Alumna Danielle Jo Shares Inspiration Behind Her Jewelry Collection GhostLine Designs
Danielle Jo Samuels represents the warrior for whom she designs. With two decades of experience in the luxury fashion industry, a family history in apparel design and manufacturing with links to Barney Pressman, founder of the iconic NY department store Barneys, and a degree in Jewelry Design, her GhostLine Designs jewelry collection is positively stunning. She describes her designs as strong, bold, sterling silver pieces inspired by futuristic architecture, ancient civilizations, and nature.
Tell us a little about yourself: I was born into a family of designers, craftsmen and tailors. My grandfather, a men’s apparel manufacturer, designed suits for Barney Pressman, founder of the iconic retail brand Barneys NY. My parents also designed and sold their own collection of womenswear in the early 80’s. After my first round of college, I spent 20 years working in the world of luxury fashion as a buyer, stylist, and manager for Intermix and Barneys NY. After a life-changing experience and some profound soul searching, I tapped into my inspiration and love of jewelry design, combined it with my experience in corporate fashion and launched GhostLine Designs—a collection meant to evoke confidence, empowerment, and protection onto those who wear it. My debut collection, Ghost Warrior, represents the finality of this life chapter and next steps in self-discovery. Fueling survival and confidence, my hope is to bring a sense of peace and strength to my clients and a reminder that we are all warriors.
What inspires you: I went back to school for jewelry design not only for my desire to learn how to design and fabricate jewelry, but also because I want to empower others through my creations. I know my story of survival will inspire them to take the steps necessary to make positive changes in their lives. All the while, this journey is one we take together. I’m inspired to create pieces that make my clients feel like they can take on the world while looking unique and incredibly gorgeous at the same time.
Describe your jewelry line, GhostLine: My jewelry line has a warrior vibe to it. I create strong, bold, sterling silver pieces that are inspired by futuristic architecture, weapons and traditions from ancient civilizations, as well as events that happen in nature.
How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now: I had not made a single piece of jewelry before applying to the program. I almost failed two classes my first quarter, but made it through and came back with a vengeance from being the underdog to graduating as the recipient of the Jewelry Design Award. The support and guidance that I received from my professors and John Ahr, the director of the major, was incredible. At times, they saw what I was not able to see in myself and pushed me to keep going. Their encouragement really helped me knock down the walls of questioning my ability and talent and I just went for it. You do have to remember that what you put into anything is what you will get out of all that you do. I put blood, sweat, and tears into finding my own unique voice, and seeing and feeling how FIDM believed in me—was priceless.
Any advice for current FIDM students: Remember why you came to FIDM. For me it was the pure creative energy permeating in the air. I love the feeling of being surrounded by that. There are times when you are going to feel challenged beyond your capabilities, but that’s exactly why you are being challenged; to show you that you can do anything that’s put in front of you. When you’re stuck, think outside the box or create your own new box, don’t ever give up, problem solving is the best tool and skill that will help you create your best work, and remember that you are there because the school believes in you. BUT, most importantly, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF because you are here for your own reason!!
What is your biggest goal right now: My biggest goal is to get into more publications, grow my network of creatives in the industry (photographers, stylists, makeup artists, and models), and increase my online business.
Anything else you’d like to share: Think about collaborating with other designers in different categories. It’s a great way to spread brand awareness and cross promote. AND when you graduate, go out there, be fearless, and most of all, love what you do!
Follow Danielle Jo and GhostLine on Instagram @ghostline_designs.