We hadn’t anticipated starting a line together years ago, it all happened naturally and kind of fell into place. We’ve both always loved jewelry, and through the years took different classes both together and separately on jewelry design. Morgan was working as a buyer at Bloomingdale’s at the time, but felt like something was missing and couldn’t quite put her finger on it. She had dinner with an old friend who asked why she wasn’t following her dream, and reminded her of her love of jewelry design. She promptly quit her job and began taking classes around the city to learn more about the craft and how to make her dream a reality. Jaclyn had just resigned from her job as a sweater designer at Proenza Schouler, after 4 ½ years, to take some time off. Morgan had asked for her input on the collection, so she ended up advising and then producing the first lookbook, which naturally led us to form a partnership.
Our process as a whole is very collaborative. We have such different backgrounds and experiences, and we think it’s really the combination of our efforts that make AGMES what it is. There are certain components that each of us focus on, but we’re constantly working together to make every big decision. For example, Jaclyn’s main focus is on the artistic direction - pulling inspiration for each collection and producing and styling our lookbook shoots, while Morgan focuses more on the development and production of the collection, and the day-to-day operations. When it comes to the design process, Jaclyn starts it off by pulling inspiration, and then we'll review together and both sketch different designs. Morgan then works with the jewelers on developing our ideas, and then we work together on refining the concepts, design, and scale of each piece.
We’re inspired by many different things ranging from the architecture of an Italian villa to a bronze sculpture to a midcentury glass vase. We often reference modernist art and design. And we’re constantly being inspired by our environment - the architecture, artwork, and the people. We’re so fortunate to live in a place with so much culture and such a broad mix of people.
Rather than creating fleeting pieces that follow the current trends, it is really important to us to make pieces that we feel can stand the test of time and be passed down to the next generation. We’re also hyper-conscious about creating pieces that are easy to wear and comfortable. We try to keep all of our earrings very light weight – even though they may look quite substantial, most of them are so light that you can wear them all day and forget to take them off before bed! The balance between comfort and style is very important to us as a general rule.
Morgan: I try to switch it up, but I’ve been wearing the Rae Pendant a lot lately! It looks great with a t-shirt or sweater and jeans.
Jaclyn: Mira Earrings
Jaclyn: A large gold ring in the shape of a lion’s head that my dad made in the 70s (he was also in the jewelry business).
I wore it every day for years.