If a lustworthy feed dripping in diamonds wasn’t enough to catch our eye on Instagram, try adding a whole lot of jetsetting and we’re more than just double tapping! If you haven’t caught on to who we’re referring to just yet, follow jewelry designer Stephanie Gottlieb’s Instagram (@stephaniegottlieb) and you’ll see exactly why we needed to know more… Her most recent vacay in Bora Bora?! Seriously TDF!!!
Beyond the ‘gram, the New York-based private jeweler has found her niche in the Bridal category, making the diamond education and purchasing process a more accessible and seamless experience. Before you start dropping hints to your significant other, we suggest you start watching Gottlieb's Diamonds 101 video series that gives a true run down on what you need to know when buying a diamond and see first hand how your dream engagement rings would look on you by virtually trying on rings. You can thank her later for saving your significant other a whole lotta $$$! But if you’re not in the market for Bridal, Stephanie Gottlieb has you covered with a covetable and very well curated collection of fine jewelry – including a line she designs herself!
In an exclusive one-on-one, Gottlieb gives us the scoop on all things jewelry (including whose collection she’s dying to raid), let’s us in on her inspiration (hint: it’s rooted in travel), and shares her secrets of dressing seriously chic on vacation...
VacationStyle: How did you get started in designing jewelry?
Stephanie Gottlieb: I’ve always loved Fashion and Jewelry, but never imagined myself ending up in Jewelry Design. When I graduated from University of Michigan, I took an internship at a Diamond Wholesale company, and fell in love with the whole world of jewelry design. I loved just playing with loose stones and wax, and piecing together designs.
VS: What fashion brands best compliment your jewelry?
SG: My jewelry is fashion-forward, but with a classic mentality, so my pieces are meant to be worn everyday, dressed down with jeans and a T-shirt, or dressed up with a little black dress. My aesthetic is feminine and delicate, so I think brands like Zimmermann, Chloé, Cushnie that have classic pieces but with special feminine details really compliment my jewelry.
VS: How has your jewelry evolved changed over the years?
SG: At first I was scared to be bold with my designs, and scared design expensive pieces because I wanted to be able to cater to everyone, and make my jewelry accessible. But over time I’ve realized that when I design those special more important pieces for myself, those are the ones that really get attention, and those end up being my best-sellers. My new Slider Bangle is a great example. For years I’ve wanted a fun personalized bangle that would stack well with my Cartier Love bracelets; I think this is the perfect piece to start or add to a stack because it looks great with everything, and allows the wearer to customize in so many ways! Also my Heart diamond Pinky Ring. I’ll admit that it’s a little ridiculous to wear a 2 carat Heart Shape on my pinky, but you’d be surprised by how many other women have purchased the ring for themselves ! It’s just a fun piece...I call it a “self love” purchase!
VS: What has been your favorite moment in your career and why?
SG: It's always really rewarding to work in the Bridal category, because you’re helping people create a moment that they will cherish forever... So my everyday encounters with the men buying diamonds, or women choosing their wedding bands or wedding-day jewelry, those are all really special moments. But my favorite celebratory moment is probably when I hit 100K followers on Instagram. It felt like a milestone, like I had really made a name of myself.
VS: What pieces of your current collection are a must take on a beach vacation? Ski vacation?
SG: Beach vacations call for fun dangly earrings like our Diamond Star Drops or beautiful delicate lariat styles. Both look amazing with bikinis, and also transition nicely from day to night, worn with flowy summer dresses. For skiing everything gets covered up! Haha! But I actually love my new collaboration with Darsana; we designed this Jumbo Hesed Necklace, which looks amazing layered over a chunky sweater for après-ski.
VS: If you could design a piece for one person — past present or future — who would it be and why?
SG: That’s so hard, but if I could design for one person, I think it would be Rachel Zoe… I’ve always loved her styling aesthetic, and she wears jewelry beautifully, so I’d love for her to add a piece of SG to her stacks!
VS: Do you find your inspiration in your travels?
SG: Definitely! Every culture celebrates different design concepts, and every time I travel somewhere I pull from the people around me; I take mental notes on what people are wearing, how they’re styling their jewelry, what interesting materials are being used locally…I personally LOVE and always feel inspired when I go to Capri, Italy. It’s an all-time favorite spot for me; I’ve been going every summer for over 15 years. Of course there are beautiful jewelry stores there, and amazing designers like Amedeo who is native to the area. But also everyone dresses so beautifully there (I personally save my favorite outfits to wear there) so there are always amazing iconic pieces being worn.
VS: What's your favorite destination?
SG: Well, I guess I just addressed this, but I really have a special place in my heart for Capri. A lot of people don’t understand the appeal, but I’ve been going there for so many years, that it now feels like coming “home” for me. The people are so kind, the shopkeepers, the chefs and people who work in the restaurants, they’ve become family. That’s the benefit of traveling to a small island; not much changes, and the people are ALWAYS the same. I always find amazing treasures in the shops there, and the beach club is one of the most special places in the world.
VS: Any hidden gems in Capri?
SG: It’s not so hidden anymore, thanks to Instagram. But La Fontelina is the most special place I’ve ever been to. The staff there have become like family, the food is THE BEST on the island of Capri, and the setting is gorgeous. I love laying on the mattresses with the blue and white striped umbrellas flapping above me, and a spritz in my hand; that to me is PEREFCTION.
VS: Any places on your bucket list?
VS: What are some of your favorite brands to wear on vacation and how would you describe your vacation style?
SG: I love Misa and Zimmermann for warm destinations; they always have the perfect girly and flirty dresses. Vacation is actually the time that I’m really dedicated to my style—I like having the perfect outfit for every day and activity. So whereas on the average day, I’m happy to throw on a pair of jeans, a long sleeve black tee, and a blazer with boots, when I’m on vacation, EVERY outfit is planned meticulously. I also feel like I can be my “true self” on vacation, and that self is SUPER over the top! So I am much dressier on vacation that I would be at home. I really save my most special pieces to be worn on vacation.
VS: Any travel rituals?
SG: I always load up on vitamin C before my trip, bring TONS of sanitizing wipes to clean my seat on the plane (yes, I’m one of those people), bring cozy socks for the plane, and Drunk Elephant Moisturizer. I also always travel with a big scarf so I can use it as a blanket. And the first thing I do is get it dry-cleaned when I get to my hotel.
VS: What items can you not travel without?
SG: Couldn’t travel without a computer. Mostly because I can run my business remotely, but also because I am a TERRIBLE flier, so if I don’t have a movie to watch, I will lose my mind on a plane.
VS: If you could raid anyone’s jewelry chest, who’s would it be?
SG: Can I pick the Sotheby’s Auction House?
VS: What’s next for the Stephanie Gottlieb brand?
SG: I’m currently creating a full line of fashion-forward Engagement Rings, and I’m working on ways to make engagement ring buying more accessible to my buyers who aren’t in NY. We just launched online diamond video tutorials, which I’m really excited about.
One-piece or two? One
Detox or retox? Detox
Underpack or overpack? OVER!
Flats or heels? Both—flats for day, heels for night (unless Im in Capri, and then it's flats always…I'm not crazy enough to walk up and down those hills in heels)
Favorite sunscreen? LOVE Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch
Hair up or down? Down
Makeup or no makeup? Just mascara
Warm weather or cold weather? Warm, always—winter is long enough in NY!
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