During my #SuperstylinTomFordFashionChallenge trip to New York, I was struck by a pair of hand dyed ombre fringe earrings at a trunk show hosted by Haus of Topper designer David Topper. Other standout pieces included turquoise daggers and chunks of quartz both used on earrings and necklaces. Topper's previous employers include Betsey Johnson and Jones New York. By day he can be found at BCBG and by night he reigns over the Haus of Topper.
Our professional experience mirrors one another with a comprehensive understanding of fashion design, production and sales. How have previous work experiences contributed to your professional work ethic behind Haus of Topper and how you conduct business?
Going into this industry I knew I wanted to do my own thing, but at the same time understood that in order to help insure my dream is a success, I had to understand as many angles of the business as I could, which really explains my scattered industry experience. I have been blessed with working with some very talented people that are exceptional at what they do. What these people really taught me is to never let anyone tell me I can’t do something and have always pushed me to never to give up. They have really contributed in developing my ability to think outside of the box when approaching the problem and to really develop strong communication skills--- two very important skills when starting.
I have always had an excellent work ethic, but believe this was part of my up bringing and the way my parents raised me.
How did you get into jewelry design? I believe the earliest signs came from personalizing your school uniforms. Please elaborate.
Funny you mention that, I was the kid that had several new rules added to the high school handbook regarding amount of jewelry one could wear at one time--- I look back now and can’t help but laugh how much I was channeling Mr. T goes to Woodstock. My background is fashion design and still make a point to sketch everyday. I got into jewelry because I have always loved jewelry and collecting stones and shells as a kid, but really became serious about learning 6 years ago and began to self teach.
What fashion and jewelry designers are you inspired by?
When speaking of jewelry, I am really inspired by and love ISSELLIANI, Roberta Paolucci and Paolo Giacomelli’s work challenges the traditional idea of jewelry and still hits the mark for saleability. If we are speaking fashion, I can’t not confess my love for Riccardo Tisci’s work at Givenchy enough. There is a sexy, beautiful, yet dark edge to his work that I can’t get enough of.
Where do you source your materials?
As for my work, my materials are really found on a whim. I have no specific places I source. I have found supplies in such random places as my pre-school’s thrift shop back home, to Ebay, to a Bazaar shop located in Philadelphia. I really have a bad habit of falling in love with certain materials, buying them, hoarding them only to pull them out years later to be used. I also have friends that travel a great deal that will bring back supplies from exotic visits.
Any personal themes or motifs in your work?
I work a lot with the idea of mixing nature with industrial materials--- i.e. heavy chains and leather with raw uncut crystals, gemstones and recently; shark teeth and fur. I really love the beauty of the conflict between the two yet how beautifully they flow together. All of Haus of Topper jewelry is equally inspired by my everyday experiences in NYC, my love for nature, as well as, the ever present undertones of masculinity and femininity.
Mark your calendars people! Haus of Topper is being sold on Fab.com on July 16th. Limited stock will be offered with over half of the merchandise being new and never seen before. All items are handmade and offered at a contemporary price point. For all things HoT, *LIKE* on FB and follow on Twitter.