Transcript

Fashion Trend? Bejeweled Cockroaches

jewel roach art

Network News

X Profile
View More Activity
Jared Gold
Fashion Designer
Friday, April 21, 2006; 2:00 PM

A Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroach brooch. Isn't that what you really want?

It is what some people want. Since introduced in October of last year, 25 are sold weekly for $60 in-store and $80 on-line at Black Chandelier , a unique clothing store in Salt Lake City founded by designer Jared Gold. The live bugs are studded with Austrian Swarovski crystal, accessorized with a leash set and are ready to "wear."

But is it cruel? How long do they live? Are the PETA folks upset?

Fashion designer Jared Gold was online Friday, April 21, at 2 p.m. ET to answer these questions and discuss his most talked about accessory for spring.

Submit your questions and comments before or during the discussion.

A transcript follows.

____________________

Jared Gold: Greetings everyone! My name is Jared Gold, and I am a clothing designer trained in Los Angeles and currently operating out of Salt Lake City, Utah. I have been designing clothes and showing my collections in New York and LA Fashion Weeks for eight years. My current collection 'Glinka'--kind of a Russian-Psychedelic-Space-Witch theme, required a little "something extra" to push it over-the-top; hence, the creation of the Live Jeweled Cockroach Brooch. I've got my clothing stores in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, for the time being. We are opening a new store in Salt Lake City next month. The 'Cockroach Brooches' have drawn a lot of attention to my designs and can be see and purchased at blackchandelier.com.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: How did this idea of live roach jewelry come to you?

Jared Gold: You know, the whole thing where we make collections of clothes and this came to me. You know, it is my job to come up with 'new' things like this. It's what I do.

_______________________

Chantilly, Va.: What kind of people would buy/wear such things?

Jared Gold: Everyone from a school teacher in small town Utah who bought one, to curious little boys, and the glam teenage girl. And of course, the deeply fashion damaged.

Jared Gold: Everyone from a school teacher in small town Utah who bought one, to curious little boys, and the glam teenage girl. And of course, the deeply fashion damaged.

_______________________

washingtonpost.com: Black Chandelier

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: Just wanted to say that I loveloveloved that you use Lisa from ANTM as your model for this collection. I thought she was the most entertaining thing about last season -- why did you choose her?

Jared Gold: Lisa and I have a couple of things in common--we both follow the same mantra--"beware the forces of mediocrity, they are legion." Look for Lisa on my runway this September!

_______________________

ANTM: Did Jade get to keep her cockroach friend?

Jared Gold: No. Just like Harry Winston--we take everything back!

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: I saw you a few weeks ago on America's Next Top Model. Can all manner of bugs be Bedazzled, or just cockroaches?

Jared Gold: The reason we can do the cockroaches is they have a part of their shell that extends over their heads--called the hood--that is a non-feeling part of their body. This makes them a workable candidate for the jewels.

_______________________

Baltimore, Md.: Are the PETA folks complaining?

Jared Gold: PETA looks down on the use of any animal used outside of its natural habitat, environment, and intended use in nature. We are fully supportive of that, and take these from breeders who sell them as feed, and give them a life.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: Do they, in fact, hiss, make noise?

Jared Gold: We rarely hear them hiss, because they are treated so gently. When they are surprised they do hiss. And probably before they are eaten on fear factor.

_______________________

Dayton, Ohio: What's the life span of your jewelry? And what about care? Food, sleep, cleaning, etc?

Jared Gold: They generally live up to a year, if taken care of properly. Our cockroach brooches come with instructions for care. Which includes daily water, fresh fruit, and cleaning their aquarium. They like to be kept warm!

_______________________

Anonymous: You seem to have a sense of humor about this and it's refreshing. So how long do you think this "fashion accessory" will continue to be popular? And just how popular is it? Do you really get 25 orders a week?

Jared Gold: Design without humor is pretentious and soul crushing. I keep things fresh and dazzling. Of course, we get many orders.

_______________________

Nom, Ore.: So do you decorate one at a time as they are ordered or do you do several at once, and how often do you replenish your supply before they start dying? And once someone's does die, how long before it disintegrates?

Jared Gold: We take care of them, they don't die. We decorate one at a time, by our in house 'Roach Wrangler' and we have lost very few. They are hardy! There is a magical circle of life, and when something dies we burry it, instead of watching it rot.

_______________________

NYC: Do many designers use your, uh, accessories in their shows? I would think that they would upstage the actual designs.

And does Lisa still wear diapers?

Jared Gold: We use these exclusively for our fashion shows and clothing. Check out my runway shows at jaredgold.com, live video. You'll see they fit right in!

_______________________

washingtonpost.com: Black Chandelier

_______________________

Silver Spring, Md.: This is very much a throw-back to when my mother wore a chameleon on a chain on her sweater -- things just keep coming back around.

Jared Gold: Also, British women in the Victorian era, would keep live bush baby monkeys in their hats. Those poor monkeys, we don't espouse the coming back of this fashion item. The monkeys were kept outside the house in a cage, and when the woman left the house it would hop up in her hat of flowers and fronds and sit until she arrived back home.

