Buyer visits Rebel Designs booth at ATS.
Gina Riley, president and head designer of jewelry and accessories brand Rebel Designs and Accessories, has been an avid attendee of Accessories the Show — fifteen years, to be exact. And the Manhattan-based designer calls on New York’s diverse city streets for inspiration. From hand-set crystals and stones to bespoke leather pieces, being an authentic, local brand is of utmost importance for Riley.
WWD: What sets apart Rebel from other jewelry brands? Do you feel that being a New York-based brand gives you an upper hand in the accessories industry?
Gina Riley: The great thing is that we have some pieces that have as many as six hundred crystals. When we hand-make here in New York, we handset all of those pieces ourselves, [and] we cut all of our leather by hand. I design all of the pieces — we cast the pieces here in the U.S. as well. We take those pieces and we put everything together, hand-set the stones, [and] we make our handbags the old-fashioned way, on a kick press machine.
WWD: Is there a specific theme that informed your fall collection?
G.R.: The Eighties and Nineties are back: we brought back huge pendant necklaces, chokers [and] we also added color to our large shoulder bags. Cuffs are important this season as well.
WWD: What is one special attribute of Rebel Designs’ jewelry collection?
G.R.: From one season to the next, you can mix-and-match the pieces. The shopper has the option to take pendants from last season and layer them with what we’ve done this season.
WWD: How long has Rebel been showing at ATS?
G.R.: We’ve been showing at ATS for fifteen years now. Our customers know to look for us here. They can always find something new and different.