Interview with Leyna of Leyna Lightman Jewelry Design
Leyna Lightman introduced herself to me a month ago, and as soon as I realized she makes lace jewelry I knew I needed to interview her. I like lace jewelry because it looks delicate and feminine. According to some fashion articles I’ve read, mainstream editors like lace too!
Style Bust: Why did you start making jewelry?
I started by making jewelry for myself. I have a short haircut (okay, it’s a fauxhawk….) and it’s perfect for displaying big, dramatic earrings. I fell in love with some local SF jewelry designers and felt inspired to make my own! I was on the lookout for unusual jewelry materials when I discovered some over-the-top appliques in a fabric store and tried them out on earring hooks. Much to my surprise, they took on an elegant and expressive feel as earrings.
Style Bust: Describe your current collection.
I’m loving big, bold colors and unusual shapes. Right now my favorite earrings are called the Buena Vista Earrings and they are oversized flowers with intricate detailing. I dye them a really rich purple that I call ultraviolet. It’s amazing- you’d think big earrings would get lost in long hair but these somehow look like feathers and work with long and short hair equally well. I actually got the lace for the Buena Vistas when I was in Turkey this summer. I am doing several pieces from the lace I got while I was shopping in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
Style Bust: What makes your designs unique?
First of all, it is so hard to go big with your earrings without having them get really heavy. Lace is the perfect antidote! Also, using fabric allows me to get really playful with my designs and add new pieces to my repertoire all the time because I am constantly lace-hunting.
Style Bust: What big jewelry trends are you seeing this season?
Bone! I have been seeing more bone lately and it’s a great material for one-of-a-kind, interesting pieces. Actually, I think people are more interested in statement jewelry in general. My day job is in a museum where people really dress up for work (by California standards!) and I have been seeing a lot of big jewelry.
Style Bust: How do you suggest shoppers should go about finding good quality jewelry, are their any secrets to shopping you can tell us about?
Ooh….great question. You know, there are lessons beyond food that we can take from the slow food movement. Know your artisan! There are such creative, conscientious local jewelry-makers and it’s really rewarding to get to know the people making the pieces you wear. Plus, you can ask all those questions about process, materials etc.
Style Bust: Are there any new directions you’ll be heading in for future collections?
I want to use more chain. I love a little dangle….
Style Bust: Where can readers find your jewelry?
www.leynalightman.etsy.com. I am also doing November’s Indie Mart (11/7 at Thee Parkside) and several local stores carry my jewelry including Candystore Collective on 16th Street and D-Structure on Haight.
Date and Tell has a great review of Leyna’s lace necklace.