While in Vegas last month I met the incredibly colorful Sarah Magid. I was immediately drawn to her energy and cool costume jewelry. Actually, I don't think I've ever been quite so impressed by modern-day costume jewelry. Sarah has a keen attention to detail and her unique pieces are very well-made. Get to know Sarah a bit better below and don't miss her at JA New York in a couple of weeks!
I knew I was a designer when I was baking neon cactus earrings in the oven to match my outfits in 5th grade. Out of college I began working with a couture milliner, hand sewing hats and hairpieces. That experience taught me that detail and craft go hand-in-hand with good design. It also planted the seed of entrepreneurship. I set off on a journey through corporate fashion- designing footwear, accessories, until I finally found my home in jewelry. This included a lot of overseas travel, and a lot of experience working directly with manufacturers. I came back to the notion of doing something on my own. Along the way, working at all these great companies, I was lucky to meet Cheryl, my business partner who is an operations and production genius.
Each season starts with color palette inspired by Modern Art or a combination I've found in vintage clothing patterns. I always find a "hero" for the season, usually an Artist or influencer that speaks to strong style. There are ideas that come very strong for the season. For example, chain fringe is a huge statement for this Fall. I felt it coming by looking at clothing and bags that had leather fringe, as well as the vibe of the 70's that is washed all over street style and the runways. I want to create jewelry that is sophisticated but also has a sense of whimsy.
I typically sketch for 2-3 weeks with ideas for the new season, while simultaneously fixing prototypes for the current season. I source semi-precious stones in the local market, as well as any mixed media materials. I then develop sketch boards for each story within the collection, and translate the sketches into vector drawings in Adobe Illustrator that includes all technical specifications. I send these drawings along with reference materials to our team overseas who translates them into 3-D drawings. Once I review the 3-D drawings and make any comments or changes, they get sent to the sample team that carves them in wax and works with the stone-cutters on my specifications, orders Swarovski crystals, leather, etc. We work hand-in-hand since many of my designs are complicated and there are always a lot of questions about how to try new ideas!
I work very closely with our team and work through each measurement, design, and model to make sure it executes. We have a mantra here that is "better done than perfect" since sometimes I want to keep tweaking a model or style. We are always working on two to three seasons at a time, and I like the idea that pieces from one season can work with the next.
Modern Art, life in NYC, street style, photography, vintage fashion, and music. I live in Brooklyn and see a lot of individual style that feeds new ideas about dressing and wearing accessories. Finding humor and joy in the unexpected and trying to incorporate that feeling. Designing is a constant thought process, constantly reacting to influences around me and visual ideas. Its an intuitive process, that sometimes feels like a puzzle to fit multiple things into a cohesive collection.
Currently listening to: My playlists reflect my surroundings. I have a son who listens to Kendrick Lamar and Frank Ocean on repeat, while my daughter is more of an Ariana Grande fan. We have a rotation of new music and old: Chaka Kahn and Prince mixed up with Grimes and Arcade Fire.
See more designs from Sarah on her website, my favorites are below.