May 19, 2021

Behind the Brand: Melinda Maria

With fans like Julia Roberts and Oprah, Melinda Maria is “Hollywood’s Bling Queen,” blending high quality design with affordable price points. That’s exactly why we were so excited to bring you this gorgeous necklace, designed in partnership with Rachel Zoe!

Curious to learn more about the story behind your new favorite piece? We chatted with the designer herself to learn about her brand’s journey from conception, her collaboration with Rachel Zoe on CURATEUR‘s summer box, and more.

What inspired you to start your own jewelry line?
For as long as I can remember, I was passionate about jewelry. When I was in my 20s and early 30s, I couldn’t afford most of the fine jewelry I loved, but didn’t want to wear poorly made, poorly designed costume jewelry. There really wasn’t much available in the middle that merged high quality and high design with affordable price points. Creating jewelry that would make women feel confident, cool, and beautiful without feeling guilty for purchasing those pieces is really what inspired me to launch Melinda Maria.


What put the Melinda Maria name on the map? And how has the initial style evolved since (if at all)?
We have had a steady growth since launching Melinda Maria, and I would say operating in Los Angeles was a key factor in putting us on the map. My celebrity following developed organically and helped legitimize the brand while also opening the door to women who may not have worn fashion jewelry before and helping them realize you could actually wear costume jewelry that is high quality and on trend.

We saw so many stars starting to wear Melinda Maria regularly on the red carpet and in their day-to-day lives, which led to E! Entertainment news dubbing me as “Hollywood’s Bling Queen.” That was a fun moment! One of the best moments for putting Melinda Maria on the map was in Oprah’s final season of her show. She asked Julia Roberts to pick some of her favorite things to give the audience, and Julia picked Melinda Maria, which was incredible! I can still hear Oprah screaming “MELINDA MARIAAA!” while showcasing an amazing stack of our bangles! So, the power of Oprah certainly helped introduce us to an entirely new audience all around the globes.

I would say I am pretty true to the style of Melinda Maria. We have recently started resurrecting pieces that I designed decades ago and they still work! I try to be on trend but to always have classic pieces that will never go out of style.


What influences the Melinda Maria aesthetic and style?
I absolutely thrive off of my #MMGIRLS. We have been able to build an incredible Melinda Maria community and engaging with them, empowering them, and supporting them has been a huge influence. They come from all over the world, have different backgrounds, are all ages, and they all love Melinda Maria. That just means so much to me. I love the daily feedback and excitement I get from my customers about how the jewelry makes them feel when they wear it or how someone felt when they received it as a gift!

Outside of my community of amazing women, I am inspired by the women I see every day. I live in one of the most fashionable cities in the world so I love seeing what people are wearing and imagining what jewelry would pair with their cool outfits.


What separates the Star Lariat Necklace (found in our summer curation) from the rest of your pieces?
Well this is special because I designed it with Rachel Zoe! Hello, she is a legend! I love the collaboration between us that went into this piece. We were so detailed about the placement of each little star and how many chain links made the lariat hang in the perfect spot on the décolleté.

I know how precise Rachel is when it comes to making the perfect style moment, so every millimeter counted on this piece. This necklace is one of my first statement lariats and we nailed it. It’s beautiful, cosmic, and the length of the lariat is sexy. I am so happy with it, it’s one of my favorite pieces.

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