Jan 29, 2017
HAUS OF TOPPER
by Daniel Beltran
best described as strong, spontaneous and independent; a hybrid of sex appeal and sophistication. The jewelry is created for an individual that can easily intimidate with their drive and unabashed sense of who they are, not one to be a wallflower. Each piece is created with a keen eye to detail and proper proportion while still making a statement, regardless of how big or small. (Says Topper himself)
SCURO TEAM: Tell us a little more about you as a designer? How was that transition from working for brands as Bottega Veneta, to create your own label?
HAUS OF TOPPER: The transition was interesting but necessary. I held several jobs, and most of them not in design. I felt that in order to succeed as a designer I needed to have an understanding of all the pieces that worked to build a brand. It was, in my personal opinion, the proper way to train myself to have a better chance of having Haus of Topper become an over all success. Each company and each position really helped to strengthen me in certain areas and to have a better grasp on the reality of being a designer and building a brand.
What sparked your interest in fashion?
HoT- Growing up I always shopped the thrift and vintage shops, cut up my old clothes and would dress my sister when we’d go to the mall or dances. I would cut and style her hair (my Mom hated me for that) and I would dress her in looks that really stood out in our hometown. Ever time I left the house, it was an excuse to dress up. It didn’t matter if it was a simple trip to the grocery store or the diner for breakfast.
What made you take fashion more seriously and make a career out of it?
HoT- I was raised in a small town in Pennsylvania and fashion was never something that anyone neither did nor discussed as a career. I had never really given it much thought and to be honest, just figured I’d wait tables and travel the world. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that someone mentioned to me that fashion could be an interesting career path as I really had an eye for it. I never partied or drank in high school, instead hung out at the diners sketching clothes while my best friend was writing. After a bit of thought, and realizing I wasn’t very good at waiting tables, I decided why not and give it a try. I haven’t looked back since and can’t see myself doing anything but what I’m doing now. I still have all of the sketch books from back in those days, embarrassing to say the least, but amazing to see how far everything has come.
How has your work evolved since you began your own label?
HoT- Haus of Topper has had so many reincarnations over the years. I’ve been doing Haus of Topper as a bit of away to release stress for almost 7 years. It wasn’t until I began working at Bottega, where I had completely closed up my business as I felt I had landed in a place that I belonged. After Mr. Maier promoted me into his namesake label when Kering took an investment in it, that I realized how much I really, truly missed creating HoT. I quietly re-launched Haus of Topper at that time and I decided that the direction of the brand needed to be what I stood for and believed is the true definition of style and fashion. It needed to be a hybrid of sophistication and sex appeal with effortless style. It has really become more refined and the message each season continues to evolve and grow stronger.
Have your pieces become more appealing to people as a result?
HoT- Absolutely. With clarifying the message of the brand and the direction of the pieces, it has been slowly building a following.
Does your approach differ when designing for men compared to women?
HoT- A bit, yes. With men’s, jewelry is a bit trickier. I love jewelry and wear a lot of jewelry, but when designing men’s, I need to keep in mind where the customer is wearing it and understand there is a “box” you have to design within, but at the same time push the boundaries a bit. With women’s, there is a bit more freedom in creating a collection. I like to think of my women’s collections as statement pieces that you dress around rather then just adding a piece to a look.
What kind of people wears Haus of Topper?
HoT- Haus of Topper really has a following with women that are in love with fashion, but still work and have a family. She’s established and really does it all, but likes to look good doing it. She is not a wallflower, more a social butterfly and a divine host.
Tell us a little bit more about the Requiem Collection.
HoT- The song Requiem by Take/Five was the initial inspiration behind the Requiem Collection. The song created a desire to explore deeper into the idea of requiem being an act or token of remembrance and it took off from there. I worked a lot in stones that are seen often through out collections, such as pyrite, pearls, onyx and garnet.
How is your work received internationally?
HoT- I find that internationally, the work I do through Haus of Topper is very well received. A great deal of the press we receive is with international publications and I find us shipping pretty regularly to international customers. It’s an exciting time to be a brand in this day and age, with the Internet, as it opens up the entire world to small brands such as myself.
What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed your work?
HoT- Oh, wow. Good question. I’d have to say the 90’s glamour, the parties, the super models and the “care free, let loose and enjoy” fashion that fascinates me. Everything was a bit over the top and was a time when fashion was sexy and fun with a big personality. You can really see the influence of that era as I am developing the newest collection.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?
HoT- My biggest lesson to date is that I can’t do everything. In the beginning, I was trying to do everything and failing at almost everything. PR and sales are not my strengths and after several failed attempts, I realized in order to grow I would need to bring people in to handle those areas. It seriously takes an army to build and grow a brand.
Any dark secrets you want to share with our readers?
HoT- Hmmm. I’d say no, but my friends remind me regularly that I am a Scorpio and I have a bad habit of keeping everything secret.
Model: Cece Yost
Agency: Wilhemina Models
Photographer: Patrick Postle
Hair: Katy Albright
MUA: Adam Shelton