Dillard’s Exclusive Interview: Kerry Magnusson, Director of Bridal Merchandising for Nina Jewelry

Q: Where do you draw inspiration from?
A: The Nina Jewelry line was created by listening to the customer and inspiration is drawn by her experiences.  As creator of the collection, I noticed a lack of well-made, trend-right, bridal accessories at a palatable retail price. This became the foundation of the Nina Bridal accessories collection.  I set out to create a collection of made in the USA, hand-crafted sashes and veils.  After an overwhelmingly positive reaction, it became clear that we needed to expand the line to include headpieces and jewelry. Today, the collection is a full-circle accessories line where we offer everything but the dress.

Inspiration comes from everywhere. As a designer, you need to have your eyes and ears wide open. You can be inspired by travel, a beautiful chandelier, a floral arrangement, or a page from a magazine.  Just one image can spark a flurry of ideas and become the focal point of a collection.

Q: Who and what are your major influences?
A: First and foremost, the customer is my main influence. At Nina we democratize glamour.  The customer is central to everything that we do.

Secondly, on a personal note, I think back to my grandmother Mary.  She was a product of the Depression, raised 4 children on a shoe-string budget and always found a way to look fabulous.  In tough times, accessories were her way to stay relevant and reignite her wardrobe.   She would replace buttons on a jacket or put together a fabulous mélange of necklaces.   It made the same dress look new.   I think back to how glamorous she always looked and try to channel her creativity.  The Nina line is designed to be heirloom quality whether it is worn for everyday sparkle or the most special of occasions.

Q: What are some of the trends you are looking forward to?
A: The most prevalent trend right now is the return to statement pieces. What was fashionable 2 years ago is now deemed a “basic.”  The customer wants to own her look and command attention.   This is a very exciting time in jewelry because it really gives designers artistic freedom.

There are 2 main stories happening within the statement jewelry trend that I am most excited about:

  1. The return to the 1920s and emphasis on Art Deco.   Pieces like the Acacia necklace and the Mohalo earring are fabulous examples.   They are showered with crystal and have phenomenal shape and movement.
  2. The second story is organic and nature driven.   Flowers are always relevant in special occasion.  I try to find ways to incorporate a floral suggestion or a mélange look, instead of using the traditional, symmetrical flower.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of designing bridal jewelry?
A: My favorite aspect is the relationship with the bride. This is a monumental day in her life and it is a privilege to style her.

Q: What sets Nina accessories apart from other brands?
A: Nina provides a couture aesthetic at an understandable retail price.  Most department store special occasion lines are “safe” in their designs.   At Nina we try to break the glass ceiling and offer her elevated fashion.

Q: Who is the Nina bride?
A: We cater to all brides: the modern bride, the avant-garde bride, the romantic bride, the destination bride — the list goes on.   As in our footwear line, we have something for everyone.

Q: What tips would you give a bride trying to style her big day?
A: Be yourself and be comfortable in your own skin.   Your spouse is marrying you for the person you are inside and out.   So it is important to be true to yourself on that day.

Q: What are your favorite pieces from your line right now?
A: You are asking me to play favorites — that is very hard to do! My favorite is the Melaney necklace because I wear it once a week and it finishes any outfit.   The blush coloration especially is so versatile! A few ways to wear it:

For a night out: Melaney with a black dress and gold Nina Medina sandals.
To work: Melaney with an ivory blouse, black blazer, jeans and the Nina Deanna.
To run errands: Melaney with a T-shirt, jeans and the Nina Norway ballet flat.

I travel quite a bit and I find the Melaney is the perfect accessory.  It can be worn with every item in your suitcase!

Shop Nina Accessories, Nina Evening Bags and Nina shoes

Which Nina pieces are your favorite? Tell us in the comments! 

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Filed under Accessories, Handbags, Shoes

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