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MEET THE DESIGNER: TANYA AGUINIGA

Tanya Aguiniga
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For Tanya Aguiñiga, making jewelry wasn’t exactly the plan. The designer—who, growing up, crossed the border from Tijuana, Mexico, every day for 14 years  to go to school—was originally focused on furniture. She studied at San Diego State and later RISD when she made the move to the U.S. for good. But as she got into soft materials—textiles, ropes, felts—she started to play around with making pieces you could wear, and, as it turns out, that came with a certain instant gratification that making things you could sit on does not. “It’s more immediate. With furniture stuff, it could take as long as a couple months to fine-tune something,” the L.A. resident explains. Plus, the feedback she got on her jewelry—especially the chunky bracelets woven from natural rope and hit with bursts of color—was a motivator. “People tend to get nostalgic. I don’t have a background in sailing, but people were automatically like, ‘Oh my god, this reminds me of Nantucket and things we used to make when I was a READ MORE


For Tanya Aguiñiga, making jewelry wasn’t exactly the plan. The designer—who, growing up, crossed the border from Tijuana, Mexico, every day for 14 years  to go to school—was originally focused on furniture. She studied at San Diego State and later RISD when she made the move to the U.S. for good. But as she got into soft materials—textiles, ropes, felts—she started to play around with making pieces you could wear, and, as it turns out, that came with a certain instant gratification that making things you could sit on does not. “It’s more immediate. With furniture stuff, it could take as long as a couple months to fine-tune something,” the L.A. resident explains. Plus, the feedback she got on her jewelry—especially the chunky bracelets woven from natural rope and hit with bursts of color—was a motivator. “People tend to get nostalgic. I don’t have a background in sailing, but people were automatically like, ‘Oh my god, this reminds me of Nantucket and things we used to make when I was a
little kid at summer camp,” Tanya adds. “People have connections to the shape and the material that I don’t have, and it’s been pretty cool to connect with them on a level that I just didn’t anticipate.” —erica

aguinigadesign.com

BEHIND THE SCENES

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Tanya Aguiniga Has a Thing for Rope

Even the kind made of potato-chip bags and candy wrappers.

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Get Outta Town Tanya’s Four Sourcing Hot Spots

The designer picks up her construction materials and techniques on jaunts to Mexico and India.

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