Gerard Yosca is an artist whose medium happens to be jewelry. Inspiring, chic, textural, brilliant jewelry. Since 1986 Gerard has been creating his signature designs, which are represented by top tier boutiques throughout the country. He is a rare breed of jewelry designer that truly embraces and works within the fashion world, creating new collections seasonally as a fashion house as much as a jewelry designer. A diverse group of collectors has embraced and worn his designs: Gwen Stefani, Salma Hayek, and Gwyneth Paltrow among many others.
The Jewelry of Gerard Yosca
Gerard Yosca’s designs successfully meld an astonishing array of materials into a cohesive design theme each season: enamels, candy-colored faceted beads, wood, exotic stones, vintage charms and much more all come together to create wearable sculptures. All of his designs are made with care in New York City, a relative rarity in fashion jewelry these days. His design room is a playground of amazing raw materials all laid out in experimental combinations to get the look of each piece just right. (For a wonderful glimpse into Gerard’s studio and persona, check out this Unracked video interview of Gerard, sponsored by Gilt Groupe). This individual focus and intense concern for the design process shows throughout the whole collection.
Did I mention that his designs are also exceptionally well-priced? It is not easy to find beautifully designed jewelry that is made well, domestically no less, from $75 to $600 retail. Gerard’s pieces are going to represent investments of the BEST workmanship available at their respective price points.
The Gerard Yosca Interview
idazzle: Your background in fashion design really shows in your designs. How did you originally discover jewelry design and what inspired you to make the switch?
Gerard Yosca: I actually have a graphic design and advertising background but loved fashion so much that I decided to switch industries. When reality struck, it was much easier to figure out how to make jewelry than how to drape and sew a garment.
You design an array of jewelry categories: brooches, fabulous statement necklaces, dramatic cuffs. Is there a particular kind of jewelry that lets you be really free with your design process?
Brooches- they’re like little sculptures.
How do you arrive at your “theme” or direction each season?
It usually stems from what I’m looking for in my personal life. The change from complicated to homier food. The sudden desire for a bright colored sweater. These changes indicate a shift to what’s next. I’ve learned how valuable it is to take cues from what’s going on in my world.
How would you describe the signature, underlying essence that is Gerard Yosca jewelry year after year, even as trends cycle through?
Every piece has a handcrafted look. You can really see this it is not mass-produced. There is also a strong point of view and personality to each collection. Color is another signature. I love some pretty nutty color combinations.
You have designed runway jewelry for some amazing fashion designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren, and Nanette Lepore. Are you currently working on any interesting collaborations with fashion designers? If you can’t tell us about your current projects, what’s a recent collaboration that was really memorable?
When I collaborate with another designer I really love to put my heart and soul into the design process. Right now I’m putting all my focus into my signature collection, which doesn’t leave much time for anything else.
You sell primarily through small specialty retailers. What are the benefits for collectors to buy through these retailers?
The retailers know what their customers own and what they might like. Often our buyers will mention customers by name, and tell me which of my pieces they’ve purchased. I love that relationship.
Can you tell us about your book?
My book is a project I have not yet found the time to start. But it will show 27 years of jewelry made by someone who knew nothing when he started and who thinks he may be finally getting the hang of it. I hope it might inspire someone to take a chance on a foolhardy career. If you’re passionate and love what you’re doing, you can make a life out of it.
Beautifully said! I look forward to hearing more about the book, and hope that your words inspire some fledgling designer to take the plunge! Thank you so much for sharing your experience!
You can find Gerard’s jewelry in a variety of local boutiques around the country, email his studio here to get more information. You can also find his designs online at retailer Charm&Chain. Also, it’s only appropriate that his amazing, downtown styles frequently appear–and steal the scene–on Gossip Girl! I hope that you have a chance to see his designs in person, and maybe I’ll see a few gorgeous necklaces and bracelets on friends this season!