This week the Nolcha Fashion Week: New York team had the opportunity to catch up with Fernanda Medina, the designer behind jewelry brand Syd and Pia. Syd and Pia presented their #FW15 collection at the Nolcha Fashion Week: New York February 2015 Fashion Lounge.
Syd and Pia NYC’s vision is to develop into a brand that will end up in speciality stores, ultimately become a household name.
What inspired you to become a fashion designer? After dabbling in fashion design I realized that I had a love for clothing and accessories but not a love for creating clothing. I was in awe every time I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art or any other museum that houses jewelry dating from the beginning of time to now. I would look at art, sculpture and fashion, yet what I paid attention to where the details of how a person was painted in a portrait, or scenery. I wanted to see their jewelry up close; I wanted to see it in the now. Fast forward to my college years, I started at Parson’s School of Design as an illustration major, and enjoyed it but felt that I was in need of doing something more dimensional, creating with my hands. When I found out that they had a jewelry program and I got to see what the students were creating I immediately fell in love with the idea of being able to manipulate metal and create objects such as vases, lamps, boxes, silverware, and of course jewelry. The ideas are endless; once you get the hang of manipulating metal you can create almost anything.
How would you describe your brand? Based in Brooklyn, Syd & Pia NYC is a fresh, quintessential metal-based brand that embodies a raw urban aesthetic with the rich antique spirit of exoticism.
The brand does not stand alone without impeccable jewelry technique, craftsmanship, and supreme quality, all while inviting the individual to experience an authentic, unassuming accessory experience.
What challenges do you face being in the fashion industry? The only thing we as designers face is that there are not many people manufacturing in the USA so it becomes a bit costly making everything local. We feel that American made pieces personify durability, quality, and employment. It is creating local alliances and promoting the American economy. Having an American made piece is having a piece that’ll last for a lifetime or more.
Where do you find your inspiration from when creating your new collections? I find inspiration is found all over the place. A lot of it comes from walking within the city or reading illustrated books and examining the architectural schemes of different kinds of buildings. The exterior edges, curves, embellishments, adorning’s are all reminiscent of fine sculpture. I find jewelry to be a fine sculpture art too.
Who is your biggest influence? Diana Vreeland and Iris Apfel! There’s no need to describe as to why they are an influence to me; people just get it when they hear their names; but here it goes anyway, Ms. Vreeland was the epitome of fashion, and Ms. Apfel is a jewelry-walking billboard, they both exude an eternal and unique style that a lot of people lack nowadays. These women were bold and unassuming in nature.
What does 2015 hold for the brand? Expand from online sales to retailers, and making the brand a household name.
“Designing jewelry is like being in a candy store: there are so many possibilities I could spend my life coming up with the stuff” – Frank Gehry