Voo Visits: Anna Santangelo

Marie Wez
Javier de la Blanca
Voo Visits: Anna Santangelo

Anna Santangelo didn’t plan to become a jewellery designer but fortunately, life had other plans and SANTANGELO found its way into the world. Having spent her childhood between California and Sydney, her designs are talismans for freedom, hedonism and nostalgia inspired by music, surf culture and the natural world.

We visited Anna’s studio in Berlin-Kreuzberg and spoke to her about the beginnings of SANTANGELO, her second home New York and collaborations with friends.

Voo Store: How did SANTANGELO come to life?

Anna Santangelo: Without the intention to start a brand actually. I was asked by a stylist I worked for, Celestine Cooney, who is also a dear friend and mentor, to make all the jewelry for Preen’s FW19 runway show, having never made jewelry before. The rest you can say, followed off the back of that and ever since has been an act of falling forward. I’m completely self-taught and not particularly business minded but I’ve been enjoying leaning into the process and the unknown.

V: You mentioned that you were a stylist before starting your brand. Does this influence SANTANGELO at all?

A: Most definitely. I’ve worked for years as a stylist and consultant for other brands so since starting Santangelo, I’ve really fine tuned what it is I want to say and how I want to say it. Developing the visual language for my own brand has been so fun to explore. It is really important to me that Santangelo feels like an immersive world with a specific attitude, direction, energy so I feel so grateful for my experience as a stylist as well as my creative community around me to have the tools to express this.

I think I design with a styling brain rather than a classical jewelry designer brain. I am completely self-taught so I think my styling background informs the way I see the pieces can be worn and ultimately the way I design them. One piece of jewelry could be an anklet, a waist chain, a necklace, something that holds up your T-shirt sleeve. I like to encourage freedom of expression and individuality in this way.

V: You’re now based between Berlin and New York. How do these two cities influence you? Is there a difference between the creative communities?

A: The energy, the characters, the NY fuck-it-I’ll-wear anything I want, say anything I want, play my music on the street as loud as I want- attitude inspires me. Berlin gets me inspired in different ways; endless summer days, the proximity to nature, the constant accessibility to amazing music. NY energizes me and Berlin grounds me. I’m learning to appreciate the balance. The fashion community and industry is smaller as a whole in Berlin compared to New York but there are talented and inspiring people no matter what city you are in.

V: When do you feel most inspired?

A: Depends on my mood, but definitely in the mornings and always when I’m around my friends. I have so many talented friends and I am constantly inspired by them.

V: What’s your creative process?

A: Reading, researching, watching films, travelling, observing. Usually it’s a lot of gathering reference and inspiration, testing different ideas out until something cohesive emerges. Designing and creating a singular piece is one thing but it’s equally important that all parts of the collection can coexist together.

V: You often collaborate with friends and I’m sure that must be super fun.

A: Collaborating with friends, for me, is essential. There is a level of trust, understanding and vulnerability that comes from working with those closest to you. I believe that because of these elements, there is a rawness and intimacy that comes from the work that is created. Also, not to mention that working with friends is pure joy and love. I want the jewelry to feel like a nostalgic world that you can step into so I think working with friends to create the visual language of the brands helps achieve this.

V: What are you working on at the moment?

A: A few collaborations - hopefully I can share some of them soon ;)
That, and a new collection of course!

Voo Visits is a series introducing new and old friends of Voo, like-minded creatives and people from Berlin who inspire us.