For the Eco-Conscious Fashionista

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The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, trailing only behind the oil industry. Additionally, the US is the largest importer of garments in the world.  Despite the fact that up to 95% of the textiles that are landfilled each year could be recycled, consumers throw away up to 70 pounds per person each year.  These daunting statistics may leave you confused and angry, but you can make a difference in the environment by making smart purchases.

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That’s where Nina Nguyen Designs comes in.  Nina Nguyen’s commitment to leaving the world a better place than she found it includes her use of organic, responsibly sourced stones, and recycled metals.

Nina isn’t the only designer who holds sustainability close.  Slow fashion is on the rise, with brands like Older Brother, which boasts that garments can be buried in your backyard to decompose after they’ve been loved to death, Dick Moby and their recycled leather sunglass cases, and Tradlands, who recycles any and all unused material remnants, setting the bar high.

Now, fashionistas can rest assured that they are making a positive impact on the Earth by purchasing pieces made by brands that share the same sustainability beliefs as them!

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“I think all products should be made in a manner that benefits everyone involved. I would love for my jewelry to bring this message: that people should always be concerned with where the things they purchase come from, who made them, where the materials came from, how long they last, and what will become of it when its life is over.”  -Nina Nguyen

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Tourmaline – Love and Communication

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Watermelon Tourmaline

October brings sweater weather, fall foliage and most importantly tourmaline, one of my favorite gemstones. October’s birthstone claims my attention because of its vibrant hues, its variety and its powerful metaphysical properties.

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Nina Nguyen Designs, Adorn Bangle, 14k yellow gold, pink tourmaline

This stunning beauty was first discovered in the 1500s. The first one found had a deep green hue and was originally claimed as emerald. It’s no surprise that the word tourmaline actually means ‘mixed gems’ in Sinhalese (native tongue of Sri Lanka). Its striking colors often had miners confuse this beauty with a variety of gemstones before it was determined that this gorgeous gem belongs in a class all its own. I don’t think tourmaline gets enough credit for its beauty and versatility. I love using it in my work!
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Legend has it that tourmaline traveled to earth through the rainbow, hence the reason it comes in every hue imaginable. Tourmaline is attributed the powerful metaphysical properties of deep enlightenment, power over spiritual affairs and can quell opposition. According to alchemist folklore, this ‘philosopher’s stone’ is also said to have the power to turn base metal into gold! Do you believe the hype? Pink tourmaline, which you’ll find featured in my new Heritage collection, is believed to be the stone of love and communication.
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Nina Nguyen Designs, Adorn Ring, 14k yellow gold, pink tourmaline

Even if we can’t confirm the myths and magic around this stone, there is no denying its beauty. The metaphysical properties of gemstones used to be perceived as fact, just as it was accepted that the earth was flat. Perhaps we put more value on science than the spirits these days, but these properties were so widely accepted that they carried over to modern day. Birthstones are still given as gifts. This tradition has been passed along from ancient times when a birthstone was given to a baby’s parents to keep the child safe and sound. I like to believe they still bring a lot of that love and positive energy to any recipient. It’s my favorite gift to give.
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Nina Nguyen Designs, Heritage Necklette, 14k yellow gold, tourmaline

Where the Leaves Change

The cascades of colorful leaves and warm breezes of Colorado got me in the mood to bask in the glow of my favorite season. The fall season is a transitional time of year, the changes in weather are obvious, but some changes are more subtle.

Silver bangle, Vermeil Bangle, layering accessories

I want to get cozy and buckle down for the inevitable transformation to winter, and of course to enjoy the outdoors in all of its colorful glory.

Druzy necklace, druzy ring, drussy photoshoot

 It also reminds me to get started on large projects and tackle everything on my bucket list. One thing I know for sure, autumn comes and goes so fast, I want to savor every delicious moment.

layering necklace, work wardrope, foliage fashion.

All Jewelry by Nina Nguyen Designs of course!
Blazer by J Crew
Dress by Free People 

Stackable Pallas Druzy Bangle
Stackable Geode Bangle

INSTORE Magazine gets a little more Zen

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“Most of us returned from our last vacation with a suitcase crammed with souvenirs of questionable quality; Nina Nguyen, on the other hand, brought back inspiration for her latest collection. Her travels to Bali were the seed of the Zen collection. It consists of colorful Druzy and turquoise stones cut into geometric shapes and set in sterling silver with a 22K gold overlay.” 


INSTORE Magazine

ZEN

Nina Nguyen Featured in INDESIGN April/March 2014

INSTORE Cover

GOLDEN BEGINNINGS: “I used to help my mother trade gold in our hometown of Pleiku, Vietnam. Every Sunday, my mother would set up her little table, and workers from the nearby river who’d panned for gold would line up to sell my mother the gold they had found. My uncle used to make the beautiful sparkly gold dust into rings. My job was to bike to the market to deliver the gold. The gold rings were fastened on a chain for me to easily disguise under my clothes. This was to evade the communists’ eyes and ears on my parents. Being able to work with my family is a major part of my jewelry designing process today.”

FAVORITE STONES: “Anything that is unique, mineral, fossilized and can’t be found in a traditional jewelry store. Right now, I am obsessed with druzy and geodes.” 

