Monday, August 1, 2011

Dressing Up With Jenny Dayco

Get to know multi-talented celebrity jewelry designer and ModelWire Network member, Jenny Dayco and find out why starlets like Beyonce, Ke$ha and Taylor Swift swoon over her designs. Enter to win one of Jenny's one-of-a kind pieces here!

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you decided to become a jewelry designer?
Let's see...I studied graphic design in college, but with a large fine art emphasis, so I never had any formal training in jewelry making, I'm all self taught!  Being a natural artist, I must always be creating something! Around 2002-2005, plus-size clothing wasn't as trendy and fashion forward as I'd liked it to be, so I would make my own clothes and jewelry, just for fun, while doing various full-time jobs throughout the years. I really never intended it to go anywhere!  My cousin was getting married in the summer of 2004, and I decided to make this elaborate gold circle necklace to wear at the wedding. I later wore that necklace to a friend's boutique party (Scout LA), and my friend suggested that I make jewelry for his shop.  I originally said no but  he said if I changed my mind, I should get in touch. A few weeks later, I decided, "Why not?", and showed him my very first set of pieces, and they ended up all selling out! At the time, I was working at an agency that repped hairstylists, makeup artists, and wardrobe stylists, so I started to let my contacts and my artists know that I was making jewelry. Through letting all my contacts know, I started to sell at local boutiques and my stylist pals would try to use my jewelry as much as possible.

What's your favorite part about your job?

I love creating new pieces.  Crazy ones, especially!  I like making statement pieces, where I don't care if it sells, I don't care if anyone likes it, I get the feeling of elation of making art for art's sake.  I also LOVE hearing feedback about my pieces!  When my customers  tell me how much they love my earrings/necklace/bracelet/ring, and they get complimented on my pieces, and they feel great, and it makes me feel really great!  That kind of feedback is encouraging, as I like the idea of my pieces being out there and bringing other people joy and happiness.  

What inspires you?

In the past, I used to say nature...trees, plants, intriguing animals (i.e. horses, jellyfish, etc.).  After designing jewelry for about 6-1/2 years, my inspiration has transitioned into a few different ideas.  Right now, I've been really inspired by historical and mythical characters in classic films, such as Elizabeth Taylor in 'Cleopatra', Sophia Loren in 'The Fall of the Roman Empire', etc.  Musicians often inspire me as well, but really outré artists such as Bjork, Lady GaGa, Prince, and Ke$ha.

What's more important school or real life experience?

Wow, that's a toughie!  It's really hard to say, because I believe both are equally as important as the other.  A formal education equips you with the knowledge and the tools to really understand your craft, your personal artistic process, and the understanding of peer/teacher encouragement and constructive criticism.  Even if you don't end up in the career that you majored in, sometimes your studies can factor into your job later.  With me, I graphic design everything, my website, my business cards, ads, portfolios, etc.  Real-life experience is also crucial, it is necessary to learn outside of a controlled, academic environment.  School can only teach you so much though -  you can't learn how to create/sustain business relationships, networking, and your personal artistic/career boundaries, at school.  School is about acquiring and understanding knowledge, but real-life experience is learning and knowing how to apply that knowledge.  

What are some of your favorite projects you've worked on?

I love custom making pieces for any project!  Whether that be for a fashion show, celebrity, etc.  Recently I made a lot of custom pieces for my friend Curly V's fashion show installation, and that was a blast.  He basically wanted big and gold jewelry, so I just went with it and created some great pieces.  I also custom made some mirrored pieces for Ke$ha, and that was pretty fun too - I just knocked out whatever mirrored ideas I had in mind!  I just like being able to make really outrageous pieces, but sometimes I need some direction.  If there aren't enough creative boundaries, I'll get stuck and not be sure which idea to execute first.  

Highlight of your career thus far?

How do I say this without being too obnoxious? LOL! I think there's so many opportunities I've had that all feel like a blessing.  I was pretty proud when I found out my beaded Lyndel sunglasses for Mosley Tribes were carried at Bergdorf Goodman in NYC.  Another proud moment was when I was told Beyonce personally requested one of my necklaces, and ended up wearing it!  Another moment was when Taylor Swift kept wearing my pieces everywhere.  I'm also pretty proud of the current feature of my live/work studio in a Japanese interior design magazine.  I look forward to many more highlights in my future!

Where do you see your career going in the future?

Many places I hope - I would love to expand into doing other accessories, such as headbands, handbags, belts, sunglasses. All of that takes time though, I pretty much am "winging it" alone everyday.  I have also played around with the idea of doing a fashion-forward, edgy, plus-size clothing line, that would be amazing!  My career has moved slowly upward, so I hope that someday it will continue to grow and expand into other areas.

Any favorite designers, stylists, photographers, fashion personalities?

*Favorite clothing designers:  Alexander McQueen (before his untimely passing), Alber Elbaz for Lanvin, the Rodarte girls, Tom Ford, Alexander Wang, Marchesa, Jeremy Scott*Favorite jewelry designers/lines: Tom Binns, Philip Crangi, Eddie Borgo, Pamela Love, Mawi, Herve Van Der Straeten, Justin Giunta, Dana Lorenz*Favorite accessory designers: Christian Louboutin, Jeffrey Campbell, Alexander Wang (again, LOL), Rebecca Minkoff*Favorite stylists: Every stylist I've worked with!  But to be specific, I love Joe Zee, Grace Coddington, Edward Enninful, Andrea Lieberman, Mariel Haenn, Johnny Wujek, Nicola Formichetti, Paul Cavaco, Karl Templer, Patti Wilson*Favorite photographers: Steven Klein, Mert Alas + Marcus Piggott, Inez van Lamsweerde + Vinoodh Matadin, Paolo Roversi, Nick Knight, Solve Sundsbo, Mario Sorrenti*Favorite fashion personalities: Christian Siriano, Tim Gunn, Andre Leon Talley, Jeremy Scott, Miss Jay from America's Next Top Model



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