I am constantly amazed by the creativity I see in other designers. I was lucky enough to learn under one such artist while working at Liz Claiborne. Her name is Fernanda Medina. Her jewelry has been seen in magazines across the world including Vogue Italy and her personal collection can be found at Flock Gifts in Austin, TX. She currently works with renowned jewelry designer Robert Lee Morris and she was kind enough to let me pick her brain, one creative to another.
Thank you for reading and enjoy!
All photos were provided Fernanda Medina
She has book and street smarts: Art and Design High School for fashion design, Parsons School of Design for metal-smithing, F.I.T. for illustration and for jewelry design.
Career Ladder: Fernanda’s career was not a direct path to the top, she took time and developed her skill set at Salena’s Collection designing belts, Donna Karan designing home furnishings (candles), Tusk designing handbags, belts and small leather goods, Betesh Group designing products for Lei and Baby Phat, Jones New York designing jewelry for White House/Black Market and Liz Claiborne designing jewelry for Dana Buchmann. All before working at her current position designing along side Robert Lee Morris on his collections. (Tons of experience! Tired yet?)
FM: I find it all Hard! The hardest for me is leaving my family
behind when I have to travel across the world for 2-3 weeks at
time. Aside from that, it is coming up with newness.
Everything has been done at one point or another and it be-
comes more difficult to reinvent the wheel.
FM: Zoe Saldana. Being that she is from my old neighborhood
in Queens, and a fellow Dominican making it in Hollywood is
exciting. She is a great actress with a fantastic body and
Neckline. I can see her wearing my pieces, and not my pieces
FM: With formal jewelry training they tend to teach fine
jewelry. There is nothing wrong with fine jewelry but when
you move into the workforce, there are very few fine jewelry
jobs but plenty of positions in costume jewelry. The
instructors also tend to teach design suites such as an
earring, necklace, bracelet and ring. In the real world, there
is more than that. It is either items or collections of 12-20
pieces. You will also be required to design categories that do
not fall under jewelry such as gifting.
FM: Simon Alcantara! I met him a couple of times when he had
trunk shows at Bergdorf Goodman, he is one of the nicest and
most humble people on the planet. Simon started the thread
wrap around hoop earrings and the crisscross chains inside
hoop earrings. The world copied him and not a soul
credited him for his work. His jewelry collection is beautiful
and unique. I wish I cold see more of it out there in the
FM: People not in the industry tend to think designing is so
glamorous. Its is glamorous to a certain degree but at the end
of the day we have to put in the same amount of hours, designs
don’t grow on trees. You have to research, conceptualize,
design, provide technical work and send designs out for
development…sometimes all within the course of a week.
FM: I have been living in New York since I was 8 years old. I
traveled the world and have fallen in love with many places
but nothing compares to NYC. There is so much to see and
do in NY, and when it comes to inspiration, NY is a treasure
for that. New Yorkers street style is very unique and inspiring.
I’m currently living in Brooklyn and every time I walk out
my door I notice something new and different. For instance,
right now the garage next door to us has two old phone
booths from God knows when. They look like the type that Su-
perman would use for changing. Looking at the phone booths,
I have come up with so many ideas which are on my sketch pad
FM: Launching a costume jewelry line on ShopNBC, I went on
air as the co-host. Another was when Plutocracy, an apparel
line used my collection during New York Fashion Week 2011.
Lastly, having my jewelry displayed in a store, Yay!!
FM: Apparel is the only thing that I don’t really design. I have
made several pieces on my own though. I wouldn’t mind
dressing myself every morning with Syd and Pia NYC from head to
toe…shoes is another passion of mine, we have this love affair
that will last a lifetime. I would love to create my own shoe
You can check out more from Fernanda here.