Meet Marla Wallerstein, MarLa Studio

 

Marla studio creates jewelry and leather accessories that strongly elevate your look and your vibe. Everything is made with meaning and intention - with edge and soul.

What do you love about your business and industry?

I love taking a raw material and making something powerful, significant and functional. At it's best, fashion transforms us to be more than our flesh, to be understood as individuals, to transmit ourselves simply and visually. I love participating in this highly personal process.

Tell us what inspires you.

The style and energy of the New York City fashion/art/music scene in the 70's.

What advice do you have for other creatives and entrepreneurs?

Be true to your likes and dislikes.

What is something surprising about you (secret talent, unexpected fact, fear, etc)?

I still think I'll join a band and tour the country in a carpeted 70's conversion van.

What is the most common question you get about you and your business?

Can I come to your studio? Yes.

Tell us about your process for making and creating.

Either the material tells me how it wants to take shape - or - I impose my vision on the material. Either way, there is an organic process of give and take between my vision and what the material wants to be. Metal is a magical substance. Leather has history and life to it. It's always a process of learning and respect for the unknown.

Name three local makers and brands that you are inspired by and why.

Hvnter Gvtherer, Karna studio & A Girl Named Nino. Laura Prieto-Velasco of Hvnter Gvtherer is an artist's artist. You can see her vision and ethic throughour her work. Karna Erickson is an engine of invention, the range of her work is incredible. Nino Arobelidze is nothing short of a musical genius, she's a true gift. Her new album "Moonlight Daughter" is on repeat.

What is the best advice you've ever been given and how has it shaped your business?

My art school mentor, Peter Marcus told me, "If you can't make it big, make a lot of them." There's power in a series. There's power to reproducing a prototype. You can populate the world with your vision... well, I won't get carried away.... but it's possible!

 

What makes you swoon?

Seeing my work on musicians & models who I admire as trailblazers - some for the gender boundaries they are smashing, others for their singular style that comes though on and off the runway. Justin Gossman, Juan Milan, Elliott Saliors, Dorith Mous, Nico Turner, Sam Evans, Stephanie Van Burk - they are all inspiring and rock the work as only they know how.

 

What has been a total surprise?

Seeing my work - the Eye on the Charm Chain - on model Justin Gossman with Bella Hadid this past fall in NARS international ad campaign. On billboards, buses, magazines... it was spectacular.

 

Discover more about MarLa Studio on their website

Jessica Cohen