Having graced the cover of Esquire and appeared in multiple issues of Vogue, posed lying down next to a red Ferrari and while skateboarding without a shirt, model and designer Erin Wasson has been around the block (not to mention the world) a few times. Not surprisingly, the tanned model with beach-waved, blond hair was easy to recognize as she soared above the associates at Azalea boutique in Hayes Valley last week during a visit to promote the latest collection of her Low Luv jewelry line. After a cigarette break, a relaxed Wasson sat down to chat about her latest jewelry designs, her Mr. T obsession and her thoughts on San Francisco fashion.
What kind of elements within yourself do you put into your jewelry?
I think that slightly tough edge. My take on jewelry is the bigger, the better. I don’t believe in walking out the door and taking something off. I’ll pile it on ’til the end of days. Mr. T is my huge inspiration [laughs]. I mean I’m not even joking. I’ve literally been obsessed with Mr. T since I was a child and the five thousand pounds of gold chains.
Beside Mr. T, what was your inspiration behind your current collection?
I am heavily inspired by symbolism in life, whether it be Native American symbolism or Egyptian symbolism or even the last collection had a bit of Swedish symbolism in it as well. So I think that is always where I start out with my research, is symbols that really move me and that really intrigue me and then diving into the meaning behind symbolism is kind of where I always get my start with the jewelry.
How does the jewelry represent you?
I think it gives a pretty good idea of my aesthetic. The antique silver and the antique gold, it’s not shiny…it’s a little tarnished. I think that’s a pretty good metaphor for myself.
Is there a particular person that you can see wearing them?
I think it’s keen for anybody. You know, there’s definitely a lot more edgier pieces. I’m a really big fan of large pieces, large rings, large necklaces and things like that, but then you know every season I try to do daintier things. I hope that everyone finds something that suits them.
What is the significance of the name Low Luv?
Ever since I was 16 I came up with this almost personal mantra of low love, where it was spreading love on the DL. It was sort of subtle acts of love and so the idea of low love related to the idea of starting an accessories brand because it’s those little bips and bops that you put on that means so much to you. They’re like these subtleties that have a story for yourself and they might not have a story for someone else, but they’re for you.
How has being a model influenced you as a designer?
You really [understand] the subtleties of certain fits of things and how such a small tweak can change the fit, the cut and the hang of something. On the same level, I think just being around a world of aesthetics and being around creative people and you know, total characters. I remember just being back stage and seeing some people almost on the verge of costume and I just thought that it was so beautiful that you’re exterior can be such an extension of your interior and I think that’s why I am so inspired by different elements of design.
What do you think of San Francisco style?
I like it. Everyone here is like totally disheveled, and I appreciate that. From what I’ve seen, everyone is very eccentric. I’m looking forward to spending some time in some thrift shops in the Mission tomorrow and seeing what that’s all about. Everyone seems to just go to the beat of their own drum.
What else would you like people to know about your line?
It’s affordable. I think that anybody who is like, “Ah man, I really want a really cool piece of jewelry,” they can walk into a store like this and not feel like they’re breaking the bank and hopefully they know they’re getting a little piece of me, something that I think is pretty groovy.
Photos courtesy of homme de robot (from top): Wasson, center, at the trunk show; Low Luv jewelry; the crowd mingling at the trunk show.