A JEWEL DATE WITH … ISSY SALOMON
There is one piece in my jewellery box I continuously reach for when I’m looking to make a statement. It’s my kudos piece that never fails to start a conversation and attract admiration. A piece I give myself great kudos for finding.
Whenever I’m quizzed about it’s origins I smugly but in a humble manner (if such a tone exists) exclaim with pride; “Oh, I just picked this up when I was in New York a few years ago at the Young Designers Market. It’s by this amazing designer; Issy Salomon.”
The exchange always ends the same. The admirer lusting over the necklace wishing the roles were reversed and me, relishing in the fact there not. Beaming with pride that Issy has acquired yet another fan.
I’ve been a
fan champion of Issy since I met him at the Young Designers’ Market (now TheMarket NYC) in 2010. I was taken back by his ability to combine so many varying elements in one piece that on paper should probably equate to a hot mess but when touched by Salomon’s fair hand just equals a jewelled masterpiece that turns heads for all the right reasons. Ropes encrusted with rhinestones. Pearls married with Carabiner clips, Salomon’s pieces are nothing short of a work of art.
Working with vintage pieces, Salomon deconstructs and then re -constructs the components he finds creating a fresh exuberant aesthetic with “hints of the old” he says, as we sit down over coffee and cake at his favourite spot on Bleecker street. Working with old vintage pieces is one the most enthralling aspects of his job Issy goes on to tell me. ‘I love the way you can find something that may have been regarded in bad taste and you can turn it upside down and redefine it.”
It is a craft which began when Issy was a young boy in Veracruz, Mexico . He would use the remnant scraps from his mother’s sewing projects to create dresses for nieces’ dolls. The enjoyment he got from dressing and styling his nieces’ dolls lead to him studying fashion design and prior to life as a jeweller Issy was a pattern cutter.
A skill which manifests itself in his pieces. A Salomon necklace hangs and fits so well you would think it was custom made for you. Salomon understands not only the curves of a woman, but women themselves. The pieces he creates are designed to make a woman feel special and confident. Evoke her inner strength “find your perfect you” he says. That’s what I love about designing, connecting with customers helping the find themselves and allowing that self to blossom. Through doing this Salomon lives out his own goals and dreams.
It is a dream which really took off in 2004 when when Issy spontaneously booked a flight from Miami to New York to set in motions his desire of being a jewellery designer. He arrived on Prince street outside Prada with a pop up table and so his business was born. The first big seller from his collection, a New York inspired apple necklace.
The folding table was packed up long ago and since then Issy has built up a international loyal fan base, watched his designs strut down the catwalk of New York Fashion week and established himself as the maestro of cool and daring jewels.
But what strikes me about the warm charismatic designer who sits in front of me is how shy and quite he is. His style muted in comparison to the vibrant elaborate pieces he creates. He wears a simple Anchor necklace his own creation and a hint of sparkle on his pinkie care of his fellow Market NYC neighbour Reiner Mengesdorf of Reinerland. I used to dress like a party especially in my Miami days Issy fondly recalls. Loud colours, clashing prints, I guess I reserve that side of me now for my designs.
& with a collection which boasts electric orange bugs, fluorescent bungee cords and super-sized rope necklaces Issy’s wild side is well and truly alive in his designs.
However commanding just as much attention as its loud siblings in Salomon’s recent collection which I perzued for hours prior to our jewel date I uncovered gentle more refined pieces representations of Issy the man.
& just like their creator the pieces are peaceful and striking, full of life. & when you wear them you evoke New York Cool and Swag. To add to my Salomon collection the one piece I couldn’t walk way from was a four tiered chain necklace with a small tear-shaped glass pendant and a flash of electric blue. A fragment of Issy’s new direction which demonstrates a whisper is just as deafening as a scream and can provide a more lasting impression.
Be he working with roaring pink octopuses or hushed simple link chains Issy Salomon is a designer who knows just how to create a statement. He is effortlessly able to marry contrasting materials and opposing silhouettes to create the perfect jewelled harmony which you fall in love every time you wear it. But greater than that he is able to lift you up inject you with a confidence you never saw coming. & for that I bestow upon Issy, my gratitude, awe and a hell of a lot of kudos.
You can find Issy Wednesday – Sundays at The Market NYC: 159 Bleecker Street, New York, NY.
Love and thanks to Issy Salomon for sitting down and sharing his tale with an excitable Magpie.