Well, we can’t say that we’re too surprised!
You don’t become a brand name worth BILLIONS by being push-overs in the business world!
Steve Madden, who has launched two shoe lines with the Olsen Twins over the past five years, recently opened up about working with the child stars-turned entrenpaneurs, and candidly revealed that it can be a less than pleasant experience on occasion!
“They’re very demanding, they’re very tough. You know, just tough, tough. They want what they want. And so we worked hard to get that done. They are difficult. They are exacting. They are a pain in the ass. But they’re very good though. They’re very grown up, very worldly. And I’m very immature. So we meet in the middle.”
Ha! Hey, so long as they know how to compromise when it means ensuring the best possible product!
Not gonna lie, though!
We’re curious to hear what Mary-Kate and Ashley will have to say about his descriptions of their, ahem, more ‘colorful’ attributes!
[Image via WENN.]
Meet Amanda Thomas, the founder and designer behind bad ass accessory
label Luv Aj. At just 23, Amanda has created a unique industrial and feminine
aesthetic catching the eyes of Hollywood starlets and gaining
popularity throughout the fashion world. We spoke with this talented young entrepreneur about her inspirations, experiences and future plans for Luv Aj:
DS: I love your tough metal aesthetic especially the use of industrialized
chains and spikes in your collections. From where do you draw
AT: This time around, I was really inspired by metals, plain and simple. For the first time ever, I produced my entire collection with just metal, which is new for me because I usually throw in a pyrite chunk or crystal chunk here or there. The textures and interest in every piece is through mixing and matching metal finishes, like brass and rose gold and silver, and treating the metal surfaces in different ways to make it look work and torn. I also experimented with the weights of metal, by using really heavy chains and super thin delicate ones too (which I never do). It was fun to set the boundary of only using metal and then designing within those means.
DS: How did you get started in jewelry design? Do you have any kind of
educational background in design or art?
AT: It started out when I was 14. I used to intern for a store designer on Abbot Kinney in Venice, CA, Corey Madley. My parents would drop me off after school and on the weekends, and I would help in her studio. She taught how to do wire wrapping and gave me insight on running a small business. I just fell in love with it, so I started buying chains and beads on my own, and going to flea markets and finding cool trinkets to mix and match on charm necklaces. I would always wear my own creations, and one day when I was in Fred Segal, one of the jewelry buyers complimented my necklace and I told her I had made it. After setting up a meeting to show her my collection, Fred Segal picked up my line my junior year of high school, and the rest is history.
I went to Otis College of Art and Design here in L.A., and my art school background has really informed my experience as a designer. I studied graphic design, so now I’m able to design every visual aspect of my brand, from packaging to my website, and can have control over every image of Luv AJ that goes out into the world. It’s really useful to know how to do all of those things because it not only saves me a lot of money, but that way I really can control every facet of the brand.
DS: You interned at Rachel Pally and with the founders of Who What Wear. How did you get these internships and what did you learn there that helped you become so successful?
AT: There’s definitely been a few mentors along the way. Rachel Pally has been supportive since day one and encouraged me to pursue Luv Aj from the get-go when I interned for her back in 2006. She was really showed me how much you could accomplish with a bit of creativity and a whole lot of business savvy. Also, Hillary Kerrand Katherine Power, the founders of WhoWhatWear, have been extremely instrumental in the launch of the collection. After I finished my internship with them, they were the first people to believe in my brand enough to do an entire story about Luv Aj, which was so major. It instantly put me on the radar for buyers and other big fashion media outlets. Being around these amazing women and seeing their work ethic and having their creativity rub off on me has definitely made me be a better designer.
DS: I’m obsessed with the turbans you just came out with. Do you plan on
expanding your line to include other types of accessories or apparel?
AT: I definitely plan on expanding into other realms of the accessories world… this year I’m working on leather tote bags and laptop cases, a line of belts with clothing line (and my BFFs) Stone Cold Fox, and then possibly a men’s line.. fingers crossed on that one.
DS: If you could describe Luv Aj in two words what would they be?
AT: Bad. Ass.
DS: You’re very successful at such a young age, what kind of advice would
you give to young aspiring entrepreneurs like yourself?
AT: DO WHAT YOU LOVE. Having your own line and running your own business is a 24/7 responsibility that is so incredibly rewarding but also such a challenge. There are no breaks. Ever. But being my own boss is the greatest thing in the world
-Amanda Singer for DesignerSocial
[Photos courtesy LUV AJ]
, Meet Amanda