Would you like to walk in Stacy Armand’s shoes for a day? Do you have what it takes? Armand’s busy day as a fashion stylist and jewelry craftswoman starts out with sips of her morning green tea, followed by a glimpse at her emails, and the social media highways. Last but not least, is her daily meditation session, and gratitude-giving to God, followed by a shower. A model of organization, the designer’s day is accentuated by trips to bookstores, meetings with friends, walks through Manhattan in search of inspiration. And there are the endless job bookings, honoring meetings, returning phone calls and texts, scribbling notes out quickly before ideas are forgotten. Brands like Aquafresh and Toyota vie for her attention to style TV commercial scenes, and print ad shoots, while popular high fashion magazines like Blink, Runway, and Status are blowing up her phone.
Through it all, the designer has to keep up with her personal life, and keep herself mentally fit. Balance is key. Though she lives a simple life, her designs are far from that. Think of Stacy Armand’s jewelry pieces and think extravagance, the opulence of the Roman Empire; think of the glamor of the court of Pharaoh Ramses during the Moses era. Armand’s artistry is based on making bold statements, not on outlandish fashion. Read on, as the native New Yorker and daughter of Haitian parents, gives us a glimpse into her glamorous life.
Everyone in the fashion industry had a journey that got them where they are.
My journey is never-ending. That is the beauty about life—every moment is a different story. I created my line in 2010. It was birthed in a place where limitations and the lackluster of current trends were boring. I needed to push concepts and reshape the way people define jewelry. I would prefer to make statements in a world that need a new vision.
What did you want to be when you were in high school?
An artist, a performer, a shining star.
Some people tend to neglect accessories when putting an outfit together.
Style is a form of self-expression and a means of communicating through inspirations and connections. You have to be inspired to wear accessories. What you wear is your personal communication. If you choose to neglect accessories that is your statement to society. Now, if you neglect because of fear, or wanting to “play it safe” then the journey of self-awareness has not begun, and curiosity or connection has not been made.
Are your designs influenced by Haitian culture at all?
Being Haitian is everything to me. The Haitian culture is so rich with constant inspiration. The language, music, self-expression, and creativity is what made me. I grew up watching my grandmother, mother and aunts display their viewpoints of fashion, music, and politics. The stand we as Haitian individuals take is so powerful, free, and liberating. Our confidence level as Haitians has never been less than 100 percent. That is why I take on this industry so bold and fearless!
You are based in Los Angeles. Do you find it beneficial as opposed to…say, New York?
I am not based in Los Angeles; I am based in NY. I would love to live bi-coastal from L.A to New York. L.A will be my future stomping grounds. In terms of NY, “If you can make it in NY, you can make it anywhere.”
Where did you find the inspiration for the latest pieces in your collection?
My designs are bold and graphic, thriving on the juxtaposition of harmonious and incongruous materials. Embracing my many art influences, the interpretation of form is inspired by the spontaneity and mysticism of abstract expressionism. I craft my pieces to reflect the aesthetic of minimalism, modern architecture and numerous cultures such as African, Asian and The West Indies.
Do you have any pointers for aspiring jewelry designers?
Take risks and do not ever doubt your role as a creator. Go for it! Don’t hesitate, and do things passionately. Don’t ever doubt hard work because luck doesn’t exist for those who don’t work.
Would you recommend attending fashion design school for those who want to follow in your footsteps?
Everyone’s process is different. School is great; not every great designer is school-trained. Do what makes sense to you. School helps, but you must have some talent and a whole lot of determination to make it in any industry.
What was the best advice given to you by your parents?
“Life doesn’t give you a bunch of opportunities and chances, if you don’t take advantage of what presented to you, someone will take your place.” And…”Excuses are for failures, so don’t even bother.”
Have you experienced one of those moments, where you had to pinch yourself?
When I collaborated with a clothing designer for Fashion Week, to see my designs go down the runway was breathtaking.
What’s next for you and for your line?
Perfecting my line, opening doors for showroom representation, sales, and press opportunities.