How did you decide to become a jeweler?
At 16, I went to art school thinking I wanted be a fashion designer. I remember walking into the room and seeing all girls, sewing machines and a really flamboyant instructor… immediately changing my mind. I still wanted to be in art school, and one day I discovered jewelry making. I immediately loved, and still love, the process of making these precious tiny little items.
People often reference your passions for music in addition to fashion and art. How do these inspirations come together in your work?
Inspiration is a complicated thing. There is no point where I have that “a-ha” moment. It usually starts with an abstract concept that can be prompted by art, music, fashion and other things. It’s really a lot of visuals cues that I take notes on and send to my staff that are some times turned into a collection. What’s most important is to find how inspiring thoughts can be reflected in jewelry. Jewelry is really an emotional purchase, so each piece needs to have a story.
Tell us about the store design.
I’ve really struggled in the past when I’ve had to sell my pieces in an environment that doesn’t have my stamp on it. The more stores we do, the more we see an extension outside of the brand. For this particular space, it feels like a creative space. It’s got a hard edge with the concrete floors. The furniture, the textures, the art… with all this here it feels like the collection belongs here.
You are also doing a “Stylist of the Month” window with Marjan Malakpour as your first collaborator?
Yes. I have a lot of stylist friends in Los Angeles, so I thought it would be great to collaborate with them by featuring their styling work with our jewelry in the store window. We work with a lot of people and many of them go on down the road, but some have stuck with us. Marjan is one of these stylists. She’s become a very close friend and continues to be massively supportive.
What do you like to do when you’re not designing jewelry?
I have a wide range of interests. I manage a band called The Rotten Hill Gang (featuring Mick Jones from The Clash). I enjoy restoring and traveling in vintage cars and motorcycles. Recently, I designed a custom guitar for Gibson and participated in a Kenwood mixer designer project benefitting charity. All of these things extend out from the brand and people come to expect these sorts of things [from me]. They want me to put the thought that I put into my jewelry into their product. I really think it’s a lot of fun.