It's not every day that a Victoria's Secret model visits Grazia HQ so you can imagine the excitement when a real life Angel floated into our office this week. The Angel in question is Lindsay Ellingson, the blonde beauty from California who has hit the catwalk for the likes of Chanel, Christian Dior and Gucci as well as donning her wings for the almighty VS show. But rather than popping in on model business, Lindsay met us Graziettes to dish on her new jewellery line, Goldie Knots. Yes, the 29-year-old is not only astonishingly hot but she's also multi-talented, handmaking her own gorgeously delicate bracelets that come in an array of colours and patterns, accented by teeny diamonds. It's no wonder her catwalking mates have already got their mitts on them. And so it was that we found ourselves talking designing and jewels with the lady herself...
Lindsay Ellingson arrives at Grazia HQ to introduce us to Goldie Knots [Instagram]
Grazia Daily: So let's start at the beginnning! When did you start making your own bracelets?
Lindsay Ellingson: Our house was very artistic when I was growing up. My mom loved painting and she taught me how to sew so I would make Indian belts for my friends. I guess it stuck with me and when I started modeling, I developed an appreciation for fine, delicate jewellery but I wasn’t finding exactly what I wanted. So I thought ‘Wait, I can make this myself!’
GD: So what kind of jewellery did you want to make?
LE: The most important thing is that it’s colourful and fun and has a youthful feeling, but is still high quality. You often find kiddy bracelets that use cheaper materials and there’s nothing wrong with that, but I prefer to use 14 carat gold beads or diamonds so that the bracelets last and have a shine to them.
GD: Do you make them all yourself? It must be fiddly!
LE: Yes I make them all and each one takes an hour. I’m really good with my hands! I thought I was going to be a surgeon when I was younger.
GD: How do you find time inbetween modeling?
LE: I always travel with my kit so I can make bracelets on the plane or in my hotel room. That’s what I’ll be doing tonight! It’s therapeutic and I love having a hobby and feeling creative. It’s also special to have something that’s my own.
Lindsay Ellingson shows us how it's done [Grazia_Live]
GD: At what point did you realise this could be a business?
LE: I was initially making them for myself and then my model friends, who have great style, started asking me where they could get them and my stylist friends wanted to rent them for shoots. They were used in Victoria’s Secret catalogues so that gave me the confidence to launch Goldie Knots.
GD: Your fellow Victoria’s Secret models have also tried designing – did they give you any advice?
LE: Yes, I really look up to them. Alessandra [Ambrosio] just launched her amazing clothing line, Lily [Aldridge] is designing a range of T-shirts for Velvet and Karlie [Kloss] has her Kookies so it’s all very inspiring! We encourage each other and give each other advice. Everyone’s doing something so different - jewellery, food, clothing - so it’s cool to each have our own interest.
GD: Have any of them worn your bracelets yet?
LE: Yes, I’ve given them some. It’s really exciting to see there’s interest considering I started this off as my own little thing. My dream is to give each Angel who walks in the show one of my hot pink bracelets because Victoria’s Secret always make these amazing goodie bags filled with their beauty products, sportswear, the robes...
Lindsay on the Victoria's Secret runway in 2011 [Getty]
GD: We can only imagine! So when can us non-Angels buy your bracelets?
LE: We’re making final tweaks to the website then it’s launching in a few months. I’ve just shot the lookbook with Adam Franzino who’s an amazing Victoria’s Secret photographer.
GD: What’s it like modeling your own designs for a change?
LE: It’s so much fun because sometimes as a model, you’re not a part of the collaboration of the shoot but I had a say in the pictures and I brainstormed with everybody. I was kind of like the art director and I really enjoyed that.
GD: Where do you get your inspiration from?
LE: I get a lot of jewellery inspiration from Pinterest and when I travel, I find the local jewellery district to check out what’s there. But it could just simply be the colours in nature. I also met the lady who made my logo through Instagram and I’m always getting style inspiration from bloggers I follow like Aimee Song.
Lindsay showcases her creations [Grazia_Live]
GD: How would you describe your own jewellery style?
LE: Minimal is always better for me. I like pieces that are delicate, classy and dainty.
GD: So what jewellery would you wear on a first date?
LE: It’s great to bring attention to your eyes and your face so I would wear tiny diamond earrings. I have these beautiful earrings that are just a chain with a teeny tiny diamond hanging down. I’d rather wear those than a diamond necklace that draws attention here! [laughs and points to her chest] I also love wearing pretty little diamond rings.
GD: As for the future, how do you see GoldieKnots growing?
LE: We're still very small – it’s just me and two other artists hand-making the bracelets in New York – so hopefully we can expand organically. My dream would be to make rings and necklaces but still stick to higher quality materials and work more with diamonds. Honestly, I’m happy to just go with the flow and to continue putting my heart into it. It’s a whole new journey!
Lindsay Ellingson is represented by Viva London and DNA in New York