Designer spotlight: NYC jewelry designers
Adorn yourself with the intricate, artistic works from these four local bauble labels.
Fri Feb 3 2012
The Mia sunglasses, $116 (normally $145), at shoptnemnroda.com
Rags to Riches bangle, $92 (normally $115), at shoptnemnroda.com
Shards of Glass rings, $96 each (normally $120), at Blake Scotland
Pyramids cuff, $84 (normally $105), at shoptnemnroda.com
All Wrapped Up bangles, three for $140 (normally $175), at Blake Scotland
Photograph: Zenith Richards
Designer Samantha Smikle
Samantha Smikle of TNEMNRODA (shoptnemnroda.com)
Who she is: The native New Yorker got her start in the fashion industry as a budding journalist, racking up internships at national publications such as Vibe, Interview and The Fader. After graduating in 2007 from Boston University with a degree in magazine journalism , Smikle found herself making grueling runs in and out of the Garment District as a production intern for designer Elise Overland. It was during this time that Smikle developed her newfound love for mixing the jewels and leather scraps she stumbled upon at work. She credits being laid off from her first job in fashion (office manager for a wholesale design firm) as the catalyst for taking her jewelry-making hobby to the next level. "That was a defining moment for the line," recalls Smikle. Her label of bold accessories, called TNEMNRODA (pronounced "nem-roh-dah"—adornment spelled in reverse), made its official debut in March 2011. She crafts each handmade piece from her in-home studio in the Bronx.
About the line: In creating her mixed-metal collection of rings, bracelets and eyewear ($70–$230), Smikle takes inspiration from sources as varied as ancient Egyptian jewelry, the Victorian era, her West Indian upbringing and her favorite artists. "I always have pictures of Cleopatra and the Egyptian pyramids on my inspiration board, and then I'll mix in a few gaudy influences such as Frida Kahlo or contemporary icons like Kelis," says Smikle. Her pieces incorporate brass, crushed vintage crystal sourced from her grandmother's chandelier collection and semiprecious stones. "I design from the standpoint of what I want to wear," notes Smikle. "If I don't like wearing it, I don't offer it."
Where to buy: Mention TONY for 20 percent off all TNEMNRODA items at Blake Scotland (62 Clinton St between Rivington and Stanton Sts, 212-387-8540) through March 8. Or use code "TONY" at shoptnemnroda.com to receive 20 percent off all purchases through March 9.