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MARA PERALTA STUDIOS
Interview with Designer & Creative Director Mara Peralta
Photography - Kseniya Vashchenko
Interview - Hiba Hassan
It is true that as the world is shifting to a new normal and the rise of self-sufficiency, brands, and any other type of creative are formed all the time. But what is also true, unchanging, and assorted to every designer is their ability to tell their story through a medium that is unlike. Based in arguably the fashion hub of the world, New York, Mara Peralta Studio is creating jewelry bursting with the message of unity, resistance, and confidence. Her mission is clear, challenging the status quo, which is reflected in Mara’s upbringing, which she joyfully reminisces on.
Her designs are simple but crafts a sense of power, staying true to the phrase ‘less is more’. Her iconic, statement chain pieces illustrate the durable resistance of the designer and her consumers, small bags to be held by a chain, or perhaps you want to bring to life a dull pair of jeans. Her idea is alike, built to be ready and functional, waiting to complete any look. Every detail traveling back to the ethos of the designer, including the material itself, stainless steel. Which is used as the company brands itself as sustainable and lifelong. It seems as though Mara can live, breathe and work around the message she wants to project to her audience, her reasons for becoming a designer are just what you want from a brand as you begin to fall in love with their pieces.
We spoke to Mara to find out more about her small but prevailing brand.
What made you get into Jewellery designing?
My fashion journey began in 2013 when I moved to Brooklyn from Upstate New York. I started producing experimental and ambient music and for my DJ gigs, I was really into designing my own skirts that were very ‘Comme Des Garcon’ and these mini vinyl bags to fit my CDs and USBs I would attach chains as the handles. I always felt music had an incredible influence on my designs, and the approach in composition is all connected. I started evolving that idea of metal, then steel became a new medium for me as an artist.
You use stainless steel for your designs, why did you decide this instead of precious metal?
I wanted to use a metal that would push the boundaries of jewellery, hoping to change the idea of steel or precious metals. I appreciated the idea of a piece that would last forever, a jewellery piece that could exist through my lifetime and those of my friends and family. After extensive research I found, stainless steel metals do not rust or tarnish and are hypoallergenic, so they are good for your skin and body, you can wear them through it all your life. And most importantly stainless steel is the most recycled material on the planet, steel will be and can be reused and recycled.
In your press release you describe that your pieces challenge the status quo, how does it do this?
As a musician and artist, I found myself aligned with the underground music community, communities focused on music, arts, and fashion locally. Individuals who don’t particularly fit into “social norms'' but make it a point to be themselves, people who stand up for change for a better world. My collections are made with the idea of uniformity, wearing an MPS piece like another layer of skin, giving strength to the people who live with them.
Who are you targeting when you make your pieces?
When I first started making pieces, I just made pieces for myself which again later transitioned into my friends and family. I think that idea is very intimate and special, the thought is still there when designing but I think now I am making pieces for new friends and family, locally and internationally. If you think about it we probably have some friends here in Brooklyn or an artist I worked with in Berlin, we are all connected somehow.
How did you learn to create jewellery? Did you study?
Throughout my life, I always had the passion to work with my hands, my body, and my mind. I am self-thought in most of the creative work I do, in jewellery design and music composing but I did go to school at The Pennsylvania State University and studied Business Management.
How would you describe the process of owning a jewellery business?
Evolving, as a business and individual but also as an artist.
Where do you get your creativity/inspiration from?
A little about me, as a child I had a lovely upbringing which led me to be so different from all the girls in school. I was raised by two beautiful moms in the '90s, my biological mom was an immigrant from Buenos Aires, Argentina. My parents are very special to me; they influenced my view of life, love, music, and fashion. Living in upstate New York and being a part of the gay community and other gay families was very inspiring. My mothers were also frequent dancers of the nightlife scene in NYC where they would go with friends and biker women who rode Harley Davidson.
Living through this time has been truly uplifting and challenging as well for women, gay women, and the gay community. I grew up with two sisters, my older sister Sasha and my younger sister Ines, who was created by artificial insemination. My creativity is ever evolving as my life keeps moving but my main influences are friends, family, music compositions/productions, and the underground and music scene here in Brooklyn.
How do you deal with competition? And showcase your work, with being based in a fashion hub of New York?
Great question, I think the focus is to do what you love, create original ideas, and have patience with yourself. I don’t like to focus too much on competition since I have a strong belief that creative work should be positive and communitive.
How does your brand reflect who you are?
I would say by the main elements of its mission. Made for the resistance, with the idea of functionality, uniformity and made to last with the thought of being green.
What is your favourite piece to make?
Hard question, I love making custom, one of kind pieces for clients, and clients who visit the studio.
What kind of jewellery do you plan to make in the future?
You shall see very soon Collection 002.
What are your hopes for your business this year?
I hope to collaborate with an influential brand to design accessories and jewellery pieces for their upcoming ready-to-wear collection but most importantly to keep giving people the courage and confidence when wearing MPS Pieces.
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