“If mythical fairies were into bondage”
An exclusive interview with the American-Australian Muse of Alessandro Michele (creative director for Gucci), Model, Actress, and recently designer for couture jewelry – Sedona Legge.
Sedona Legge born and raised in California, America but grew up in Sydney, Australia, started her early career in acting at an age of 6 years pushed by her mother. After being in numerous Gucci campaigns and walking the runway for brands like Chloé, Miu Miu, Rodarte, and of course Gucci, Sedona Legge has taken jewellery design into her own hands.
You started as an actress and continued your career with modeling. Now you started your very own jewelry label “Chained by Sedona”. What was your motivation to now start your own business in yet another field of work?
I know it sounds like a lot, but I feel that all these fields overlap, compliment, and influence each other. I was definitely an actress and model by design and studied acting for years but “Chained by Sedona” happened very organically. After observing the Gucci design team while modeling for them, and then becoming a mood model for Tom Ford, I was exposed to their process of creating and I was incredibly inspired. Typically, I would have been too afraid of not doing it right to even begin, but having seen first hand that designing is a process of making mistakes, correcting, and trying it again, I decided to give it a try.
What kind of environment inspires you?
A comfortable environment! I often design in bed with manikins surrounding me on all sides. My process has evolved, I no longer sketch, I just begin creating. I also have a little studio. I am haptic and physically predisposed, the more surrounds me, the more my imagination becomes alive.
When I think of “Sedona”, of course, I think (besides your name) of the American desert in Arizona – the colors, primarily. What was the inspiration for your debut collection?
Ironically, the original plan was to shoot the debut collection in Sedona. I’m in love with the desert, the color palette, and the sense of peace in the environment, and I’ve never shot there. Sadly, that didn’t work out, so we ended up shooting on a beautiful beach in Malibu. However, the inspiration was to create designs that were unique, eye-catching and would leave an impression well after the wearer left.
Is there any piece of jewelry that you wear every day?
Absolutely nothing during quarantine, but on a casting or shoot, I always like to wear a Metis Beaded Bra for good luck!
As the major fashion houses engaged you starting your own line and even Gucci creative director, Alessandro Michele blessed your work, how did you start the creative process as a self-taught couture jewelry designer?
It’s really kind of crazy how it all started. I was working as a mood model for Tom Ford and I had a break on a Saturday and went to DTLA Fashion District and bought random items that inspired me. I went home and literally started beading, learning how to use my tools, and my first design was created.
Are there any influences from these fashion brands?
Too many to even convey, yes! I’ve been influenced by every brand I’ve worked with from the sheer beauty and elegance of Rodarte to the playfulness of MiuMiu and the street style of Marcell Von Berlin. The two major designers who have influenced me the most are Alessandro Michele and Tom Ford, for two quite different reasons. Gucci has awakened my love for color, abundance, opulence, and breaking rules, while Tom Ford introduced me to clean lines, and how the technical design process works behind the scenes.
Who’s your style icon?
Probably David Bowie. I love his bold fashion choices, that he crossed gender barriers, and that he was constantly re-creating himself.
What does your brand stand for?
Chained by Sedona is still an embryo, so we are constantly evolving, but what I can tell you is that our goal is to try our best to promote diversity, ethical standards, and support the causes that mean the most to us. This also means paying everyone we work with, including vendors, creatives, and models, within seven days of the job. If we don’t have the funding, we won’t do the project.
What’s the philosophy behind the jewelry?
Hard and soft; if mythical fairies were into bondage.
What kind of person wears your jewelry?
Someone who does not want to be anonymous! The designs are not subtle, so you need to have a bit of sass, a bit of boldness, and a bit of playfulness!
If you had to design a piece for your favorite person, what would it look like?
It would be for my best friend Wonita who lives in Australia. She is a bit angelic, so it would probably be my Electra Headpiece in Clear Linen.
What is your favorite piece you’ve ever created so far – and what made it so special?
Probably my newest design pair: my Amphitrite Cape and Athena Skirt. It took days to create them because it is a whole outfit made completely out of beads. I designed the cape knowing that I was going to be working with the insanely talented photographer, Brian Ziff. I am also excited about who will be wearing the outfit. Fingers crossed!
What are you listening to when you create?
A really wide variety of artists, but currently I’m listening to Falling in Reverse, Lana Del Rey, and Ski Mask Slump God.
You have been a long-life vegetarian and now even a committed vegan, how can you bring in your affection for sustainability to “Chained by Sedona”?
Because we have allowed this business to grow organically, we leave a very small footprint, and the chains I use will last a lifetime without the need for replacement. I create each piece by hand. As we grow, I want to remain careful in our sourcing as well as making sure we maintain diversity in our sourcing and hiring. My business partner is a speaker on anti-discrimination, harassment prevention, and anti-bullying, so this is really integrated into our whole business approach and into the charities we support like the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. One of my personal aspirations is to create a charity that educates on the benefits, health-wise and environmentally, of the vegan lifestyle.
After months of quarantine, where do you fantasize about traveling?
Literally everywhere!!! If I had to choose, it would probably be Vietnam. My favorite food is from there and the culture is completely different, so I would learn so much, and the country is stunningly beautiful.
If you had to choose a design for Numero, which piece do you find most emblematic to our publication and readers?
Probably my Calypso Bra and Sleeves in black. It’s a little edgy, mysterious, and bold like I see Numero and I envision many of your readers.
Any shout outs to fellow up- and coming designers?
Yes, I’ve used a gorgeous dress designed and created by Lisa Hoang for my debut collection, and I’m incredibly grateful!
What would your dream collaboration look like?
This is so difficult because there are some amazing designers I have worked with and that I would be so grateful to collaborate with in the future. However, I have a deep connection with Alessandro Michele and Gucci, because I had my runway debut with them and shot my first campaign for Gucci. I think Alessandro is not only brilliant as a designer and writer, but I love his humanity, perspective, and his heart.
Dress, Alon Livné
Amphitrite Cape, Chained by Sedona
Calypso Bra and Sleeves, Chained by Sedona
Medusa Choker, Chained by Sedona
Bodysuit and Pants, Y-Project
Metis Bra, Chained by Sedona
Blouse and Trousers, Annakikki
Gaia Headpiece, Chained by Sedona
Gaia Headpiece and Medusa Choker, Chained by Sedona
Bustier, Zana Bayne
Shoes, Miu Miu
Ceta Cape, Chained by Sedona
Pants, Brashy Studios
Aura Bra and Sleeves, Chained by Sedona
Calypso Bra and Sleeves, Chained by Sedona
Pheme Belt, Chained by Sedona
Interview: Olivier Mohrińge
Fashion Editorial: “I Quattro Elementi”
Model Sedona Legge at Photogenics LA
Photography Brian Ziff
Video Ryan Kevin, Danny Mayúgba
VFX Timothy Huang
Styling Donna Lisa
Makeup Carolina Ballesteros
Hair Kelly Peach
Set Design Eamonn McGlynn
Floral Design Carla Flores