Twisted Silver's designer, Deb Mitchell, mentors authentic creativity in high school girls.
There’s that old saying that imitation is the best form of flattery. With the fashion world and Hollywood a-buzz with all things Twisted Silver, the inevitable copycats have popped up with their alleged new jewelry that looks strikingly similar in design to Twisted. Is designer Deb flattered? Over mugs of hot chocolate in her Bay Area home, we chatted and got her take on authentic creativity.
TT: I understand that you’ve experienced people copycatting your designs. This is a hot topic for you, isn’t it?
DM: It absolutely is. Some people don’t even realize they’re doing it. They are crafty and they have some skill to put things together, but they haven’t unlocked their inner artist. They just buy a kit or follow someone else’s pattern or formula. What happens is that the path they follow isn’t their own, like plagiarism. It’s happened often with Twisted Silver, and it’s the job of a designer to protect her brand. Even the name “Twisted Silver” has been the subject of multiple copycats.
TT: That doesn’t sound flattering.
DM: No, it’s not. It’s like saying, “I like what you’ve done here, so I’m going to do the same thing and say it was my idea.” What I really want is to inspire women. Inspiration is about catching a glimpse of a small aspect and then running with it. It’s seeing a pine cone, or an old dented belt buckle, or a grape vine twining around a post, and then seeing that object as something totally new. It takes you down your own path of authentic creativity.
TT: How do you hope to encourage authentic creativity in women?
DM: Firstly, I want women to find their confidence and know that creativity isn’t limited. Style is ultimately about communication. It’s about saying to the world, “this is who I am!” I want them to not be afraid of who they are. I want them to look at Twisted Silver and know that they have a quality piece, carefully handmade, that will go the distance for them in pulling off multiple looks. But walking into a store and buying every last piece on a mannequin in a display window will never inspire that kind of confidence. It’s a dream of mine that women can unlock their own creativity and find their own personal style.
TT: Especially when that mannequin is 5’8″ and a size 2 and most of us are not!
TT: Inspiring authentic creativity in women isn’t just a dream. You’re actively pursuing it with high school girls. Tell a little about that.
DM: Oh, the Twisted Fashion Envoy Program. It’s an after-school program I have developed. Eight high school girls have been selected to have monthly workshops with me. We get together, talk a bit about fashion, what trends to notice and how to make styles their own and then the work on a design challenge. They’re learning a bit about the fashion industry, but more about how to incorporate what they learn into their own lives.
TT: Like a behind-the-scenes hands-on experience?
DM: Yep. It’s a chance to educate and mentor these girls about being authentic, and they are so great! They are getting it that it’s not about spending thousands of dollars on a wardrobe. It’s about making what’s in your closet — or your friend’s closet! — work. It’s about carefully selecting pieces that will last forever and finding ways to update them for today’s style.
TT: These girls won’t be knock-offers, will they?
DM: [laughing] Not a chance.
TT: What’s your advice to the Twisted fans reading this?
DM: Keep reading the blog, especially the key trends we’re following, but let it be your inspiration. You’ll also know your getting the real deal by the Twisted coin tag on your jewelry. Take a look at what’s trending, and then go through your jewelry box and your closet and play around. Make it your own.
For more information about the Twisted Fashion Envoy program, click here.