Designer spotlight: NYC jewelry designers
Adorn yourself with the intricate, artistic works from these four local bauble labels.
Fri Feb 3 2012
Mona Baltazar of That's Mona (thatsmona.com)
Who she is: A hairdresser at Alibi Salon NYC (67 Greene St between Broome and Spring Sts; 212-219-2806, alibinycsalon.com) by day and a jewelry designer by night, Baltazar draws creative inspiration for her handmade tribal-style necklaces from her Filipino roots. "I've always been a creator of things," says the 33-year-old FIT graduate, who was born in the Philippines, grew up in California and currently works out of her apartment in Bushwick. Baltazar began crafting necklaces for herself in early 2011, and received so many compliments from salon clients and friends that she launched her own jewelry line that September.
About the line: "Every piece is very individual and has its own character," says Baltazar, who names each necklace with an Ilokano name from her native language, including una ("original") or daga ("earth"). Her chunky cultural-meets-industrial neckpieces ($65–$125) juxtapose natural elements such as feathers with man-made materials, including machine screws from Home Depot and funky beads from craft stores in the Garment District. She layers metal chains and incorporates contrasting shapes such as silver studs and spikes set against rectangular pieces of patterned cotton fabric, producing unexpected designs. "I wanted to test out my product and design to see how people reacted to them and how far this will go," explains Baltazar of her singular focus on necklaces, adding that she hopes to soon add earrings to the mix.
Where to buy: Dalaga (150 Franklin St between Greenpoint Ave and Kent St, Greenpoint, Brooklyn; 718-389-4049, dalaganyc.com) and Miss Lily's Variety (130 W Houston St at Sullivan St; 646-588-5375). Or use code "TONY" to receive 15 percent off all necklaces at thatsmona.com through February 16.
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