Better then having an online magazine is having an influential girlfriend. And I have both! Recently the charming Natasha Menshikova sent me a message asking if I wanted to interview Loree Rodkin, the American jewelry designer who did the jewelry that Michele Obama wore at the President’s inauguration ceremony (the first). Of course the answer was yeeeeesssssss.
Loree Rodkin’s career really took off after Obama; the jewelry used in the inauguration ceremony, now belongs to the permanent collection of The Smithsonian! But before that, Mrs Rodkin already circulated in the Pinnacle of Hollywood; “ I put Brad Pitt in ‘Thelma and Louise’…I launched him” she said. Actually, her official occupation was celebrity-manager, and jewelry was just her passion. And then, passion took over, making Loree the ultimate synonym for statement jewelry; Gothic queen, medieval-chic princess…
We talked to Mrs Rodkin in her suite at the Hotel Sacher, where she was staying, invited by Anna Singer, owner of Anna Haute & Fine Jewellry, who represents Loree Rodkin in Vienna. Anna is one of the coolest addresses in Vienna, by the way. Stop by and have a look: Kohlmarkt, 11 – 1010.
1- When did you first realize you wanted to become a jewelry designer and was it hard changing careers?
I was 12. I mean, I was so passionate about jewelry when I was a little kid. My mother would give me jewelry every year for my birthday and I used to say;”oh, it isn’t cool”, and she answered back; “make it yourself”. So she really gave me a gift. I always kind of loved design… and was managing Robert Downey, Sarah Jessica Parker and 20 other actors, so to stay calm I made jewelry for myself.
2- I imagine that with your former career it must have been easy to get support from your past clients. Did they help in any way to get you off the ground?
Of course, I mean, we can’t take that for granted that I knew everyone. My first client was Elisabeth Taylor. The Getty family commissioned me to make earrings for Elisabeth Taylor and she became a client, she loved my things. And Barbara Streisand was my second client. I was very lucky.
3- What’s the thing you love most about being a jewelry designer?
Getting creative…we’re like girls…the shine and sparkling things…I make the world a better place: one shine thing at a time.
4- In Three words, how would you describe your jewelry?
Modern meets Medieval.
5- What markets are the hardest to tackle? Are American Jewelry clientele the same as European?
I’ve been really lucky. I launched globally. The Russian market is a huge one for me. Japan is a huge one too. I just opened in Korea. And my next target is Brazil.
6- Will those big rings and bigger necklaces be a trend for a long time?
I think it will be a trend for a long time. It has been a trend without people being aware since the 60’s. Bohemian chic has always been chic…Minimalism, that is the opposite point, didn’t last very long. People are accessory-driven. That is how you set apart from someone else, how you accessorize whatever you are wearing; scarves, glasses, you name it, that is unique to you, it’s your signature.
7- If you had the opportunity to lend one of your pieces to a celebrity or royalty, let’s say Kate Moss or Kate Middleton, who would be your choice?
Kate Moss. A fashion-driven. Not the case that Kate Middleton is not beautiful, but Moss is more bohemian. I always go to more bohemian style.
8- In terms of social media, do you market your brand online?
I do Instagram and Facebook. But online is more and more important. You can buy any time, any place, and I don’t need to spend money on advertising.
Thanks Mrs Rodkin, It was a pleasure to meet you!
Anna Haute & Fine Jewellry – Kohlmarkt 11- 1010 – Vienna