Marianna Harutunian is one of the worlds most sought after jewelry designers. Her successful career is a testament to her hard work and creativity. She has created designs that have been worn by some of the most famous people on the planet. Her impressive client list includes Lady Gaga, Cher, Nicki Minaj, P!nk and Justin Bieber, just to name a few! Her creations have also been featured on many successful t.v shows like True Blood, Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl. Oh and did I mention her work has been published on the pages of top fashion publications such as Vogue Hommes Japan and V magazine.
I think it is safe to say that this woman is a force to be reckoned with.
I had the chance to chat with this amazing lady and find out what goes on inside the creative mind of the Martha Stewart of accessories!
Hi Marianna! Thanks for taking the time to speak with me today. Your story is almost like a Cinderella story, it even involved a slipper! A pair of embellished slippers, which belonged to your Mother. These slippers are what sparked your interest in beading & jewelry making. What was it that attracted you to want to create embellished and beaded designs specifically?
Marianna: I have always loved to create pieces that make people wonder. I guess my thrill is seeing people’s faces when they look at my work.
Your parents seemed very nurturing of your talent. I read that your Father closed the deal on your very first business order, after you created your first necklace. Being an entrepreneur, you have had a lot of success with your designs and have a lot of celebrity clients. Was it a fluid journey to success or did experience any closed doors along the way?
My family has been so supportive and amazing throughout my journey. And yes we have struggled in many ways with sleepless nights and putting it mildly I had no time for a social life for a while. I am blessed to have met amazing people who have also helped me along the way as well.
You create a lot of custom designs, which are unique to each client and are made with beautiful precision. So far, what has been the most challenging piece that you have created?
My first couture body piece was the most challenging and exciting. I was asked to make a body piece for singer PINK for her ‘U+Ur hand’ music video. The challenge was they needed it in 4 days. Well excited as I was I guess I didn’t think twice and literally didn’t sleep much for 4 days and nights and I made it happen. Was very excited to go to Pink’s home for the fitting and I was also invited for the taping of the video.
Can you tell us who was your first major client and what piece was it that they wore or had custom made?
My first major client was for fashion designer Bob Mackie. I would make the pieces that he incorporated in his collection for Cher, Diana Ross, and others. Most of the bling you see on Chers costumes are the pieces that I made.
My favourite piece by you is the Jesus Thorn Crown, which was featured in Lady Gaga’s video and in Vogue Hommes Japan. Several of your pieces have been featured many famous music videos.
Do you usually commission the pieces specifically for the music videos or are they creations you made for your shop that caught the interest of certain celebrities?
The Thorn crown is also one of my favourites. What usually happens is a stylist might catch my work on a celebrity and they will find me and let me know what they are looking for. Most of the time they are looking for original pieces so I am used to creating in such short notice. I love a challenge.
I love that you make jewelry to make people feel glamorous and happy when they are wearing your designs. How important do you think accessorizing is when putting together a outfit/look?
Well I think your accessories is what makes your outfit. I have noticed with my clients that they come to pick out their jewelry before they pick out what outfit they will be wearing. I love the stories I hear when women or men get so much attention by wearing my pieces. This lets me know I’m doing something right.
Your designs are constantly evolving and are so beautifully extravagant. Being an artist, I am sure you experience “idea droughts” every now and then. What do you do to keep yourself inspired and keep ideas flowing?
My brain is always overflowing with ideas. My father says I’m the Martha Stewart of accessories. I can look at any object and want to make it some form of accessory. I don’t look at my competitors or what other designers are doing. I’m usually in my own world just creating unique pieces for everyone’s taste.
Finally, what can we expect to see from you in the future?
I’m hoping to open up more stores in the US and would love to see my pieces in chain stores. I would also like to do more charity work. I’m planning on visiting Childrens Hospital before the holidays and give out toys and jewelry to those cuties.
Marianna’s wonderful designs are available to purchase on her etsy page.
You can also find out more about her on ilovemariannas.com