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Inside the Designer’s Studio: Lirany from Pretty Little Thing

Just earlier this week, we visited the studio of local jewelry designer, Lirany. Her line Pretty Little Thing started in NYC and now resides in San Francisco, CA. With so much influence from both coasts, we had a lot to talk about and share. Lirany was so kind to let us preview her upcoming line as well as show us a thing or two about jewelry production.

The studio was vibrant and filled with touches of nature, it was hard to leave. It is no wonder she is able to produce beautiful pieces in such a peaceful space.

Lirany, shared some of her favorite pieces from her previous line with us and talked about her upcoming line which we are excited to see this late August.

In the meantime, read our exclusive interview with her and make sure to look at Pretty Little Thing’s Shop now up on our Inspirare Marketplace  and stay tuned for her upcoming line. It is so good, we can’t give you any clues!

PLT by Jennymay VillareteLirany is wearing the Luna Cuff, $60, available on our Inspirare Shop

PLT-FullMoonEarringsThe Full Moon Earrings, $45, available on our Inspirare Shop

PLT-SaturnCollarThe Saturn Collar, $65, available on our Inspirare Shop

How and when did your line begin?

I’ve always loved jewelry and used to make it for myself, and people would always compliment me about it and ask me where I got it from—so that was the first sign I got that maybe I should pursue it further. So, I moved to NYC and started working for a jewelry company called Sequin as a Design Assistant and then an Account Manager. It was a great learning experience and it confirmed that I wanted to design jewelry and start my own business, so in 2005, I branched out on my own and started the line. But I also had other passions I wanted to explore so in 2010 I moved to San Francisco to do consulting for emerging fashion brands and also produced pop-ups when they started to be all the rage. I took a few years off from my business during that time to focus on those projects, but I was still making jewelry for fun. Two years ago I realized that I missed doing PLT full time and began the process of re-launching the brand.

What is the inspiration behind the name?

The name has a bit of a double meaning: Girls like pretty things and it’s also a flirty compliment: a cute, intriguing girl is a ‘pretty little thing,’ so I thought it was a good name for jewelry line.

Who is/are the designer/s of the jewelry?

I am the sole designer of the line. I sketch the ideas and create the styles by hand. I have amazing people in NYC and SF that help bring them to life like my model makers and casters.

PLT by Jennymay VillareteLirany is wearing the Apple Charm Necklace $48, Glass Spike Necklace $48, Little Star Necklace $65, and Luna Cuff $60

PLT by Jennymay VillareteSame as above, Lirany is also wearing the Glass Spike Earrings, $42, available on our Inspirare Shop

 How would you describe your brand?

The brand is a mix of New York City attitude with California free spirit, and a reflection of my inspirations from both coasts.

How would you define your jewelry?

PLT is fun jewelry perfect for everyday wear that looks great with a variety of looks. It’s a mix of classic pieces like charms with a bit of whimsy and edge that look great layered, as well as statement pieces that are chic and colorful– perfect for adding a unique touch to a casual look or for a night out. I make pieces that spark conversations and complement the style of the person wearing them.

PLT by Jennymay VIllaretePLT by Jennymay VIllarete

Who do you design for? How would you describe the type of woman that wears your brand?

I design for women who have confident, original style. Someone who doesn’t really follow trends and wants to stand out from the crowd and not wear the same thing everyone else is wearing. Someone who uses accessories in creative and unexpected ways.

PLT by Jennymay VillareteLirany is wearing the Apple Charm Necklace $48, Glass Spike Necklace $48, and Luna Cuff $60, and Glass Spike Earrings $42

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be and why?

I’ve been lucky to have already lived in my ideal place in the world—New York City—I lived there for 10 years. I’m a city girl and it was the perfect place for me. But I also like change and exploring new things, which is why I’m now in San Francisco! I’m really enjoying it here, this city has a really beautiful energy and you can’t beat the weather. I’m attracted to cities with character and lots of activity so if there were another place in the world where I’d love to live it would be London or Japan.

Which piece is your favorite and why?

They’re all my favorites! But currently, I’ve been wearing the Saturn Collar and Luna Cuff a lot—they’re both understated and chic and look great with anything. I’ve also been wearing the Hielo (icicle) Spike Necklaces because they’re delicate but also a little tough and add a little pop of color to any look. They look great layered with other necklaces.

What is your studio like?

I recently moved to a new studio so I’m still settling in a bit! My previous space was in the Mission and my new space is in the financial district on Market and Post– I like that there’s always a lot going on in the area. I share the space with a fashion retail start-up and after

I moved in I found out the space used to be the San Francisco Versace flagship space about 10 years ago, so I think it has good fashion mojo.

PLT by Jennymay Villarete

PLT by Jennymay VillareteThe Glass Spike Necklace $48, available on our Inspirare Shop

What fashion blogger would you love to have your jewelry featured by?

I love Aimee Song’s style. She has the perfect chic, city girl style mixed with feminine touches, like a sexy slip dress and strappy sandals paired with an amazing moto jacket. Her style is truly original and her looks always make their way to my mood boards.

What is it like creating a piece? Do you do most of the production yourself?

For some pieces I sketch out an idea along with all it’s dimensions and specifications and have a mold and casting made by one of my production factories in SF or NYC. Then I finish the rest of the production by setting stones or implementing chain and adding other details. For other pieces I do all the work myself. For example, the Chromo Collars are each individually created by hand weaving silk color cord and silver metal chain.

PLT by Jennymay VIllareteHere, Lirany is wire wrapping the closure of a Hielo Spike Necklace

PLT by Jennymay VIllarete

PLT by Jennymay VIllareteHere , Lirany is setting a stone in the Kaleidoscope Prism Cuff

What are your social media links?

Twitter

Pinterest

Facebook

I will admit, I was one of those freaks that didn’t completely give up the Blackberry until recently so I was a bit late in the game with Instagram. But, I’m getting into my groove with it now and we’re at: http://instagram.com/pltjewelry

What are your icons in the fashion world?

So many! I love the classic and originals icons—the fashion It girls of the 60s and 70s: Edie Sedgwick, Jane Birkin, Bianca Jagger and I love me a 90s era Supermodel: Christy, Naomi and Kate Moss of course.

PLT by Jennymay Villarete

Describe the most exciting event that has happened with your brand:

Spotting Alexa Chung wearing PLT on a red carpet! She wore an elephant charm necklace from one of my earlier collections to an event. I loved how she paired it with a jeweled statement necklace from another designer and a scarlet red cocktail dress. She is one of those girls that has such a unique and original style, so it was so flattering that she wore one of my pieces and really made it her own.

AlexaChungPLT1 AlexaChungPLT2(photos provided by Pretty Little Thing Jewelry)

What does the future look like?

The future looks bright! It’s been a bit of an adjustment and sometimes a challenge to re-launch the brand from a new city and a new coast after taking time away from it. Sometimes it feels like I’m starting from scratch even though I’ve been doing this for a few years. But, I’m settling into a new studio and working with a great business advisor on growing the brand. Our Fall/Holiday collection will be available in late August and I’m currently working on Spring 2015. So there’s lots more to come!

And last, but not least – if you could talk to your ten year-old self, what would you like her to know?

I would tell her that life is full of surprises and that things don’t always work out as planned, but they often turn out better than expected. So, keep an open mind, work hard, and believe in yourself and your dreams and everything will be just fine.

0-68The Glass Spike Necklace $48, and Little Star Necklace $65PLT by Jennymay VillareteThe Chromatic Collars $68, available on our Inspirare Shop

Photography by: Jennymay Villarete