Tiffany Clayton from arowm. Image by @jassher_.
Tiffany Clayton is the designer behind quirky accessories label arowm which has gained popularity for its colourful earrings known as dangles. She crafts each pair herself out of polymer clay which means no two pieces are exactly alike. The designer adores being able to express herself in such a colourful way and create unique items that are made to bring enjoyment to the wearer.
We caught up with Tiffany to find out more about her brand, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing!
Tell us about your latest collection?
When I was dreaming up my new collection, I wanted it to be much more than just the colours and the shapes, I wanted my new collection to breath something into existence, to have a life of its own. Which is when the name “Adorn” landed on my lap, meaning to embellish, decorate. I know for me vivid expression empowers me to feel more myself, and step into my femininity which is why this collection was based around the strength, softness and vibrancy of all women. Taking hold of how we are perceived by our brothers and sisters and how or whether that empowers us. All of this has an impact on how we adorn ourselves every morning, which is more just an open conversation rather than an answer, or revelation.
What made you become a designer?
It has always been something that made a home in me, but it didn’t have a visible function until arowm. Which funnily enough just happened on accident, I was going through I guess you could call it an “identity renewal.” I used to only wear black drapy clothing, then slowly I wanted to explore more of who I was as a feminine, boisterous, creation. I have sometimes tried to run away from my loud robust nature, only to realise that drawing attention to yourself isn’t “attention seeking” that’s only a reflection of the people who let those words fall from their lips; but that’s another story for another day.
So naturally this process manifested through my clothing, and self expression. I basically threw a colour bomb in my wardrobe and started playing around with polymer clay as another way to splash colour in my life. I made a few pairs of terrible earrings and started wearing them every single day. Friends starting asking about them, so did customers at Recycle boutique where I work part time. People started requesting to buy some which took me by surprise, then arowm was born and now here we are!
What inspires you?
Every moment, every being, every gaze, honestly I’m struggling to think of something that doesn’t inspire me. The things that break my heart can sometimes inspire me more that what heals it. I think inspiration is often related to to a positive impact, but I have to find inspiration out of everything otherwise I’d just become deflated by the state of the world. Whether I find inspiration from greatness, to emulate it, or from pain/hurting/angst to try and do something about it/help it. One feels heavier than the other but inspiration still seems to always find it’s way eventually.
Dangles by arowm. Images supplied.
Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
A rainbow would be the best way to describe it, the bolder, the better. It’s always changing. I think the only thing that remains is the vibrancy, whether it’s texture or colour, it needs to stimulate me in some way or another. I dress how I feel each day, so that flows through my designs except in a much less fickle manner.
What is your all-time favourite purchase?
My bright orange velvet adidas jacket, I bought it from a consignment store in LA still with the tags on – it’s bomb.
What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
A pair of white flares, easy to throw on yet still feel groovy, which is a necessity for me.
Do you have a style rule you always obey?
Subconsciously I think I always have to have something matching in my full getup, otherwise I feel off.
Dangles by arowm. Images supplied.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Every message I get from women telling me that when they put their dangles on in the morning it helped them to feel beautiful is a highlight. Seriously at the end of the day, that’s the only thing that matters. They don’t need earrings to look beautiful, but if it helps them to feel it, especially on those days we all have when our world is feeling a bit meh – then I think all of this is worth it. We are so damn beautiful and some days we need to be reminded of that.
What can’t you live without?
He tangata He Tangata He Tangata.
Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
Honestly, I’d hope there’s nothing I’d rule out, gotta keep an open mind. I had all kinds of fashion do’s and don’ts in my pre teens, but I’ve basically worn all the things I said you’d never catch me wearing so now, anything goes.