Jewelry designer Patra Jordan grew up in Thailand and has traveled the world—from Asia to Europe and all across the United States. That jet-setting has inspired her fashion sense, which she says is constantly evolving and influenced by the locations she travels to.
As a child, were you into fashion?
"I was fashion-obsessed from the time I came out of the womb. It all goes back to my mother. She was a fashion icon. She always dressed with her own unique perspective. She'd pair giant-waist belts with massive statement earrings, bold necklaces and so much color.
"She would keep the fashion channel on in the background 24/7, the way some parents keep the news on. Couture runway shows were the background of my childhood. She kept her clothes in a beautiful walk-in closet, and as soon as she would leave the house I would sneak into that closet and play dress up. I have three younger sisters and I made them my models. I styled them in our mother's expensive, trendy clothes and jewelry—even makeup. I would get in trouble because I never put things back perfectly."
How would you describe your style?
"Timeless, effortless, eclectic, and unique."
At what age did you buy your first high-end designer item?
"At 21, I took a trip to New York City and went to Barneys. A gorgeous Yves St. Laurent houndstooth tweed bag stood out the moment I walked in. I slung it over my shoulder and looked in the mirror. It instantly made me feel chic and powerful. I didn't buy it at the first—it cost more money than I would have ever spent on anything in my life.
"That night I tossed and turned in the hotel bed. I didn't sleep. I was tortured over the bag! When I woke up, I knew I had to have it. I marched over to Barneys first thing in the morning and bought it. As I walked through the city streets clutching my new YSL, I felt empowered and independent. I realized I wanted to be the kind of woman who made her own money and could buy herself whatever she wanted, when she wanted."
Who do you look up to when it comes to fashion?
"Outside of my mom—the original fashion icon—I look up to my three sisters, Prew, Punch and Pure. Each of us have our own unique distinct look and style.
"We all were born in Bangkok but have traveled the world, which brings a global perspective to our sense of fashion. Each of my sisters makes her own fashion rules and does her own thing, but loves to weave designer classics into her edgy, one-of-a-kind styles. My sisters are fashion risk takers who are unafraid to change up their hairstyles and play with texture and color. Our fierce mom taught us well!"
How do you think about the items in your closet?
"Honestly, they're invaluable. Not just because I collect clothes and jewelry like some people collect find art, but because the memories they carry are worth are a currency all of their own. I also believe clothes are pieces of art you move through the world in.
"I love to mix Chanel bags with casual jeans and a T-shirt. I value both equally. Fashion is about the unexpected, so if you dripping in Chanel from head to toe, it's too obvious. It's the juxtaposition that makes it chic and cool.
"So, in a nutshell, my wardrobe is priceless because personal style is priceless. Money can buy you all the designer garments in the world, but it can't buy you a sense of style!"
How do you feel about being called a fashionista?
"You can call me whatever you want to call me, just don't call me boring."
Who is your favorite handbag designer?
"Chanel. You can throw a Chanel bag over sweats or workout clothes and be instantly glam. That's why I love it. It elevates whatever look you are rocking.
How about your favorite clothing designer?
"Halston. My wedding look was inspired by Halston. I love him because he perfectly mixed masculine and feminine styles, which is what I believe fashion is all about. I love and relate to everything that Halston stands for—the lifestyle, the party, the fun."
What is the most expensive handbag and pair of shoes in your closet?
"Probably my Chanel Jumbo bag and Gucci shoes. Both are classic and timeless. My mom taught me that a lady should never reveal the cost, but I can assure you that they weren't cheap."