Even as a child, Vanessa Zahid enjoyed designing and creating. While most kids her age were playing dress up with last year's Halloween costume and their mother's old clothing, Zahid was making her own play garments. As an adult, Zahid's parents encouraged her to take advantage of her talent and to pursue a creative career as a clothing designer or an artist.
Zahid took art classes at the University of St. Thomas, but thought that she should do something more practical professionally. She completed a journalism program, and upon graduation she started modeling.
"It was totally unpractical, but that's what I wanted to do," Zahid says.
"I started to think about jewelry because my aunt used to own her own jewelry shop," she says. "I worked there in high school and college designing pieces and I really enjoyed it."
With the support of her husband, family, and friends, Zahid started her jewelry line in April of this year, and since then the collection has "just taken off." She says that her works tell a story, and that each has its own history.
"Each piece has components from different eras and different areas around the world," Zahid says. "They have a vintage feel, yet they are still modern."
She describes her jewelry as timeless, classic, unique, fresh, and modern, and that the majority of her collection is made up of large statement pieces. Her fall/winter collection has a feminine feel, with pearls, rhinestones, and muted colors.
"The type of woman who will wear my jewelry is a woman who appreciates art and originality," she says.
In addition to jewelry, Zahid also makes handbags, belts, and headdresses.
This Thursday, her full collection will be showcased at the Vanessa Zahid Collection Launch Party and Fashion Show. The event will feature fashions from Gina Marie Vintage, musical performances by Kelley Havey and Hugo Smooth, and artwork by Chank Diesel. There will also be food, drinks, and shopping.
"Some of my accessories sound a bit eccentric, but all of my pieces are something that a woman -- even a woman in Minnesota -- can easily incorporate into her wardrobe," she says.
IF YOU GO:
811 LaSalle Ave., Minneapolis
Thursday, 6-11:30 p.m.