Through the past two decades, with more than 150 collections totalling more than 15,000 pieces of amazing hand-crafted detail and brilliant design, Gerard Yosca makes the jewelry that makes ladies around the world smile.
Along with his eponymous collection featured regularly on TV’s The Insider, Madonna, Oprah, Gwyneth Paltrow and Reese Witherspoon are Yosca fans. Fashionistas have also seen his sparkling creations for Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren and Tracy Reece and on the runways of New York and Paris.
I spoke with Yosca at his part-time home in Ocean Grove – where he says for the past 17 years he has found inspiration for his designs worn by women (and some men) around the world.
TBP: Your designs are whimsical, sophisticated, elegant and dynamic. Do you find inspiration locally for your collections sold around the world?
Yosca: Absolutely. Local architecture all handcrafted and fanciful – the details on some of the special homes in Ocean Grove and Asbury Park are wonderful. And nature here – you look one way there is water, pebbles, shells and sand and the other way there are beautiful gardens, insects… flowers. I look at blooms in the gardens here – nobody could ever create that.
Visiting the flea markets and thrift store in the area are fantastic, too. I love seeing so many beautiful things in one place.
Two summers ago I was looking at Hollywood regency-type items. Now I am looking at old wood and tools that show a lifetime of wear.
Those differences point the way of where style and fashion are going. We are looking to a home-spun American movement – Ocean Grove America somewhat – from a Hollywood glamour, Lucite and modern theme a few years ago.
TBP: You have said you “live for how right something so wrong can be.” What?
Yosca: Two colors that people never put together sometimes can look amazing and create a strong, great look. Five years ago nobody would make grey and yellow jewelry and now it looks incredible.
No matter what colors, women have to find their own style. Why would you let some celebrity in leggings with a $10,000 handbag decide what necklace looks best on you? Look at lots of jewelry and find a piece that makes you feel fabulous.
Buy less but buy quality hopefully made in America. There is so much junk being made. A quality necklace or earrings will make you look and feel special and put a kick in your step for decades to come.
For Fall 2011 the trend is smaller pieces but more interesting. The big statement necklace doesn’t look new anymore. What looks new now is something obviously hand-crafted that has personality.
TBP: Each year, you lecture at the Fashion Institute of Technology. What do you say to the kids in this area who think Seventh Avenue is a million miles away – just completely unattainable?
Yosca: A long career in design is gradual. I have never been on that skyrocket trajectory. I have always designed collections that do not look like anybody else’s – and that was the trick to getting the attention of fashion editors. I got a lot of magazine credits in the beginning of my career, which helped me with the store buyers and helped me grow my business.
And don’t act like a jerk thinking it’s cool. Today’s peacock is tomorrow’s feather duster.
Click here for TheBPlot and The Coaster’s extended interview with Yosca, where he reveals the advice he gives to young designers at the Fashion Institute of Technology and previews Fall 2011 accessories trends for ladies.
INTERVIEW CONDUCTED & FILED ON LOCATION WITH THE FAB SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB 10.1. REVIEW COMING SOON.