Virtual Toast #5: Pamela Love

Raise a glass to her mind, her jewelry, and her attitude.

An ink print of Love by the talented Ashlynn Cedrone.

Ink print by Ashlynn Cedrone for The Tonic.

WHO IS SHE?

The NYC-based jewelry designer of that amazing pendant you see everyone wearing. And that hand cuff. And those turquoise earrings. She’s everywhere, producing the bohemian-meets-downtown-meets-ethereal jewelry pieces you need (before you even realize you need them).


WHAT’S HER STORY?

Though her southwestern-inspired jewelry often lends itself to the assumption she’s from Texas or thereabouts, Love hails from Florida. She’s had a unique and eclectic voice since childhood (rumor has it she made jewelry from toothbrushes during her formative years), which originally led her to pursue film school in New York (as she’s said, “I love designing sets and creating environments, in film school and for my own presentations. I love telling stories”).

Shortly after graduating, Love worked as an art assistant to Francesco Clemente. Flexible hours in this position allowed her to pursue a jewelry apprenticeship in Manhattan, which then inspired her to strike out on her own. She began making jewelry in her Brooklyn apartment in 2007, and shortly thereafter entered fashion’s consciousness in a big way as a hugely successful participant in Vogue’s CFDA Fashion Fund.

Today, she designs jewelry collections that sell like hotcakes from her Manhattan studio. And while she’s perhaps best known for her earlier pieces that speak to the American Southwest, her most recent work has taken a turn for the mystical, reflecting her self-described fascination with magic and ritual. Other recent inspirations include the Art Deco movement, tribal motifs, and the heavy industrialism involved in the jewelry-making process itself.

Regardless of the season, Love crafts unique and beautiful pieces that are equal parts grace and strength (her goal, she says, is for wearers to feel “empowered“). Her love of her trade and skill as an artist comes through clearly n every collection; as she says:

It has always been fascinating to me how personal and powerful jewelry can be; I love that an inanimate object can hold so much emotion. People give and receive jewelry in major life moments, like a wedding ring or a necklace that you get as a high school graduation present, and whenever you see that piece again you’re immediately reminded of the moment that you got it. I wanted to be a part of sharing this type of experience and relationship with pieces that are so close to someone, emotionally and physically.


WHAT MAKES HER TOAST-WORTHY?

Love nails it when it comes, in her words, to “the same voice telling different stories.” Her collections always seem true to her aesthetic, yet remain fresh and new from season to season. Part of the joy of being a Pamela Love diehard is knowing that you won’t be able to predict where she turns next.

In an age where it’s easier than ever before to outsource production, Love’s continued commitment to manufacturing her jewelry domestically is also highly admirable (note that her gemstones and semiprecious stones are all ethically sourced). But what I most admire about Love is her unassuming attitude. You’d almost forget she’s a majorly talented designer when she speaks, as she always makes a point to credit her team, and is the first to speak out about how grateful she is for the opportunities she’s been given.


WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?

Love revealed in a Vogue interview that her favorite drink is a Bloody Mary, which I think suits her to a T (strong, a little spicy, the perfect antidote to a hangover). I’m happy to take a page from her playbook and raise a glass of this saucy tomato juice to the one and only Pamela Love.


LEARN MORE:

xox E

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