There's never been a time when jewelry designer Alyssa Less wasn't creating something. "I've been making little knick-knacks forever, and I just started making pieces for myself and it really evolved from there," she says of the origins of her eponymous collection, LESS. "[Jewelry] is just one facet of the design world for me."
Indeed, the multitasking designer is currently wrapping up a thesis womenswear collection at Parsons. "The jewelry started as a way to complement the clothes I was designing in school in a more tangible way," she explains. "I got bored of drawing pretty pictures, and just wanted to express things more immediately."
Because the school doesn't offer a jewelry design program, Less had to find other means of honing her skills. "I interned for some great designers," she says. "Most recently, Ralph Lauren in Collection and Purple Label accessories, where I really studied jewelry and construction more closely."
With time and practice, Less has effectively honed her signature aesthetic, which she describes as a "tense mix of industry and nature -- always some hard elements mixed with semiprecious objects plucked right out of nature," such as raw crystals combined with sterling plated brass. "And sometimes, buffalo teeth," she adds.
While her tastes continue to evolve, Less isn't afraid to admit she's noticed certain improvements in her work. "I made seed bead bracelets, and earrings out of Barbie shoes and sequins in middle school," she says. "I like to think I've come a long way."