Be kind to the guy selling beautiful jewelry on that street corner in Soho. He could be the next CFDA winner. Justin Giunta did just that many moons ago, then took the prize in 2009. An artist of all trades, his creative self is steeped in painting, fashion, interior and industrial design, and has succeeded tremendously in the realm of making jewelry independently under the guise Subversive Jewelry. His philosophy, "In authenticity there is luxury," translates quite clearly to his clients, peers and fans. His sense of mixing metals is a trend that has cropped up ever more since his rise to prominence; to him it's a puzzle. He has sacrificed valuable anqtiues to his art, and keeps every bit that crosses his table, for it could be the part that completes the next piece. We caught up with Justin about his craft and what he's digging now, when he's not busy with his new gig as Director of Jewelry Design for Tory Burch.
What is your favorite stone to work with at the moment?
Pale Quartz, pink, yellow, smoke, blue, I am really into pastel colors at the moment, but not in a flat lacquered way. I want the feeling of citrus without the fruit!
Where's the weirdest place you've ever found materials?
Hunting store. It was in the backwoods and when I told the shop keep that I wanted the taxidermy bunny masks for fashion not fly fishing, I know I herd some rifles click.
What's the longest you've worked on one piece and why?
About about 150 hours. I wanted it to be REALLY BIG.
Tell me about your most thrilling sale.
First, as an artist, it is always thrilling to make a sale. Celebrities and Real People are equal in my eyes. Royalty however, one can always get excited about. I sold some earrings once, then a year later I got a call that Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan lost one of her favorite earrings and could it be replaced. I was happy to remake the earring, and she sent me several images of her wearing them on her Diplomatic tours. It felt good!