers and their jewelry collections.  I remember looking through their collections with them.  I never thought though I’d be lucky enough to designer jewelry.  But, over the years, I have been lucky enough to work with a lot of luxury jewelry brands, on the marketing side of things.  But the more I learned, the more I realized that I did have it in me to design jewelry.  And, I just felt like I had to design a collection.  I had to take a shot!

Perfect for Mother's Day....Marla's baby heart lock in 18k pink gold.

2.  What is your favorite piece or collection?
It’s very hard to say.  I love the cufflings but I think my favorite is still the regular 18k gold lock because it defines what I was really wanting to do...define and create a modern heirloom.  It’s a necklace.  It’s a bracelet.  It can take on so many different looks and mix perfectly with classic, vintage pieces.

Marla's signature locks, available in brass, sterling silver, 14k & 18k gold. Sizes range from extra large (on left) to the baby (on right).

3.  What would your perfect “jewelry day” involve / be like?
My perfect jewelry day would involve getting to see a lot a women trying on my jewelry.  I love going to a store here in New York that carries my designs and watching people around the cases where my jewelry is.  To watch them from the corner enjoying the jewelry, is just perfect.

Marla's signature lock & cufflings with garnets.  Stack away, ladies!

4.  Thus far, what would you say is your proudest jewelry moment or memory?
Every day that I get to go see the craftsmen, the people who put my designs together, is a proud moment for me.  I am in awe of them.  To see them complete one of my designs just continues to solidify my awe of them.  For my locks, all the threading must be done by hand so that they close they perfectly.


This is my all-time favorite look from Marla!  Sapphires & gold lock...perfect for layering & completely classic!

5.  Where do you find your greatest inspiration?
I am very inspired by urban architecture.  Metal work of any kind has always fascinated me!  I’m also inspired by fixtures; bridges; details on buildings; 1920s French jewelry designer Suzanne Belperron; Etruscan designs....The functionality of things is just so perfect.

Greek key bracelet & lock.

6.  In your personal wardrobe, do you find that you gravitate to one particular jewelry accessory (rings vs. necklace vs. bracelets vs. watches, etc.) more often than others?
I never take my wedding ring off.  I love to wear a lot of bracelets.  I can sleep in my ear cufflings (they are just so comfortable!) and my wedding rings.  I’m big on stacking.  I love to stack it all!  The more the merrier. 

Marla's stacked ear cufflings; like little hugs for your ears!

7.  When putting together an outfit, how do you feel about mixing metals, designs and even new with vintage pieces?
Love mixing vintage and new designs.  That was the whole purpose for me when designing my collection - I wanted them to have a modern take on a vintage heirloom.  To be able to mix and layer them all together.

Classic pearls with a new twist.  One of my favorite looks by Marla!

8.  Layering seems to be a trend that is here to stay, for now. What are your feelings on the layered look?  How do you like layered necklaces with layered bracelets plus layered rings? 
Love layering!  I don’t believe in fashion and I don’t believe in style.  I am totally into mixing and layering!  I’m not sure where that means my collection will go but I just believe that jewelry is so personal.  I love when people dress for themselves; to express their own individuality and not for others.

Um...YES!  The more the merrier!  Cufflings by Marla Aaron.

9.  What advice would you give to budding jewelry designers? To budding fine jewelry collectors?
To designers: Learn as much as you can.  Embrace new technologies because they are changing the way jewelry is being designed and made.  It’s opening up so many design opportunities!

To collectors: Always, only buy what you LOVE.  It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks!   The same goes for collectors of fashion or art - any collector really!

Flash Question - Dream trip destination?
South Africa on the Blue Train

There is more to Marla than just locks & cufflings....Her mix-and-match earrings allow the wearer to
swap out interchangeable pendants.  Visit her website for more options!


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