Our Jenny Bird Interview One On One
Our Featured Designer of the Month of March - Jenny Bird Interview
Coming off the back of her nomination for the Accessory Designer of the Year Award from the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards in Toronto we meet with Jenny Bird. One of our favorite designers and someone who is clearly pushing the envelope while staying ahead of trend, Jenny Bird continues to deliver beautiful collections season after season. We sit with Jenny to ask some questions.
1. You named your jewelry line Jenny Bird after yourself. Can you tell us more about your background and how you decided to go with your name?
It's my real name. Well it's Jennifer, but my whole life I've gone by Jenny and now all of my closest friends (and husband;) call me just Bird. I was just lucky to have a name that was PERFECT for a brand name.
2. Have you always lived in Canada and designed there as well? Do you think that is a large influence on your work?
YES! Honestly, New York has influenced my work more than Canada in terms of style direction, for what is coming in Fashion. But I am also hugely inspired by and fueled by nature too, and I recharge in the countryside where I am from outside of Toronto. Just give me the Summer, bare feet, a meadow and some sunshine and I am one happy person. but I also need the city and am driven ahead by street style too. So I guess I would say the countryside of Canada (where I grew up and love spending downtime ) and my time in NY is fused into one big mash of inspo.
3. When you design pieces are you designing for yourself or for a target customer and who is that customer?
The Jenny Bird woman is not a certain age or demographic, but has a confident individual style. She mixes her investment pieces (designer shoes or a bag) with great jeans, cashmere, vintage and Zara, It's all about her personal style. One time I was asked to describe the Jenny Bird girl in 5 words. The Jenny Bird girl is free-spirited, approachable, strong, fun, cool and of course stylish.
4. What hot new jewelry trends do you see coming in the near future?
For all pieces it's moving to a more minimalist and structured aesthetic, like round, sleek plain collar necklaces (like a slim gold rod, that's it) , we're also back into the 80s tight chokers. And importantly, we're out with the arm party, and in with "Ear Curation" Small tiny earrings worn individually and as part of a well-curated and personalized earring story. I just LOVE that (and I'm running to get more piercings)
Jenny Bird showing at Coterie
5. What jewelry designers do you love or think have inspired your work?
Vintage is my biggest inspiration. Right now with my clean design direction for Holiday 2015, that includes a lot of designers from the Modernist movement in New York, like Art Smith Jewelry.
6. You have been designing for quite some time now and a lot of people don't realize you started as a womans handbag designer. Can you tell us about the first Jenny Bird Piece?
The first piece was actually a handbag I made the pattern for and sewed myself. It was a clutch made of fabric with ribbon accents and a metal hinge frame opening. I've come a long way with Italian leathers and quality manufacturing partners!
I would say my creative spirit started showing itself in junior high, when I was sewing those must-haves scrunchies out of some very nouveau fabrics. there wasn't a better scrunchy for miles;) Growing up on a farm with a grandmother who was an advanced seamstress, the sewing machine was something I was very comfortable with at a young age. My grandmother helped all of her daughters design and sew their wedding dresses, my mom's was amazing!
7. What are you 3 favorite Instagrammers other than us of course. ( @loveandpiecesig )@miraduma - for her personal style <3
@editorialistmagazine - for luxury accessory trends and inspo.
@usweekly - for the the gossip!
8. Lastly if you had to wear one piece of jewelry for the rest of your life which piece would it be and why?
The first necklace my dad gave my mom in the 70s.
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