Koszyk: Most of my inspiration comes from music and fashion. My background is apparel, and I have a degree in fashion marketing. I spent a lot of time researching classic, well-made, high-end couture, and that’s where I pull my inspiration from.
I also like the rock star ideal: Mick Jagger. Not skull-and-crossbone T-shirts, but living in countryside estates. The lifestyle can be opulent and over-the-top, but it’s still luxury. The juxtaposition of where luxury meets grit has always been my voice.
I started designing with rosaries in high school — not for religious reasons, and not even for fashion reasons. There was something interesting to me about making the rosary current. It’s the same idea with an old country estate. How do you give this classic, beautiful building a slight edge?
The Antiquity chandelier was inspired by old Hollywood mansions, houses built in the 1800s — the grand spectacles of design. My approach was old countryside estate, almost medieval but without going there. I wanted the Fortress floor candelabra to fit into a contemporary setting and a very opulent setting. I wanted something different. Something that hasn’t been done yet. Something you’re going to have forever.
I grew up in the country club world, and I never fit. Ever. I had a great education, not just scholastically, but also in traveling and world knowledge. I appreciate the tradition of my upbringing. But can you make tradition a little more interesting? For me it’s the rock star thing. “This is really beautiful, but what if we flipped it upside-down?” The quality wouldn’t go away, but you’d get a different take.
Someone asked me to show my jewelry in a furniture showroom. I thought, “The jewelry’s edgy. It’s going to scare the bejesus out of people.” What happened was the opposite. Women in little flowered dresses were walking out with a 3-foot black wood rosary around their necks. They’d say to me, “I love your stuff because I feel like a rock star when I wear it.” That was what I was going for. I want elegance. I want it to appear sophisticated and not too “street.” I don’t want the edge to overwhelm the design.
What’s next? More lamps and some occasional furniture as well. The material is a lot of iron, glass, and antique mirror. We’re also doing some reclaimed wood pieces, always incorporating beads, leather, chain and metal. I love the idea of light and dark, luxury and grit. I’m a sucker for a good juxtaposition.