Buffalo will play a major, if uncredited role as a stand-in for New York City, when “Sharknado 2: The Second One” comes to the Syfy channel at 9 p.m. today.
But one Buffalo resident probably will be more excited than most about the premiere.
Vania Leticia Escauriza Gagliardone, a native of Ascuncion, Paraguay, co-owns Vania & David, a jewelry and handbag line, with husband David Martinez, will have the chance to see her jewelry on TV, a first for the Buffalo-based designers. Both Tara Reid and Vivica A. Fox, who star in the sequel to last summer’s unlikely hit about a weather system that has sharks hailing down on people, wear pieces Gagliardone designed.
Gagliardone started her business by creating handbags as a 20-year-old in Paraguay in 2001. She then expanded to designing jewelry soon after permanently moving to the U.S. in 2008 with her husband, a Buffalo native. She was inspired by jewelry retailers in Elmwood Village but wanted to make something of her own that she could see herself wearing.
The couple have seen recent success: The morning after learning that “Sharknado 2” producers wanted to buy their products, they had two trunk shows at Henri Bendel’s, the high-fashion department store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
“It takes a while for good things to happen,” Gagliardone said. “You have to be patient.”
In the film, Reid wears the “Animal and Brass Shorty” necklace in multiple scenes, according to Gagliardone, who had to custom design the particular one for Reid because of the actress’ small frame and desire to have it be all silver. Fox wears some of her bracelets.
“Tara Reid was supposed to wear her own necklace, but when she saw this one, she ended up saying she wanted to wear it,” Gagliardone said.
The necklace is made of two chunky chains with the main piece being a small leopard relaxing on what looks like a branch and links the two ends of the chains.
Gagliardone recalls watching Reid in her “American Pie” days. She never imagined she would one day be making a necklace for someone with her level of fame.
Vania & David’s bags and jewelry have been featured in many issues of British Vogue and other high-fashion magazines. While “Sharknado 2” is the first time they will see their products on screen, the pair were also approached by the upcoming film “The American Side,” which stars Matthew Broderick and Camilla Belle. Since the film was shot in Buffalo, the filmmakers wanted to use as much local talent as possible, Gagliardone said.
So while you are looking for scenes that feature Buffalo’s downtown buildings, be on the lookout for the jewelry that helps further make that Buffalo connection to the cult hit’s sequel.