Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Interview with Jewelry Designer Lizzy Klein

Hi There..... Are you a fan of original high-quality jewelry designs?

I bet you are. Maybe you’re more a fan of sustainable jewelry? What if you could combine this high-quality jewelry with sustainable jewelry? All I can say is keep reading if you are interested to know more. 😁

It's so great that nowadays you can find recycling in so many branches of fashion. When I think about it, it's something I also did when I was in my early twenties. πŸ˜€

My mom still had kept dresses from decades ago, and she agreed I could alter one of them and use it. She also had some wigs from lots of years ago, but they were only good for a laugh. πŸ˜„

It's such a pity I don't have pictures of me and my sisters wearing those wigs. I would love to show them to you, or then again, maybe not. 😜

One of the most beautiful things in the world I've ever seen or heard is people laughing, even when there seems to be so little reason for them to laugh. At least that's what D. L. Hughley said. 😍

Let's hear what Lizzy Klein, our 51-year-old jewelry designer has to say. She is the founder of mazi + zo

What kind of work do you do or what are you studying to be? 

I started my career in fashion, worked in digital startups for about 25 years, and founded a sustainable jewelry company in 2019.

Is fashion important to you? Why? 

Yes! I’ve always loved fashion’s power to inspire confidence, imagination, and ambition… Edith Head said, “You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it."

I also care about craft and materials and think of beautifully made pieces as works of art. I live on NYC’s Upper East Side and find browsing the boutiques on Madison Avenue as inspiring as the museums on Fifth Avenue.

What are your successes and how did you achieve them?

I’ve spent 25+ years working in the digital start-up world and have launched award-winning sites and apps that millions of people use every day. 

After years in the digital world, I realized I wanted to work with tangible goods and launched mazi + zo (my current biz) where we design high-quality, ethically produced, easy-to-wear jewelry. In 2020, the organization When We All Vote reached out to mazi + zo to partner on a VOTE necklace that raised a bunch of money for a cause I care about, so that was a highlight. And most recently (June 2021,) our Libra Zodiac necklace landed on a (web)page of Vogue ITALIA, which was the fashion thrill of a lifetime.

Is the name of the Brand important to you when you buy clothing?

Yes and no. There are a few designer brands that are my go-to's because they fit my body shape and style (AlaΓ―a, Prada, and Alexander McQueen,) but I don’t shop exclusively for designer labels. I consider “cost-per-wear” more than brand name and will spend what might seem to some like a lot on a high-quality jacket/sweater/jeans/shoes that I expect to either wear often or keep forever. An example would be pricey snakeskin Celine sneakers, which I probably wore 100x a year, or a Dolce & Gabbana cocktail dress that’s still fab after over 10 years. To me, that seems more practical than fast fashion that falls apart after a few wears. 

That said, I love discovering new brands, both high and low. Quality and fit are most important to me in clothing.

Describe your personal style of clothing?

Most of the time, I go for a sort of personalized low-key polished style: I love effortless, monochromatic looks that incorporate shine and texture with “basic” pieces in luxe materials. If I wear something bright, it’s usually in a classic style and rarely a print (like a solid fuchsia simple shift dress or a neon orange pleated mini). I love metallics. And these days, I wear sneakers almost every day: current favorites are pristine Adidas Stan Smith's with a gold label. 

The low-key vibe carries over into mazi + zo’s jewelry designs: all of our minimalist gold and silver jewelry is designed to shine alone or stacked and layered. I have 7 ear piercings and I am usually wearing 7 different earrings and 3 necklaces and it still feels cohesive (and not overloaded.)

When I get the urge to level up, I mix in something from my collection of timeless statement pieces (like a gold Zadig & Voltaire jacket, Dolce & Gabbana shorts printed with oversized cherries, or a Roberto Cavalli purple suede fringed vest.) 

How did you find your personal style? Do you have a signature look? 

It’s evolving. In my 20s, I wore fitted suits with short skirts and high heels, my 30s were more fashion-forward with a lot of accessories, and in my 40s I drifted to a much more casual vibe (in line with the times). If five years ago you’d told me I’d hang up my heels and wear sneakers with dresses, I would have laughed, but packing is so much easier now!

Do you have an influence on other people’s clothing style?

I have a few friends who ask for my help to put together a special look or choose an expensive bag, but most of my friends have their own fashion sense. I love sharing fantastic finds with my friends (like Commando’s take on faux leather leggings… I wear these on repeat!) and one of my group chats is full of shopping links.

What are in your eyes the best trends at the moment?

An emphasis on sustainability and eliminating the hideous waste generated by the fashion industry. There are cool brands like NYC’s thesalting and Minimalist who are committed to designing and manufacturing in more sustainable ways. And there’s also a wider adoption of re-homing (re-closeting??) clothes for maximum wear via consignment sites like The Real Real and Poshmark. 

What are in your eyes the worst trends at the moment?

Bike shorts for anything but biking. 

What kind of fashion advice would you give us?

If you’re looking to buy quality, Instagram commerce is a danger zone as it’s wildly effective at triggering impulse purchases and “you get what you pay for” doesn’t apply: effective marketers can slap a cheap item on an influencer and price it at $50 or $250, so it’s worth researching a company and finding credible reviews rather than trusting their claims. The trick, of course, is finding legitimate customer reviews because it’s really easy for a brand to pay for online reviews and testimonials. Buyer beware!

Who is your style icon and why?

Elaine Welteroth (@elainewelterroth) wears a ton of color and takes her hair and makeup to the max, Laurie Ferraro (@laurieferraro) rocks everyday cool, Hallie Swanson (@halliedaily) reminds me that dressing up is a good idea, and Norma Kamali (@normakamali) has been fabulous for longer than I’ve been alive.

Is there something else you would like to share with us?

Choosing jewelry made with recycled materials is an easy way to prioritize sustainability without sacrificing style. At mazi + zo, we eliminate waste as much as we can by using recycled solid 14k gold and sterling silver, hand-making each minimal piece, and packing every order in reusable (and cute!) containers. Well-made jewelry is always in style and lasts longer than a lifetime, so our customers can feel good about their purchases.

Thank you so much Lizzy to take the time to answer my questions. Your jewelry designs are gorgeous. I love how they can be layered and combined.

Hope you like my blog.....Until next time.....Have a nice day 

Renata (Seadbeady)

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