Fashion Spotlight,

Designer Spotlight: Lace by Tanaya

7/29/2011 Whit and Whit 4 Comments

We got a chance to catch up with young designer Tanaya Henry and learn about her jewelry line Lace by Tanaya. In our exclusive interview, she tells us about how she became interested in fashion, working with other celebrities, her inspirations and gives some tips for breaking into the industry!

What is Lace by Tanaya and how did it come about?
Lace by Tanaya is my jewelry line that started as a hobby, but quickly grew into my life! I made a piece for myself and a few friends. My friend wore it at work and Alicia Keys' stylist asked her for my information... that's when it all began!

Have your pieces been seen on any celebrities? If so, Where? 
Yes, Alicia Keys, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Keri Hilson, Megan Good, Estelle, Tika Sumpter, on the show The Game (3x) and many more to come!

Tell us more about Tanaya
I grew up in Prior Lake, Minnesota. I graduated high school and went to school for one year for computer programming and realized that I wouldn't be able to work in a cubicle for the rest of my I packed up my things and went to New York to model. I signed with Wilhelmina models and moved into a photographer friends 9,000sq. ft. creative warehouse with a green screen, indoor pool, trampoline, dance studio and more. That's where I got creative and really made everything come to life.

Do you plan to expand your line beyond earrings?
Yes, I have two more collections I plan on putting out before summer is over. I am really trying to push the earlace, because not everyone knows what it is yet.

I noticed you were in a video with Chris Brown… Tell us about that (all the ladies want to know) 
I was in a video with Chris called "Body to Body." It was a great shoot. I met a lot of great people the director was awesome. Chris is really sweet and his girlfriend is the cutest -- I gave her a pair of earrings! The video hasn't come out yet but I am assuming it will be out in the next few weeks.

Are you working on any new collections? If so, can you give us any inside deets about it and how it is different from your other collection?
Yes. I've just finished a collection with feathers, that will be my next collection. I have a collection with big chunky chains and lots of different materials you wouldn't expect, as well as small delicate chains and charms, for the people who aren't so into the glam. I also just finished my line of rings which people are loving when I wear them out!

Who inspires you and why?
I'm inspired by a ton of things. I'm inspired by my family, I'm inspired by art. I got an idea from a homeless person I saw on Hollywood Blvd for a ring in my new collection. I'm inspired by my friends who are successful. I'm inspired by moguls like Jay-Z & his wife, Kanye West. People that are doing so many things than just their "craft", by expanding as a creative mind and a business mind - not just a rapper or singer. I've been inspired by love and wanting someone to notice me. I'm mostly inspired by people who tell me I can't do something and I'm not good enough for this or that. I cant wait till they see me in a two years from now.

Any comments or words of encouragement for those who might want to be designers?
Do what you feel and fight for what you believe in. Don't EVER let someone tell you to stop, that you're not good enough or tell you what fashion is or isn't. Let the put downs and criticism alone inspire you and drive you more.

"In the end, the only people who fail are those who don't try."

Make sure to support Tanaya by Liking her Facebook and following her on Twitter!

To purchase any of her earlace, visit!

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