Beloved Designer Mignonne Gavigan Talks Inspirations and Dream Collaborators

Alexis Bray | July 18, 2019 | People


Gavigan wearing the Mini Lola Hoop Earrings in gold.

Mignonne Gavigan has paved the way for an easy-to-wear statement piece: the scarf necklace. This best-selling accessory is what jump-started her company and has led her to create the colorfully embroidered and detail-oriented earrings loved by Dallas women. The story behind each collection is what makes her jewelry unique and forever evolving.

Where do you draw inspiration?
The colors normally come from where I’ve visited, especially when I was a footwear and handbag designer—I was sent all over the world. I [would] hit antiques and flea markets and see techniques [I could build on]; whether from a pattern, ceramics, pottery, or rugs. Also, I would think about that time of year… what are people going to wear right now?

What’s your favorite piece?
I love the birds. [Actually,] all of the animals. My favorites are the Azul Tequila earrings and the Lime Lux earrings. I also love the Mini Delfina Hoops, and our new bracelets that can be custom made to have anything stitched into it.

How do you style the scarf necklaces?
I just wear jeans and a t-shirt. For day to night, I would recommend keeping the t-shirt and throwing on [the necklace] with a tea-length silk skirt.

You attended Parsons The New School Paris. Did you know you wanted to pursue a career in jewelry?
Jewelry was a happy accident. I was an apparel designer first, then handbag designer, and then footwear. The first necklace was an accident; I was draping a runway dress and found a beaded piece on the floor and tied it around my neck with a safety pin. Just walking home that night I had three people compliment me, so I started making them for friends and had trunk shows. That went on for seven years, and we launched in 2014.

Dream collaborations?
We’re doing a collaboration right now with Lela Rose, which is pretty exciting. She’s the nicest person and such an inspiration to even be around. But for a dream collaboration—Proenza Schouler, Givenchy and Dior.

What’s next?
We are starting to develop our handbags. In the showroom, we fold up the scarf necklaces and lay them next to each other... an investor came in one day and asked if we were doing handbags and we kind of just said “yes” and went for it. The scarf necklaces lend themselves to handbags, like decorative clutches, and we’ll have some of those out next year.

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Photography by: Neiman Marcus