The talk with celebrity jewelry designer Maya Brenner

On Maya sweater by Pam&Gela. Photo Lauri Levenfeld

On Maya sweater by Pam&Gela. Photo Lauri Levenfeld

What began as a hobby soon turned into a successful jewelry business for designer Maya Brenner, whose timeless, classic and chic jewelry caught the eye of celebrities like Cameron Diaz, Demi Moore,  Rachel Bilson,  Mandy Moore, Anne Hathaway, Kathy Perry, Salma Hayek and made a number of TV appearances on the leading ladies of Sex and the City.  Her signature States and letter pendant necklaces can be found in Neiman Marcus and J.Crew. Maya is a woman of many talents. She is a mother, wife, designers and entrepreneur. I was fortunate to meet and talk to Maya about her personal style in her beautiful home in Silver Lake, Los Angeles.

J: What is the DNA of Maya Brenner jewelry ?

MB: Versatile, wearable, whimsical, and personal. My pieces are on trend and classic at the same time. The States and Letters are fun to wear and major conversation starters.

J: What inspires you when designing your jewelry collections?

MB: I design what I want to wear. If I have an upcoming event or an outfit that needs a little something extra, I’ll create a piece that I’d want to pair it with. Recently, I was noticing all of the gorgeous ear bars out there. I wanted to try the trend out, so I made my own and then added it to my line.

Photo by Lauri Levenfeld

J: How much attention do you pay to fashion when designing your jewelry?

MB: Not too much. I’m lucky since I don't have to design on a set schedule or for a particular season. I make new things when I’m inspired or want something new to wear.

J: Do you think fashion allow people to express their individuality or does it force people to conform?

MB: I think in the past fashion was far more restrictive. Now there is so much out there to choose from—there’s truly something for everyone!

J: As a jewelry designer how much jewelry do you wear daily?

MB: I have my stacking rings from my line that I never take off, “M” and “B” stud earrings that I rotate with my Petal Bar earring, Shark Tooth and Geometric Circle necklaces and sometimes I’ll throw a bangle into the mix—is that a lot?

J: How do you feel about statement jewelry?

MB: It’s not something I design but I definitely appreciate the bold and intricate styles I’ve seen. Irene Neuwirth uses the most gorgeous, eye-catching stones and Stella & Dot, another company that I design delicats for, offers amazing statement necklaces.

Maya Brenner and Juliet Belkin. Photo Lauri Levenfeld. On Juliet dress by Ralph Lauren, poncho by 711, loafers by Gucci.

Maya Brenner and Juliet Belkin. Photo Lauri Levenfeld.
On Juliet dress by Ralph Lauren, poncho by 711, loafers by Gucci.

J: What is the most important part of wardrobe for you?

MB: A versatile, everyday purse and flattering sunglasses.

J: What celebrity were you most excited about wearing your jewelry?

MB: Katy Perry was photographed frequently in our California State Pendant during her “California Dreams” tour, so we got a lot of coverage from that. My daughter is a huge Anna Kendrick fan, so when she wore one of my pieces, my daughter thought I was very cool!

Juliet Belkin and Maya Brenner. Photo by Lauri Levenfeld.

Juliet Belkin and Maya Brenner. Photo by Lauri Levenfeld.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J: With holidays around the corner, what is a favorite piece of yours that you think would make a perfect gift?

MB: I love our simple gold bangle. It’s classic and understated, but so good.

J: What is next for Maya Brenner?

MB: Last year we launched a home-decor line of pillows. We’ve recently partnered with online retailer Mark & Graham to expand our lifestyle offerings with personalized catchall trays. Next up is a stationery collaboration with Paper Chase Press—which we’re beyond excited about.

J: Where can we find Maya Brenner jewelry?

MB: On our newly launched website, online at J.Crew and Neiman Marcus and in-store nationwide at Steven Alan.

Photo by Lauri Levenfeld.

Photo by Lauri Levenfeld.

To learn more about behind the scenes story of jewelry designer Maya Brenner, visit The Project for Women

Celebrities in Maya Brenner Designs.