Rodrigo Otazu, passionate jewelry designer with a current residency in New York. His creations are desired by many, including celebrities like Madonna, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Tyra Banks and Kate Perry to name a few.
Vintage market Ibiza approached him to have a chat.
VMI. Why jewelry?
RO. In my childhood I dreamed of wanting to travel and work. It would have been difficult to be a pianist, for it would have been complicated to carry around a piano in my backpack; on the contrary selling jewelry was always possible in any part of the world, it has a universal langauge and I love it.
VMI. At the age of 15 you were already a promising young man and you helped your mother with her fashion design. Do you think that your mother had a big influence on you?
RO. Sometimes I ask myself if I was born with this gift, but without doubt my mother has had a big influence on me, that’s for sure, but there was also something very deep in me when I started to discover the world and all this brillance.
VMI. After leaving your country of origin Argentina and travelling around the world, you finally settled down in Amsterdam. What was it that made you trust fully in your abilities as a jeweller and made you dedicate yourself exclusively to it?
RO. Well, it was the need to express myself and to be a dreamer. Amsterdam protects creative people quite a lot… And adding to it that I like blonde women, I summed up one and one and EUREKA!
VMI. The contributions took you one step further as a designer. How did you face that new challenge?
RO. I focussed on it, I concentrated and wanted myself to become something brilliant. Being more is not a sin, and neither is saying it out loud. One has to have a dream in life, that’s where a star is born.
VMI. The personalized contributions still are a creative process that is different from the preparation of your collections. Can you guide us through the process you follow? Do you have the freedom to create? Do you have to follow ‘briefing’, instructions? Do you work together with the creative team of the brand or celebrity? Is each case different?
RO. Yes, of course, each case is different. It’s more, each thing I do with a different artist is like a birth, a new discovery of my soul that allows me to refresh and to make the essence of the purity of my inner child revive, it’s like visiting a very healthy place and feel renewed. It’s something I love!
VMI. We’d love to know, if it doesn’t compromise you or your brand, if you could tell us about one special case when you enjoyed designing a special piece for the body or the head of a celebrity.
RO. When I say yes to something, the project becomes a tattoo of my soul, that is to say if I am not proud of making it I wouldn’t make it, and when I make it I’m not thinking of anything else but giving the best of me.
VMI. Have the contributions turned into a strategy for the brand?
RO. I don’t know, maybe, but it has been a way of having me and being happy with doing what I love, that is the contribution for me. When I was working for Terry Mugler and Lady Gaga it was simply a dream coming true.
VMI. ‘Swarovski, shine like a Diamond’. Could that be the statement of Rodrigo Otazu?
RO. Maybe, for the design, it is very, very important nowadays! It’s essential to have a magic touch when you design something, with or without Swarovski.
VMI. Could you describe the women who wear your jewels?
RO. I love when they have a personality. I have been in Milan at Armani’s show, and then I went to the show of D2, and I saw two entirely different worlds of personalities, but at the same time there was one thing unifying them, all the women showed confidence in themselves.
VMI. Where is the brand right now and where are you heading to?
RO. In the search for something new, which means, ‘Stay hungry, stay foolish’.
RODRIGO OTAZU NAKED
VMI. People think that they know you. What should they remember of you?
RO. My simplicity.
VMI. Things that have inspired or influenced you lately.
RO. The simplicity.
VMI. Where do you feel more inspired or where do you get more ideas?
RO. In my bed.
VMI. What are you thinking about when you can’t sleep?
RO. Thank God I’m sleeping well.
VMI. Which music, album or song are you listening to when you feel annoyed? And when are you inspired for your work?
RO. I don’t listen to any music when I am angry, it’s totally silent, but when I am inspired the music flies.
VMI. What is your most precious posession?
RO. My cross.
VMI. What would you tell Rodrigo Otazu when he was 18 years old?
RO. That he shouldn’t be afraid.
VMI. Do you have any advice for designers who have just started their careers?
RO. That they shouldn’t be afraid.
Thanks for taking the time.
If you want to check his latest creations visit his website www.rodrigonewyork.com or facebook page.
Images: Rodrigo Otazu, Lady Gaga, Elle.