Recently in town for a trunk show at Miami Beach's Pistils & Petals, New York City-based jewelry designer Paula Mendoza's statement jewelry starts conversations. The Colombian-born designer has made a name for herself through her use of raw gems, particularly emeralds, and Colombian gold. We chatted with the journalist-turned-designer before her anticipated arrival to find out what inspires her standout designs.
How would you describe your designs?
PAULA MENDOZA: Bold, rich, elegant, and timeless.
How do you feel your designs fit into Miami's aesthetic?
PM: I think my jewelry aesthetic is the perfect combination of hectic, multi-tasking NYC and the relaxed vibe of Miami. It is very bold and fun so I think it is a great fit for the Miami woman who likes to travel.
I heard you used to be a journalist, is that correct?
PM: Yes, I went to journalism school in Colombia, and for a while I was a journalist during the day and a jewelry designer at night. It came to a point that I had to decide between one profession or the other, and I realized then that I wanted to create jewelry full-time.
What has been your proudest moment as a designer thus far?
PM: When the very stylish first lady of Colombia called me to meet her at the presidential palace to see and buy my jewelry. I was very honored that she chose me as one of her favorite designers.
Who inspires you? Any particular designer, artist, or architect?
PM: I love Proenza Schouler and also admire the work of Marina Abramovi?.
Do you have a dream client or collaboration?
PM: Dream clients would be Michelle Obama and Marina Abramovi?.