Exclusive: Sew Sketchy Talks to JCK About Jewelry, Fashion, and ‘The Real Housewives’

If you don’t yet know Sew Sketchy, then I have the pleasure of introducing you to her. Sew Sketchy is a brand in the making—a lithe, fashion-loving figure who never leaves the house without signature dark glasses, the size of which rivals Iris Apfel’s specs. She loves caviar, Veuve Clicquot, and shopping, and is an illustration to watch.  

Say what?

Yes, she’s an illustration.

Sew Sketchy is a bubbly, fashion-addicted, and trademarked illustration that is the brainchild of a Parson’s grad who has roots in jewelry and is keeping her identity under wraps.

“I’d rather not reveal my identity so that my character stands on her own as a brand,” she says. “All of my clients from luxury brands reach out to me because of my work without knowing who I am, and I prefer to keep it that way. I guess you can say I want to have my work speak for itself.”

A custom Sew Sketchy illustration for Harrod's

Courtesy Sew Sketchy

“Hurry! Before my boyfriend sees us!” A Sew Sketchy illustration made for a contest sponsored by Harrods

Sew Sketchy was born at New York City’s Parsons School of Design, from where her creator graduated five years ago. The artist majored in fashion design and gave her Sew Sketchy creation an Instagram account—@sew_sketchy—which is now up to nearly 19,000 followers. Where you won’t find Sew Sketchy: on Twitter or Facebook.

“I’m a visual person, not a reader, and I don’t really believe in Facebook,” she says. “To me Facebook is like the eBay of social media: There’s just way too much unnecessary junk that I don’t need to filter through.”

Brands such as Charming Charlie (“My work is hanging all over its new fabulous store at 39th and Fifth Avenue,” she says), Stuart Weitzman, Harper’s Bazaar, and Gumuchian have taken advantage of her wit and handiwork. (Email holler@sewsketchy.com with inquiries.) She’s also in high demand for social media campaigns and is in the process of creating an online shop for fans to buy limited-edition lithographs. You also might glimpse Sew Sketchy in New York City this September.

“I’m in talks with people to do fun work for fashion week events,” she says. “Eventually, I want to collaborate with brands to do a clothing line and a jewelry line. It’s also an absolute dream of mine to create a gorgeous coffee table book of all my best work, along with creating fun accessories with her iconic sunglasses and hilarious sense of humor.”

For Gumuchian, Sew Sketchy’s creator made a custom booth design at Couture this year. She was initially nervous because of the luxury status of the brand and because the jewelry is so beautiful, but ultimately she “created a wow factor and made something that was memorable, original, and never done before,” she explains.

Sew Sketchy’s creator placed Gumuchian’s jewelry into Sew Sketchy’s fictional fantasy world of high style, humor, and whimsy. Sew Sketchy swung from gold and diamond necklaces and perched herself atop bejeweled ice cream cone rings—“just completely unexpected, which is why people were stopping in their tracks to admire this fantasy world that we successfully created,” says Sew Sketchy’s creator. “I think the collaboration was a perfect marriage of both of our brand voices.”

A custom Sew Sketchy illustration for Gumuchian, displayed in its booth at the Couture show this year

Photo Sew Sketchy

A custom Sew Sketchy illustration for Gumuchian, displayed in its booth at Couture 2015

A custom Sew Sketchy illustration for Gumuchian, displayed in its booth at the Couture show this year

Courtesy Sew Sketchy

Another custom Sew Sketchy illustration for Gumuchian, displayed on a different wall in its Couture 2015 booth

The key to Sew Sketchy’s rising stardom, besides the über cuteness and originality of the illustration, is her creator’s ability to think outside of the box while remaining true to her brand’s voice—an important point for jewelers to take to heart. Somehow all that powerful marketing and brand savvy cooked up on Seventh Avenue dissipates by the time it wafts over to 47th Street.

“The jewelry industry is…a little more tame, a little more traditional, and I think the designers who are incredibly successful are so because they’re not reinventing themselves every season but refreshing themselves to stay current,” adds Sew Sketchy’s creator. “To do so, they hire people like me to add a je ne sais quoi to their existing product. I would love to collaborate with a jewelry company to make fun Sew Sketchy pieces or do incredibly beautiful advertisements, windows, and social media campaigns.”

Something else Sew Sketchy’s creator would love to do? Acquaint us with her character—who was gracious enough to grant us an interview, below.

A custom Sew Sketchy illustration

Courtesy Sew Sketchy

JCK: Who is Sew Sketchy? What does she represent?

Sew Sketchy: I’m a New York fashionista chain-smoker with a really sassy attitude, and I am cursed with good taste. I guess I represent all fashionista addicts with an infinite love for luxury and glamour.

JCK: Where and when were you discovered?

Sew Sketchy: I was discovered on Instagram.

JCK: What has been the most fabulous moment thus far in your career?

Sew Sketchy: The moment I got an email from The New Yorker.

JCK: What are some of your fave press mentions to date?

Sew Sketchy: Does Valentino posting five pictures of me on its Instagram count?

JCK: Who makes your glasses? Are they prescription?

Sew Sketchy: Oh, I can’t tell you that. They’re made for me and only me, and no, they are not prescription.

JCK: How do you stay so fit? Do you follow the Victoria’s Secret fitness regimen?

Sew Sketchy: I just eat kale and caviar and live at Soul Cycle.

JCK: Rumors about you and Mr. Peanut are swirling—are you an item?

Sew Sketchy: Never heard of him.

JCK: Fill in the blank. I never leave the house without __________

Sew Sketchy: My sunnies.

JCK: What jewelry do you prefer to wear to red carpet events?

Sew Sketchy: A necklace that you can see from 10 tables away—my mom calls it a 10 tabler.

JCK: Is it difficult to maintain a private life with your celebrity status?

Sew Sketchy: Not really, I embrace all my fans with lots of chic love. 

JCK: Your skin is so youthful! What’s your secret?

Sew Sketchy: I have my shaman do ritual prayers on my face along with creating specific serums for me, but I can’t tell you what they are because I’m scared Gwyneth Paltrow will put them on Goop.com.

JCK: Word is that Bravo wants you to join its Real Housewives series. Which city’s cast appeals most to you?

Sew Sketchy: That’s a rumor because I’m not a real housewife, I’m a real fashionista. However, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is my favorite, hands down. They have the biggest houses, the largest closets, and the most amount of problems.

JCK: Your career is just getting started. What’s next?

Sew Sketchy: Sew Sketchy world domination. 

A custom Sew Sketchy illustration

Courtesy Sew Sketchy

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