Independent jewelry designers can often be found at the bench, hammering away at itty bits of metal. But corporate designers work much differently. Charu Mehta, Jewelry Design ’11, associate jewelry designer for the Adelington Design Group, part of Fifth & Pacific (formerly Liz Claiborne), gives Hue Too a rare glimpse into the mass-market design process, using a pair of Kensie earrings as an example.
First, the design team shops at high- and low-end stores for inspiration. They liked these resin earrings—and neon is hot right now—and wanted to create something better.
Back in the studio, the designers make dozens of sketches, based on materials chosen by the product development team. The design director picks the best one—in this case, the one on the lower right. She thought the teardrop shape with just one ring of stones looked special without costing too much.
Next, Mehta makes a clear and informative technical drawing that is sent to the manufacturer.
The manufacturer takes a “first pass” at the earring, and the designers tweak it. In this case, they wanted the blue resin piece to look shinier and asked for it in a range of colors.
Mehta’s work is done when the showroom sample comes in. This piece, in Kensie’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection, sells for $38 at Lord & Taylor and Macy’s.