How One Jeweler Made a Career Out of Collaborating
No one knows more about playing well with others than Jaclyn Mayer—in fact, the impetus behind her jewelry line Orly Genger by Jaclyn Mayer was a mind-meld with artist Orly Genger. “I made a necklace for her to wear to an opening using the rope from her sculpture—she got a lot of compliments, so we decided to make more. Most of the materials we use for jewelry come from her art— metals, resins, and enamels,” explains Jaclyn. She’s since gone on to make way-special runway pieces for everyone from master of girlish sophistication Lela Rose to modern, ladylike line Whit and swimsuit maven Mara Hoffman. Below, her three tenets for joining forces oh-so-well.
WORK WITH PEOPLE WHO GET IT
“To start, we collaborate with designers whose styles work with well with our own. It sounds obvious, but it’s important that they know who we are as a brand and don’t try to change us. I never feel pushed to stray from my own vision too much.”
START WITH SHARED INSPO
“I met Vicky, the designer behind VPL, and she loved the jewelry I was making. So I ended up doing the jewelry for eight of her runway shows. She wanted completely new pieces for the runway that were sculptural and experimental. She gave me inspiration images, and we went back and forth a lot, talking about different techniques and styles, until we landed on something together that we thought was cool. A lot of the pieces I did with her involved new shapes and materials—some of them had carved wooden elements and were more angular than our usual work. Because of that, a lot of other designers have reached out to me about doing a project—one thing leads to another, and it’s very serendipitous.”
FIND A COMMON THREAD
“By the time we start working with a designer, they already know what the theme is going to be for the collection, so we take that and run with it. For example, when I did the jewelry for one of Lela Rose’s runway shows, she was referencing Peruvian stitching, colors, and embroidery. I incorporated those elements into the jewelry, sewing together colorful cording and adding brighter colors to compliment the clothes. For Mara Hoffman, she wanted some of our classic styles in her colors, so it was more a question of adapting jewelry we’ve already made to fit in. The people we work with like our aesthetic; that’s why they want to work with us in the first place.”