GIRLS I KNOW
Bea Millen
May 13, 2013
MICRO_PAVE_AIRPLANE
Female jewelry designers have taken over the industry. Our interview with Bea Millen is the beginning of many. We’ll adventure through the creative and business minds of the women who are leading the way and setting major trends.
Meet Danielle Yadegar.
Who is Bea?!
Bea is my grandmother’s sister name, and Millen is my grandmother’s maiden name.
How did you get started? 
My first job in fashion was assisting Estee Stanley. I was thrown into the mix and wasn’t at first sure if I was in love or miserable working in fashion, I figured out it was love and stuck around.
Tell me about your background. 
I had my heart set on a career in-house somewhere. I took a temporary position at Ranjana Khan, sublet an apartment and made my way to NYC. While having drinks one night at Cipriani, I met Rebeca Hessel Cohen who at the time was the Senior Fashion Editor at Cosmo, and we totally hit it off. She made an introduction to Michelle McCool, the Fashion Director, and long story short I wound up with a job as Associate Fashion Editor. It was totally one of those things that only happens in NYC.
My dad is in the jewelry business – he specializes in rare colored stones – so I was really brought up in the business. When I left Cosmo and moved back to LA, I had envisioned taking a month or two off before I started working again. That plan didn’t last long. I’m not very good at sitting still and I wound up tagging along with my dad on the regular.
My friends tell me they always knew that eventually I would find my way to jewelry but Bea Millen was started very organically. I designed a few pieces for myself and people started stopping me to ask where they could find the piece I was wearing and from there the line was born.
What is your favorite piece? 
My favorite piece at the moment is a necklace with a micro pave airplane.
What inspires you to create jewelry? 
My clients definitely inspire me. I often design with one person in mind.  For example, if I know someone always wears her grandmother’s ring I find myself creating a piece to be worn along side it. The pieces I have already made tend to inspire me a lot too, I find myself making things that I want to wear together.
And who are the other jewelry designers you love? 
I love Julius Cohen. They are master craftsmen, and make beautiful, thoughtful jewelry. It is a family run business started by Julius and now his daughter and son-in-law run it, his granddaughter now works with them too. They are some of the coolest most talented people around.