                         Maharani Wisdom Cuff

THE GREATER GOOD: “I think all products should be made in a manner that benefits everyone involved. I would love for my jewelry to help bring this message: That people should always be concerned with where the things they purchase come from, who made them, where the materials came from, how long will it last, and what will become of it when its life is over.”

DESIGN INSPIRATION: “I first experienced wisteria’s allure as a tourist traveling through Tokyo by bicycle. Pedaling a bicycle path completely surrounded by wisteria, I was immediately fascinated by the graceful purple blossoms cascading into view. Wisteria’s enduring beauty and charm will be represented in my spring 2014 collection.”

Wisteria Melody Necklette

Wisteria Melody Necklette

CELEBRITY CONNECTION:  “In 2013, Miranda Lambert wore our Audrey earrings in black druzy to the season premiere of THE VOICE. That was such a pleasant surprise! Her stylist contacted my PR firm, so I guess my unique design is being mentioned in the celeb stylist circle.”

STYLE EVOLUTION: “I think my work has evolved as my personal preferences evolved. The styling of my design has changed from having a more modern and minimal look to having a somewhat classic, heirloom look while retaining the composition of a modern material”

STANDING ON PRINCIPLE: “In 2009, my line was represented by a New York showroom. I was dealing with the constant pressure from department stores and buyers to produce cheaper products. I don’t know how I did it, but I walked away from some very large purchase orders to focus on bettering my designs. The biggest achievement of my career was when I learned to stay focused on what I do, who I am, who my audience is and what my brand represents.


Q & A  / Getting Personal with Nina Nguyen

WHAT IS ON YOUR MIND WHEN YOU ARE NOT DESIGNING? “Children of Vietnam project. I plan to bring my experience to assist with raising more funds and bringing awareness to the organization.”
WHAT CAN’T YOU RESIST BUYING WHEN OUT SHOPPING? “Is there a hotline for Shoeaholics Anonymous?”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE VACATION SPOT AND WHY? “I moved to Boulder, Colorado a year ago. There is so much to do and it is always nice to wake up in my own bed since I am on the road so much.”
IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY OTHER CAREER. WHAT WOULD IT BE? “Eco-handbag or eco-apparel designer. Have you tried to look for eco-clothes? I could see myself taking an interest in this industry.”

Inside Spread

by INDESIGN Magazine 

 

Retailer Spotlight: Couch’s Jewelers

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Founded in 1941, Couch’s Jewelers  has been located in downtown Anniston on the same street for over 72 years. Authenticity is the core of who they are and everything they do. At Couch’s Jewelers they embrace change, forward thinking and provide their customers with exceptional service that always exceeds their expectations. Couch’s Jewelers is not just a business they are a family.

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Couch’s likes to stay current with all trends.  At the moment they love all the colors available in colored stones and natural stones.  They say “There are so many choices and they all pair so nicely with every outfit in your closet”.

We asked Couch’s Jewelers what they had to say about us and their response is, “Nina’s unique designs are so fashion forward, which appeals to every age group. Couch’s has always brought unique lines to the Anniston area, and Nina Nguyen may just be the most unique one yet”.

Couch's Invite Website

Join Couch’s Jewelers for a Nina Nguyen Designs launch event on Saturday, December 7, from 12pm – 7pm. Show your support for local Anniston non-profit organization, the Knox Concert Series , and see Nina’s beautiful collection of jewelry. Couch’s Jewelers, along with Nina Nguyen Designs has selected the The Nutcracker Ballet project – performance and educational outreach, as the beneficiary of a generous contribution from Couch’s Jewelers and Internationally renowned designer Nina Nguyen. The contribution will come from money raised through sales of a limited number of tickets, good for a chance to win a special piece of designer jewelry donated by Nina Nguyen, and available only on Saturday, December 7, 2013 from 12pm – 7pm at Couch’s Jewelers.

Call Couch’s at (256) 237-4628 and confirm your attendance to the event and to meet Nina!

Retailer Spotlight: Baubles and Bubbles

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Known for their artistic drive, owners Erik Carroll and Toni Gelman have brought to St. Petersburg culture, fashion and art in the form of contemporary fine jewelry. Inspired by New York Boutiques, Erik and Toni launched Baubles and Bubbles to bring fashion to the beautiful quaint downtown St. Pete Community.

Located on Beach Dr. you can browse high end jewelry in a comfortable laid back environment while the enjoying great company of the Baubles and Bubbles staff. At Baubles and Bubbles there are no rules when it comes to art and fashion! The fashionista owners encourage mixing and matching- stack and layer it all on to show off your personality.  Here you can find anything to fit your mood from stackable rings, bracelets, and bold statement necklaces.

Adoring this year’s haute couture fashion runway trends – Oscar De La Renta’s use of Turquoise necklaces, the chain inspired collection of Karl’s Chanel, Celine mineral inspired accessories – it’s no wonder Baubles and Bubbles fell head over heels with Nina Nguyen. With our big, bold and versatile designs, St. Pete shoppers will have the ultimate mix and match day-to-night accessories.

We asked Baubles what they had to say about us and their response is as charming as their store;

“Nina’s line is a perfect fit for us as it has an urban chic feel that matches the style of our store.  And, the store’s tranquil environment looks and feels as though it were designed with the line in mind.  From our Buddha’s, which are found throughout, to the cork accessories, and more, it’s almost as though we designed our space for her before we found her and the line and so the meeting was pure kismet.”