From the age of 15, Vanek fell in love with music and abandoned everything in her life -- including a spot on her school's cheerleading team -- to follow her passion. Taking odds-and-end jobs at concerts and festivals just to be in the scene, Vanek began to develop a strong following on Facebook and MySpace.
Now Vanek is a budding designer in her own right. From a single bracelet, her offerings grew, and she now sells 50 different bracelets, T-shirts, necklaces, rings and earrings. Artists like All Time Low, Miley Cyrus, Gabe Saporta of Cobra Starship, the Academy Is…, the Cab and more have been seen sporting her designs, which fans can purchase online, at shows and each summer at the Vans Warped Tour. Willow Smith was also spotted wearing her jacket last month.
Vanek's collection is '90s grunge-inspired, with a bit of sweetness and an emphasis on vintage prints. She is currently gearing up to launch a street wear line comprised of flannels, military jackets, burn out tees and accessories. We recently caught up with Vanek to discuss her creative process and new designs.
How did you start your business?
I started my business very small. I created my very first bracelet around three years ago (the "ruthless" design). I never intended for this to become my career and take over my life. I made a few for myself and friends, and somehow a buzz started growing around our community.
What inspires you to create?
Music, movies, books, painting, life and great quotes. I've always had a quirky and unusual artistic mind. Every single bracelet, shirt and necklace I make has specific reason behind. I've never been into crazy high fashion. Most of my style icons are musicians from the '90s grunge era, which most people consider the armpit of fashion. Because of this, the inspiration for my line is pulled more so through an offbeat collection of my love for music, literature, art, and experiences, rather than through what I see on the runways and in fashion catalogs.
How would you describe your brand?
I feel that my brand is a fusion of my own personal artistic expression, along with the energy of our generation. I connect with my customers on a personal level that not many brands are able to do. All of my designs and products have a reasoning and inspiration behind them, fueled by emotion, desire and drive.
Your collection is quite unique because you get to meet the customer and be influenced by the current scene. How do your customers inspire you?
I'm super lucky that I get to go on tour with many musicians and meet their fans. I can honestly say that I would be nowhere without my customers and my fans. I appreciate the input and feedback I constantly get from my customers, and I take their opinions and ideas into great consideration when designing new products. I recently added descriptions to every one of my products at my online store so customers can see why I decided to go with a certain word or phrase.
Who is one musician you haven't worked with that you would love to design for?
Sky Ferreira. I would love for her to wear my stuff. She has a great effortless and grungy look that really compliments my stuff.