By DARLA M. YOUNGS
Cooperstown and Otsego County were well represented at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony held on March 12 in Los Angeles. Wine influencer Elle Rodriguez, whose Instagram tag is The Modern Pour, donned a pair of earrings made by Cooperstown resident Karen Katz for the event, and the rest is history.
Katz, owner of Karen Katz Studio, remembers Rodriguez, who attended a trunk show at Kate’s Upstate on Main Street, though she’s not sure exactly when that was.
“She came in one day during a weekend trunk show, in 2021 maybe, and purchased some earrings,” Katz recalled. “There were some other pieces that interested her, so over the course of the weekend she came back a few times.”
Rodriguez, who lives in Los Angeles, bought a few pairs of earrings that weekend and brought her friends. Katz said, if she remembers correctly, “they were the most beautiful, fashionable people we have ever seen.”
“Elle is very active and goes everywhere – amazing parties, different countries – and once in a while she will tag me on Instagram,” Katz continued. “She is a lovely person and very generous to tag me. I’m such small potatoes.”
Katz said Rodriguez is one of the most followed wine influencers on Instagram and perhaps the most influential Latina wine connoisseur. According to FeedSpot – touted as the Internet’s largest human curated database of bloggers and podcasts – as of July 2022, Rodriguez ranked 80 among the top 200 most followed wine Instagram influencers. Katz said she, herself, has 300 followers.
The earrings Rodriguez wore to the Oscars, and to the Netflix after-party, are vintage Czech crystal in a contemporary setting, made by Katz right here in her Cooperstown shop. Katz was in the grocery store with son Nate when she first became aware that her earrings might have walked the red carpet.
“A picture of Elle showed up on my Instagram the day of the event. She was wearing a gorgeous, form-fitting black dress with a beautiful plunging neckline. Below the photo, just like on all the award shows, there were details of what she was wearing – dress by Gucci, shoes by Amina Muaddi.”
And there it was. Earrings by Karen Katz Studio.
“I didn’t think it was actually at the Oscars, at first,” Katz said. “But Elle’s message was ‘Hi from the 95th Academy Awards.’ She has long, gorgeous hair, so you can’t actually see the earrings.
“My earrings were next to Wolfgang Puck!” burst out Katz, with a huge smile.
Katz specializes in making jewelry with vintage elements. Her pieces are sold locally at Kate’s Upstate on Main Street in Cooperstown, Mohican Flowers, also on Cooperstown’s Main Street, at The Green Toad Bookstore in Oneonta, Fenimore Art Museum, and at 25 Main Collective in Cherry Valley.
Each shop carries pieces that are unique. Most are one of a kind.
Can’t wait to see where her jewelry ends up next …