INTERVIEW & PHOTOGRAPHY BY GEORGIA HILMER
Sophie Lou Jacobsen - “nice” & Sarita Posada - “PAISA”
It was so interesting to hear you, Sophie and Sarita, describe the reasoning behind each word choice you made for your necklaces. Both of your explanations were rooted in notions of identity, what a place of origin tells you about a person for Sarita and what complex meaning a seemingly common word like “nice” can portend for Sophie. I found each of your answers almost subversive; you chose words coded with significance that wouldn’t be immediately apparent to an outsider. How do your design backgrounds influence choices like the necklace-making? How do you balance the declarative with the subtle, the playful with the serious in your work? What was each of your impression of the other’s chosen word? Were you surprised, amused?
The choice of word, for me, was a bit difficult because I don’t see myself as a very “branded” person, or even like to wear my thoughts on my sleeve necessarily. So to pick a word that I felt represented myself accurately, and that I was comfortable sharing immediately with the outside world, was not the most natural thing. I think in my personal design practice, I try to be designing pieces that are approachable and that would make people smile and be happy, while having hidden subtexts that hopefully make people think and question what is taken for granted. Ultimately, this is why the choice of the word “nice” felt appropriate. It is often used a blanket term, to describe things that are unremarkable, or without personality, but I personally think that is a gross misuse of the word. For me, niceness is the most important thing that I chose to value for all objects, ideas, and people in my life.
I thought that Sarita’s choice was wonderful - especially as it’s not a very common or well known word, but one that is rooted in personal identity and personality. It suits her very well, as she is a very thoughtful and careful person, both in life and in her design work, and has a knack for finding that special little twist that others would not think of!
I think Sophie and I share the tendency towards being understated versus overly branded. Like with the word I chose, I like the idea of subtle messaging versus a very loud, in-your-face approach. For example, I would never feel comfortable wearing a necklace that said “feminist” or “persevere” even thought I consider both of those things to be part of who I am. Design wise, I have always avoided trends when possible- I tend to be attracted to objects and spaces that are a bit quirky or unusual versus too clean or precious. I like things that have an edge! But not too sharp an edge, if that makes any sense ;). A lot of times that means taking something really pretty or tasteful and fucking it up, just a little bit.
Sophie originally told me she was going to use the word Nice and I was very honest with my thoughts about it being sort of a filler word. She then changed it to the French word for sister which I liked, and only revealed to me she had changed it back when we saw each other at the shoot! So yes I was surprised! In the end, I do think her rationale is quite good and I really like the idea of creating a new, possibly more appropriate association with the word. I think Sophie is very consistent in her “nice” taste and with both people and aesthetics, which ultimately does create a specific mood- one that is easy to imagine when you hear the word.