UO Interviews: Vanessa Mooney
Hi Vanessa! What are some of the things you're into?
I love the beach, the mountains, the ocean but I also love the city—L.A., NYC, and Paris! I have always been interested in anything related to the arts whether it was music, painting, or fashion. I grew up in Hollywood so music and street style were always something I related to and was into. I have a love for anything that is creative and inspires others to be creative. I find beauty in so many things, like people and their expression of what is interesting and beautiful to them.
Tell us about your latest collection.
This collection was fun for me! I was inspired by color and I got a little wild with it. I felt like I was designing with this idea of a powerful woman. I was excited to do some really fun pops of color with mixed metals, and some cool jewelry that had a bit of an Aztec warrior feeling. From living and working in Downtown Los Angeles, I am always walking by fabrics, colors, prints, murals, buildings, and people! I took from that and mixed textures and colors. There is a mixture of different time periods and cultures with an edge.
What inspires your jewelry making?
For me it's always an accumulation of sights, feelings, and ideas that start off my collections—I am always looking and watching everywhere I go. I always feel a combination of inspiration as I get going and the pieces are completed. I like that feeling of random combinations that occur when I am done and I look at the overall collection! It doesn't feel forced but more of a flow from one piece to another.
What type of girl wears your jewelry?
I feel I design for that girl on the street, who you pass by and look twice. It is for someone who isn't afraid to be themselves, and tries to experience new things in life and their travels. I think the girl that wears my jewelry wants something different, so instead of doing what she sees other people do, she makes it her own in whatever way she does!
What are your favorite pieces of jewelry that you've designed?
The "Fight the Power" pieces this season! I love the layer-able rings and bangles—they make me feel sexy and strong. They are all metal and have an African punk rock feel to them, which I am totally into right now!
What are some tips you would give to someone who is interested in buying jewelry, but doesn't know where to start?
Definitely build a collection of pieces! Jewelry is super fun and can make clothing exciting. Start with something that gives you a good, sexy, tough, or fun feeling when you have it on, while also complementing your body or personality! I surprise myself all the time with suddenly wanting to wear something I would have never thought I would be into. You just have to go with it try not to limit yourself!
Do you have any idols when it comes to jewelry?
I don't know that I have idols but I really admire the work that other jewelry designers do. Pamela Love, Pade Vavra—there are so many!
If you could only wear one piece of jewelry for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It would have to be the ring my husband gave me almost ten years ago when he asked me to marry him! It's a vintage diamond from the late 30's and it's my most important piece of jewelry I own.