_______________________

College Park, Md.: Most people totally hate roaches. You get them in dirty apartments, many city dwellers believe. So how can you market them as "high fashion" ornaments and get beyond the bad rep they have historically had?

Jared Gold: These are representative of a roach raised and bred in a clean environment--intended for pet use. Plus, isn't the irony just killing you? Because it is killing me!

_______________________

Alexandria, Va.: Cockroaches, I've read, might be the only living thing that survives a nuclear holocaust, so, if that's true, you're working with and selling quite a strong, durable product, wouldn't you say?

Jared Gold: Yes, when we're all gone, the world can once again return to its natural state, and a few roaches may carry on the fashion world.

_______________________

Chicago Ill.: Is this for real? And how long do the bugs live with the crystals on their backs?

Jared Gold: They live around a year, but we're still happily counting.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: Are you going to begin offering them on HSN or QVC?

Jared Gold: Watch out, we're going to launch our own late night shopping show, it will be called "Creature Feature."

_______________________

Herndon, Va.: How do you hold them in one place to put the jewels on their backs? How do you keep them from moving? And are the jewels worth anything?

Jared Gold: Aja, our Roach Wrangler, holds them in her hand. They like to be held, because the hand is warm. They are very slow moving, and don't scurry around ala the Upper West Side version.

_______________________

Tulsa, Okla.: I just bought one. You're welcome.

Jared Gold: Hurray, check out all the clothes, and the site, it is full of fun stuff. New stuff is put up weekly. \

You can choose your own color schemes if desired, just let us know.

_______________________

Annapolis, Md.: Does it hurt the wearer when the things are crawling all over a blouse or sweater?

Jared Gold: Not at all. You kind of bond with the little buddy. They like the warmth and they tickle you. Everyone has a good time.

_______________________

Shirlington, Va.: What's next? Spiders?

Jared Gold: I'm not too into spiders. When I ride the depressing small town amusement park 'Terror Rides,' the spider motif is terribly overused.

_______________________

Tulsa, Okla.: With what do you recommend wearing this? I'm thinking something solid black so it stands out. Is this right?

Jared Gold: They are great on everything, since it so different and rather exciting. Their bodies are dark colored, so they actually look best on light colors.

_______________________

Monkeys in the hat: One can only imagine how bad those hats smelled after a day of a monkey ... ing and ... ing in it.

Jared Gold: We're very glad the monkey thing is long gone, for the sake of the monkey and the smell.

_______________________

Rosslyn, Va.: Is anyone else making this type of jewelry in the country?

Jared Gold: No, this is our proprietary process.

_______________________

Philly, Pa.: Do all cockroaches live a year? Holy cow! I was hoping for much less (for all but these, of course.)

Jared Gold: We only know about our friends, since we have extensive experience with them. And luckily, much less with the apartment residing kind.

_______________________

Lake Ridge, Va.: Is this a joke? Who would wear this?

Jared Gold: A version of this originated in South America. Women would pin a dead beetle to a cork and wear it on their dress. As far as live insects go, we are Patient Zero.

_______________________

Baltimore, Md.: How do you ship them? Can they stay alive while being transported?

Jared Gold: We ship them overnight express in a padded box, they are fine until they arrive.

_______________________

Roaches are now a fashion statement?: I think I'm losing the will to live.

Jared Gold: Yes, fashion does take unique twists and turns.

_______________________

Jared Gold: Watch for us at New York Fashion week in September.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: What does Swarovski have to say about you putting their crystals on such an inferior insect. (why not butterflies ... they're beautiful dead or alive).

Jared Gold: I would pose the same question to most of the stuff Paris Hilton wears..."Does Swarovski know?" Taste is relative. Sigh.

_______________________

Ryan Houston, Tex.: Doesn't this just prove that people will literally buy anything, as long as it is trendy?

Jared Gold: A trend is just a good idea with a big explosion behind it. People buy things that make them feel exciting and interesting, trend aside.

_______________________

Rosslyn, Va.: What do you mean "proprietary process"?

Jared Gold: It took us months to finally develop the method that we use to attach the crystals to the insect. No animals were hurt, but we just had to experiment with adhesion methods.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: Are your bejeweled cockroaches being featured in any national fashion mags?

Jared Gold: We aren't a stranger to fashion press. My Clothing has been in Italian Vogue, Lucky, Paper, Elle, Cache', etc., but really this thing has been absorbed mostly by the news media.

_______________________

Alexandria, Va.: Wouldn't the cockroach have to periodically relieve itself on the clothes?

Jared Gold: In the care instructions, there is information on how to avoid this. However if it does happen, it is so minute and completely dry, there is rarely cause for alarm.

_______________________

Jared Gold: Thanks everyone! It was fun chatting with you. We'll see you at fashion week in September in New York, and in LA in October. Check out the Web site blackchandelier.com for more surprises and interesting fashion history and future.

_______________________

Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


© 2006 The Washington Post Company

Discussion Archive

Viewpoint is a paid discussion. The Washington Post editorial staff was not involved in the moderation.

Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity