ZOETIK first came up on bkstyled’s radar during a cocktail party hosted by the New York Distilling Co. back in May. The stylish Vivienne So was behind me in line for the crêpe truck and we decided to do a little write-up on her metallic look for the blog. It turned out she was wearing jewelry from her own line, a collaborative project called ZOETIK she works on with jewelry designer Jason Choi. Since then, our guest style writer Aileen Olmedo was spotted wearing ZOETIK at New York Fashion Week and it seemed like it was time for us to get to know them a little better. Read on for Aileen’s interview with Vivienne and Jason.
Aileen Olmedo: Zoetik is still fairly new. For you and your partner, what was the tipping point in creating the brand?
Jason Choi: For me it was realizing that I had a chance to make a difference with all the relationships I built throughout my years on the manufacturing/business side of the industry.
Vivienne So: Knowing about the crazy markups and middlemen involved in the industry, we knew we could offer something better than what was available in the market. I have sensitive skin and have always had problems with costume jewelry. So being hypoallergenic, as well as stylish and affordable, became an important pillar for us.
AO: The name has a great zing to it, what’s the meaning behind the name?
JC/VS: ZOETIK comes from the greek root “zoe” which means “pertaining to life.” We believe that our jewelry can go with every part of your life. The ZOETIK woman leads an active lifestyle!
JC/VS: Restore NYC is an amazing organization here in New York that helps rebuild the lives of sex trafficking victims. They create safe houses for these women whose lives have been destroyed by modern-day slavery and help them get back on their feet through different programs. We knew immediately that this was something we needed to support, since most people don’t realize that sex trafficking is happening right here in New York. The collection we created for Restore NYC reflects their message but also holds special meaning for anyone going through a tough time. The Lionness stands for empowerment/strength, Pearl for rebirth, Cactus Flower for perseverance, and the Hamsa Hand for protection. A percentage of proceeds from every piece sold goes to Restore NYC.
AO: Let’s play favorites. What pieces have you been wearing over and over from ZOETIK?
JC: Not gonna lie, the cubic zirconia ring. Many people have walked in on me wearing it and admiring it.
VS: Haha! It’s a pretty epic ring–it’s cut from solid cubic zirconia. I don’t leave home without my Worn Gold Crystal Bangle, one or two stacking bracelets (like the Gold Chain and the Gold Interlink), and a few rings. I’ve been wearing the Gold Arrow Outline Rings on three fingers for a more ladylike version of brass knuckles.
AO: Show us your Brooklyn pride, what are your top three spots in the borough?
VS: Prospect Park–I love riding around the park in the Fall. Brooklyn Crab–It’s delicious and always fun. Ba’sik–They make great cocktails and it’s the perfect spot to cozy up with friends in the winter.
Thanks for reading!
Aileen Olmedo is the blogger behind The Style Boro and social media guru for top fashion brands. She’s a New York native who’s always on the hunt for local treasures and treats the WWD as her guidebook. She believes fashion should be accessible, inspiring, and above all fun.
Photography: Lydia Hudgens