He counts some of the world’s biggest celebrities as his closest friends – think Madonna, Brittany Spears and ultimate style icon Lady Gaga – his avant-garde pieces have graced the stylish necks of the glitterati in Sex and The City; and a Hollywood red carpet event is rarely snapped without the sparkle of his Swarovski crystal-encrusted creations. We are of course speaking about the talented Rodrigo Otazu, maestro behind the decadent designer pieces from his signature brand, Otazu Jewellery.
Otazu is set to be a highlight of this weekend’s co-located Bags & Accessories Fair within the Fashion Exposed trade event. We caught up with the famed designer to chat about crossing over from crystals to crosses with his edgy new range, how his mother’s jewellery box inspired his love of jewellery, and working with Lady Gaga. What was your first fashion memory?
How did this affect your career towards becoming a jewellery designer?
There were several things that caught my attention from my mother’s jewellery box to the Vogue magazine. And between the two I did my own interpretation of what was cool and hot.
How did you get your start?
By wanting to see the world. I packed up my three T-shirts and off I went to see the world, which has been giving me the inspiration through to today
Was there a muse or icon from a young age that inspired you?
Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren, Grace Kelly
You have so many incredible celebrity followers who love your jewels including Lady Gaga – what was it like to work with her on her meat handbag?
We did many things together and all of them were super fun to do. Next to working with Lady Gaga I have so many more other memories. From America’s Next Top Model to shooting top models and celebrity CD covers. The world of NYC is a candy shop for me and, I guess for every creative artist.
You also have fans from JLo to Brittany and Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker, how does it feel to be so well endorsed and cherished by the world’s biggest stars?
When I get up in the morning to have my fresh orange juice and my chicken with brown bread I feel the luckiest man in the world. I guess that I can apply the same feeling to my work. I can freely say that my work is my life and my life is my work. I do it with passion and energy.
Can you share any stories from your meetings with them?
They are as simple as we are. They love real people and they want to be surrounded with people who they can trust. And, when it is party time the roof goes on fire “lol”
Who hasn’t worn your jewels but you would love to see wearing Otazu?
So many, so many! But that is not my only goal. I want my jewellery to make all women feel pretty and feel the power of love.
Your jewellery has a very art deco feel, is this an inspirational era?
Oh wow thank you! It could be that Miami gave me that edge? But strange, I love modern architecture and I am pushed to that direction in my creative mind.
What else influences your jewellery design?
Girls in clubs, ladies in limousines, two people making love … Love, love, love… Did I mention love?
What advice do you have for other up-and-coming jewellery designers who wish to reach your acclaim?
Work hard and your dreams will come true. And make sure to get a trustful accountan!
Your current collection is edgier than previous Otazu ranges featuring cross’ and spikes – whereas before that it was more about Swarovski crystals and crystal bib necklaces – what has been the reaction?
As you know I work a lot with Lady Gaga. My experience with Christian Lacroix may also be in the back of my mind. They play that game. Wait to see what I am now busy with!!! It is sooooo unbelievably HOT!
Visit the Fashion Exposed Blog for more glamorous images from the latest Otazu collection.