Image courtesy Melanie Kamsler
Interview

Melanie Kamsler & Tamila Purvis

11.27.13

Melanie Kamsler and Tamila Purvis are the duo behind Australian jewelry line MANIAMANIA. In 2008, the two fused their aesthetic vision to create MANIAMANIA and grace the accessories world with mystical yet modern collections that live at the intersection of costume and fine jewelry. Kamsler, an experienced art director has worked on various publications such as Vogue Australia, Oyster Magazine and most notably Russh Magazine. Tamila, one of Australia’s most established stylists, acted as Fashion Editor at Russh since its inception and the rest is history.

Interview

What type of styling did you both work on prior to launching MANIAMANIA?

We met while working together on an Australian independent fashion magazine called Russh. Tamila was the Fashion Editor and I was the art director. So we worked in our own ways, together and along with a wonderful team to create a specific aesthetic for the magazine, both editorially and graphically.

How did you come to launch of a jewelry collection?

We had always wanted to start something together, and with the combination of our skills and background, we were able to design, create and understand how to market a collection.

Who are some of the girls you’ve worked with on your marketing campaigns? Do you think this has helped develop a following?

We’ve been lucky to work with some incredible girls, such as Abbey Lee, Dree Hemingway, Jamie Bochert. Developing a strong brand and mood for the jewelry through the campaigns has definitely been integral.

Where do you source most of your materials?

Our crystals are mainly sourced from Brazil, and parts of Asia.

A signature component of your collection is the quartz — how did this come about?

We’ve been fascinated by crystals for a long time–for their natural beauty, of course, but also their esoteric quality—their mysterious energy. We each have a collection that will continue to grow.

Where did your affinity for mysticism originate?

I grew up with an insight into alternative Eastern spiritual philosophies, so I suppose that might have had something to do with it.

Can you tell us about some of your favorite objects? How have they influenced your design aesthetic?

Crystals are obvious influences, but also things that I have collected over the years, mainly odd little antique ornaments, Victorian chain mail handbags, candelabras. We actually just released a series of “Curiosities”, objects for the home and every day – such as a candle which was a collaboration with D.L. and Co., which we designed as a metal cased candle with some of our favorite motifs, in black wax scented with jasmine, amber and sandalwood, inspired by our favourite incense.

Where does the name MANIAMANIA come from?

It’s a play on words – on the idea of our obsession, and various aspects in popular culture that inspire us: films, muses, music.

How do you wear jewelry?

I have a tendency to go through phases of wearing certain combinations together for a period of time and then totally changing them. I usually have a ring on every finger…heavily stacked is a look we promote! We design pieces that can be worn together across different collections and that complement each other. It’s jewelry designed to be worn dressed down with a t-shirt and can be equally worn more formally for an event.

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