Posted June 11, 2015

Tyler student’s jewelry designs appear in 'Vogue'

  • Gallo's 'Kickin it' bracelets' as seen in 'Vogue' (Giampaolo Sgura and 'Vogue' magazine)
  • Gallo's 'Classic pink doll shoe necklace' (Sara Gallo)
  • Gallo's 'Barbie girl bracelet' in sterling silver (Sara Gallo)
  • Gallo's 'Classic pink doll shoe bracelet' (Sara Gallo)
  • Gallo's 'Jewelry garden party boudoir doll shoe necklace' (Shelah Riley)
  • Gallo's 'Maryjane doll shoe necklace and earrings' (Shelah Riley)

As a child, Sara Gallo, Class of 2016, wove headpieces out of plants and painted the stones around the swimming pool with nail polish. Today the Tyler School of Art MFA student’s jewelry designs have landed on the pages of Vogue’s March and April 2015 issues.

“This was my greatest accomplishment, something I had dreamed about since sixth grade, and something I never believed would actually happen,” Gallo said. “Having my work in Vogue has given me an unimaginable feeling of validation.”

Gallo, who is studying metals, jewelry, and computer-aided design and manufacturing, taught art for two years and designed and sold her own jewelry line for three years prior to entering graduate school.

“Taking courses in computer-assisted design has opened a new world of possibilities for my design process and is one of the main reasons I chose to attend Tyler,” she said.

Drawing inspiration from the fashion world and even from many little girl’s first fashion icon, Barbie, Gallo describes her designs as unique and fun.

“I love watching runway shows as well as seeing what the latest ‘it girl’ is wearing. Fashion is full of fantasy, and I think my jewelry plays on that,” she said. “My jewelry designs start conversations and are lovable because they carry unique meaning for each wearer.”

Especially popular is Gallo’s Barbie shoe jewelry series: necklaces, bracelets and earrings adorned with colorful, plastic Barbie doll shoes.

“I never expected this series to become so popular, but I know the reason for its success is the feeling of nostalgia and our shared experiences as women growing up with these dolls,” she explained.

Gallo, who has been “obsessed” with Vogue magazine since she was a teenager, sent editor-at-large Anna Dello Russo several bracelets along with a handwritten letter upon hearing Dello Russo was a Barbie fan.

“She contacted me to say she wanted to include my collection in the magazine—which she did twice,” Gallo said.

The Vogue editor, however, is not the only media bigwig who admires the designer’s work. Gallo can also count Whoopi Goldberg as a fan.

An advocate for small businesses and supporter of new designers, Goldberg found Gallo’s work through the popular online retailer FAB. After Goldberg wore one of her pieces on The View, Gallo contacted the show’s producer to offer the actress and comedian a custom piece as a gift. The producer took Gallo up on her offer—and then some: Gallo’s pieces were featured in the “Whoopi’s Favorite Things” segment of the show.

“I was so surprised and happy to have Whoopi as a fan because she’s a truly inspiring and influential woman with a huge platform to connect with the world,” said Gallo.

Now that she has conquered the fashion world, Gallo plans to continue creating pieces her audience loves. She also wants to teach art again and eventually open a cooperative studio with other local artists.

“I am more confident in my ideas and the processes I use to create my work now. I know my audience and want to create jewelry that makes them feel good.”

- Erica Brooke Fajge