Category - People

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Jewelry Designer- Jenny Dayco
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Designer John Murrough and illia

Jewelry Designer- Jenny Dayco

Whimsical…Fun…Humorous… Those are the words LA jewelry designer Jenny Dayco used to describe her high-quality yet very affordable line. Dayco, a natural artist who has a knack for seeing something in her mind and actually being able to make it; was tired of the limited selection of plus-size fashion back in 2002. So she figured, hell, why not make jewelry to jazz up an outfit, since she was after all, working in the fashion industry and attended numerous events and parties. She recalled making a giant gold circle necklace for a cousin’s wedding back in 2004 and later wearing the same necklace for a friend’s store’s party. Her friend is the owner of the boutique, Scout, by the Grove and he suggested she started making jewelry for his store. So she thought about it and decided to give it a go. From then until the beginning of 2006, she worked to make ends meet, while doing her jewelry on the side. Then, literally by the grace of God, opportunities started popping up everywhere. She no longer needed a job and was able to support herself doing her jewelry full-time. Though when the recession hit in 2009, she dwindled down from making mostly large pieces to smaller pieces (but still is continuing with the large pieces). It was only until recently when she started having actual ‘themed’ collections. Cleopatra is by far, one of her favorite inspirations; due to the opulence of the movie in general, in addition to Elizabeth Taylor’s costumes and jewelry. For Fall 2011, she’s sticking to the Cleopatra theme (though some people have said her pieces are very 70’s Disco inspired). She references magazine pages at times , but for the most part, feels that she gets her inspiration from within herself. “It’s like you’re a painter; what do you want to paint today? I wanna paint that tree…You can look outside at the world around you and say well, I think that is beautiful, I wanna paint that …You could. Or is there something within you that you want to create..that you’ve never seen before? Or that you have seen in your own mind. But you have yet to witness through your own eyes on a canvas,” Dayco explains. She likes to stick with what she knows, as far as materials goes. She knows that her customers appreciate the gold and silver jewelry and loves working with large found objects (such as a brooch or an aluminum acorn). Best-sellers for her line include: teardrop earrings, silver/gold feather necklaces/earrings, charm jewelry, handcuff necklaces, religious “inspired pieces, brooch rings (I have the black brooch ring and LOVE it!), black and gold jewelry. Her prices are very reasonable, as she says she wants to design for everyone. Her wholesale prices start at $10-50. Due to the economy also being the way it is and that she does everything herself and doesn’t have to outsource, her retail prices do not go above $110. She also passed along some advise that she would like to share with young artists and jewelry designers…”Start small. Make a few things, see where it goes from there! Be the person that people like working with. No one likes working with a diva. You yourself represent your brand.You’re your own spokesperson. Young designers- put yourself out there, business cards, word of mouth. And be careful what you say online (Facebook or Twitter) because your representing your brand.” Jenny Dayco has been mentioned in multiple publications, such as: Nylon Guys, Teen Vogue, Flaunt, Paper, etc and has been spotted on Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Paris Hilton, Keri Hilson and many other A-listers. Her line is sold in boutiques throughout LA, most notably: Diavolina (located 8741 West 3rd Street Los Angeles, CA 90048 310.550.1341), Beige (located 7274 Beverly Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90036-2545 323.549.0064), Kill City (located 7975 Melrose Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90046-7118 323.272.4206) and EM & Co. (located 7940 West 3rd Street`Los Angeles, CA 90048-4305`323.782.8155). She also is a best-seller in Japan and online.

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Designer John Murrough and illia

I hate to admit, but I didn’t really know of illia until after I had the pleasure of touring the store in Venice, meeting the retail manager- Fritzie and talking with the designer- John Murrough (and meeting his dog- Gracie). The store was small, which enabled a more personable atmosphere. All the clothes and accessories exuded the highest quality in fabrics, mainly leathers and some knits and wovens. John was eager to share some background (and current) information with me. illia has been around since the 90’s and the garments at the time were made out of suede. However, John decided to take a sabbatical from the industry and went back to South Africa. It wasn’t until Spring of 2009 when illia relaunched again, with an exclusive event at Barney’s New York. This time around, the garments were mainly created out of leather. Since rejoining the fashion workforce, along with business partner-Robbie Moray, he has realized that the business had changed dramatically with the recession. Specialty stores are getting fewer and far between. The point was brought up that because of the economy, people are paying more attention to the quality of clothing. Consumers want something that’s unique and not seen on a lot of people (which is why illia stands out from other brands.) He was telling me that during one of the trade shows, he saw a very chic woman that he knew was wearing of his jackets. He found out that she has had it for twelve years. He is very passionate in his brand, being well-aware of the ‘illia consumer,’ who are usually the very health-conscious Venice women. He always wants to know what has or hasn’t sold and why, along with the fit of the garments. He focuses on a fitted, tailored silhouette with smaller armholes. Although illia is a womenswear brand, men even love trying on the shirt jackets because of the tailoring. He is constantly thinking about what the customer wants next and is usually spot on with his judgement. He credits LA as his inspiration, because the brand is all about the California lifestyle…casual yet chic. He also has a couple muses that have impeccable style and looks to them for inspiration. Although every piece at the Venice store is exquisite, there are a couple best-sellers: the motorcycle jackets and vests; because they’re made so well that they last a long time, which is what people want (I mean, wouldn’t YOU?) In the near future, illia plans on opening a few more stores (as Venice is the one and only) and creating a menswear line. The line would ultimately consist of five or six easy shirts and blazers. illia is located in the trendy Abbot Kinney neighborhood in Venice at 1638 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291. The phone number is (310)450-2890.

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