Lives in: Brooklyn, New York.
About me: Mama to two: Braeden (6) and Gemma (1.5); Wife to one – Steven.
Founder and designer of gemma + cleo, a whimsical and customizable jewelry line handmade in Brooklyn, NY. I’m also the Creative Director at twelveNYC, where I curate, design and develop on-trend lifestyle accessories for private label collections.
The majority of my career has been in editorial. I have spent 8 years as the Accessories Director of Cosmopolitan, prior to which I was at Elle Magazine. I grew up dreaming of a career as an editor and saw that come to fruition - traveling the world attending fashion shows, seeking out the latest trends and building incredible relationships in the market. Two years ago, after witnessing massive shakeups in print media and feeling like I had learned all I could on the editorial front, I knew I would need to explore unconventional opportunities where I could apply my incredible market knowledge and creative passions in a changed market, while having the flexibility to be present for my growing family. I started gemma + cleo the same week I joined twelveNYC as its Creative Director. It was daunting to take on two new careers at once but incredibly liberating and exciting. I have been curating and designing high profile private label collections and promotional merchandise for Fortune 500 companies by day and tapping into my love of whimsy and all things girly by night for gemma + cleo. And I haven’t looked back . . .
I’m good at: curating collections, creative direction, understanding market and runway trends and making them attainable, designing on-trend merchandise to tell a brand’s story, I make a mean mood board.
Interested in collaborating: Any brand looking to tell an on trend merchandise story in a unique, game-changing way.
+ creating something new every day
+ liberty prints, tulle, a dash of neon, a touch of glitter
+ fine jewelry
+ hanging on a rainy Sunday with my family at home
+ vacation with my husband (without the kids!)
Mama inspiration: My mom- I wouldn’t have achieved my dreams with her daily support and love, and all the inspirational and creative mamas out there pursuing their dreams and taking on the world.
Brands that most reflect your style: My style is a mix of boho and Parisian street style but I always incorporate my own twist, usually with tons of accessories. I love Isabel Marant, oversized furs, Frame Denim and Celine accessories but can also be caught red handed at H&M or Zara.
Words you live by/ quotes you love:
"Presentation is everything."
Best advice you’ve ever been given:
"Do what you love and the rest will fall into place."
"The best things in life take time."
Best advice you would give to someone starting out:
Distinguish yourself every day. Be memorable.
What are three things people would be surprised to know about you:
1. I’m incredibly silly with my kids and husband.
2. I LIVE in my Barefoot Dreams robes at home.
3. Behind my big fur and flouncy minis I’m an extremely committed and dedicated businesswoman who has worked tirelessly to build a career that I’m proud of.
Where can we find you?
My Website: gemmacleo.com
TwelveNYC Website: twelvenyc.com
My Instagram: @gemma.cleo