NEW YORK — Designer Susanna Galanis creates bronze, brass and copper pieces, often combining semiprecious stones, objects and medallions, that are influenced by the Greco-Roman and medieval eras.
“I love the art world,” Galanis said. “I’m inspired by the grandeur of past civilizations, and I don’t need to go to museums [for inspiration]. It’s part of my life.”
Key looks in the collection, called Susanna Galanis Turn Vintage, include brass medallion earrings modeled after a rose window and embellished with quartz and a long, hammered brass chain necklace adorned with tarnished brass medallions inspired by a Roman frieze, tarnished brass doves, and turquoise, carnelian or amethyst stones. Other looks work in Maltese crosses, cherubs and replicas of Alexander-era coins.
Wholesale prices range from $110 for copper earrings to $400 for the Double Charm Angel necklace.
The designer, who was born in Macedonia and raised in New York City, graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with degrees in fashion illustration, fashion marketing and fur design. She then went to work in her family’s fur business, but soon left to manage the Versace boutique at Bergdorf Goodman and later the atelier in Manhattan’s Versace store. The late Gianni Versace and his work, which often used the Medusa and Greek symbols, had a profound impact on Galanis when she began designing jewelry three years ago.
“[Gianni’s] creativity inspired me,” Galanis said. “He was inspired by history and the drama of the past. I relate to that.”
Galanis also can relate to Versace’s celebrity following. She already includes Cate Blanchett, Beyoncé Knowles, Paula Abdul and Selma Blair among her customers. She alluded to a future celebrity collaboration, but she was mum on details.
“If I could collaborate with one designer, it would be Alexander McQueen,” she said. “His tailoring and shapes are amazing.”
Galanis’ jewelry is sold at independent boutiques such as Kirna Zabête in New York, and Curve and Kaviar and Kind in Los Angeles. The designer expects to expand into more specialty stores, as well as specialty retail chains, later this year.