Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Here's a gem of a Hollywood story: young actress (name: Jessica Elliot) comes to LA, works as a waitress, customers notice her amazing jewelry (which she designs by hand) and buy it off her neck. She starts a little side business, within eight months quits the restaurant job. Flash forward seven years and over 300 stores in the US carry the Jessica Elliot line. And Elliot just launched her second label Skinny—for all you bold bright jewelry lovers out there—to complement her intricate eponymous collection.
What inspired your latest collection?
I’m constantly inspired by life around me and my traveling—Cuba, Turkey (I did a whole collection dedicated to this country), Cambodia, Morocco. It’s more of a vision that constantly evolves rather than a specific inspiration for each collection.
Who’s the quintessential Jessica Elliot woman?
She’s a confident, stylish woman who is not afraid to make a bold statement. I design my jewelry as being the center of the outfit, not an afterthought.
Who’s your favorite LA designer?
Eduardo Lucero—he made my wedding dress.
Who’s your favorite designer overall?
What are the advantages of working in LA over working in NYC?
I love the outdoorsy lifestyle that is possible here, having a yard, going for a hike every day. My creativity is stronger because all these amazing areas (desert, ocean, mountains?) are at my fingertips.
What’s your go-to shopping spot in LA?
Veronika M. on Beverly and LaBrea, Madison.
What’s the season’s must-have item?
A fabulous long necklace to put on with everything. And a bold ring.
The season’s-not-under-any-circumstances – don’t care if you’re Agyness Deyn or JLo – have item?
Anything neon and gladiator sandals.
Jessica Elliot is available online and boutiques such as Sirens & Sailors, Post 26, and Belle Cosa; Skinny is available online and at shops such as LF Stores and Intuition. Photos by Christina von Messling. Makeup and hair by Heather Ford.