When Kylee Fauss first experimented with melted vinyl to set the foundation for Miss Wax Jewelry, she sparked a journey in jewelry design that’s taken her to heights that have reached some of the biggest names in the industry. Her fresh, functional and fashionable jewelry pieces have gained quite a following for Miss Wax Jewelry, definitely causing us to take notice. Including the upstart jewelry brand in The Freshest Class 2015 was a no-brainer, what with the tremendous accomplishments it has reached through some truly outstanding product. When that’s paired with Kylee’s unique ingenuity and unstoppable grind, you get a brand that’s truly deserving of all our attention. Read on to check out our in-depth interview with her.
Who makes up Miss Wax Jewelry: Although I’m the key piece of the puzzle, The brand wouldn’t be alive if not for my many mentors, Interns, colleagues & other talented designers. Overall though, it’s been me, Kylee running the show. I design all the products, manage the business & marketing, as well as 80% of the production from printing to assembling each piece by hand.
Hailing from: Los Angeles, CA
The brand’s message: Our message is simple. It’s about originality and having an appreciation for the freedom of expression. I started the line through my own desire to express myself. I felt I was a bit of an outcast growing up in San Diego – having so much passion for hip-hop, art and a culture that was just not as accessible or necessarily appreciated in that area. I wanted to create something that I could identify with. Through this fascination, I found an incredible outlet in my jewelry. I hope the brand encourages other folks to find their own personal outlet for individualism.
The style of product Miss Wax offers: I would describe the jewelry as colorful, illustrative and bold. I create witty, collage-like graphics and patterns to print directly on the surface of each piece. There’s a huge use of geometric form with hard edges fused with heavy gold embellishments and chain. Some designs are funny, others are satirical plays on pop culture, but overall the collection is really bright and fun.
The challenges of coming up: I’d have to say my biggest challenge is keeping up with mass produced, China-made competition. The past few years it seems, China has been ripping off all kinds of jewelry styles originally created by independent designers. This can be discouraging knowing larger retailers have the option of buying their product overseas for much less. To tackle this issue, smaller brands must drop their profit margins, sometimes resulting in a limitation of creative freedom. The good thing about this obstacle is that it really keeps you on your toes and pushes you to strive for more unique designs
What are some accomplishments that Miss Wax has done so far early on to generate buzz around the brand: I’d say some of the greatest accomplishments have been the amazing artists I’ve had the chance of working with – from Retna to Hellz Bellz to David Guetta to Sophia Chang. In the beginning, we started getting press right off the bat from magazines I had really loved and had features in both Inked Magazine and The Source. It’s all been pretty incredible and I hope we can continue to make our mark in the jewelry game.
What you’d like people new to your brand to know about it: It’s fresh. It has character. It’s handmade…and most pieces double as a weapon.
How Miss Wax plans on keeping their momentum up: I plan to continue to test the limits of jewelry design and eventually make way for an entirely new product line. I’m working with some amazing artists and will be releasing new collaborative collections. Ultimately, I want not only to be a jewelry brand, but a collective that supports all kinds of creativity.
What’s in store for the future: This past year, I’ve really been dedicating my time to expanding my own design knowledge, which will definitely reflect in the direction of the brand. I’m taking things back to their roots, when the collection was made from vinyl, hand-painted and resined one by one. Being more hands-on in the production process has been super inspiring and really takes me back to why I started the brand in the first place. With that said, you can count on seeing more high-end, conceptual pieces a one-of-a-kind designs.
Photos by: Ken Soleta