Building Material

A model-turned-jewelry designer has his New York moment.

Justin von der Fehr

Thrust into the spotlight in the ‘90s as a favorite of Steven Meisel, former model Justin von der Fehr says he felt like “a deer in headlights” in the swirling New York scene. More than a decade later, he is finding the same chaotic city to be his greatest source of inspiration for his jewelry line, which transforms functional objects like engines and carabiners into wearable sculpture like a 14-carat gold toggle-shaped pill case. Created with “modern day sybarites” in mind, Fehr’s unisex line is a reflection of his jack-of-all-trades mentality and his working across art, design, and fashion as a producer, casting agent, and photographer with people like artist Piero Golia and night-life aficionado Amanda Diemme.

Encouraged by his female customers, Fehr plans to launch his first collection for women in the fall. “The collection is based on the shape, specifically, of [construction] beams,” explains the designer, whose grandfather oversaw the construction of many New York City landmarks including Rockefeller Center and the Chrysler Building. “I wanted to play in the realm of infrastructure, since my personal history is literally steeped in New York’s foundations.”

Photos: Building Material

Justin von der Fehr in his studio. Courtesy of the designer.

JvdF pill case, $575,

JvdF engine turn bracelet, $235,

JvdF ring, $120,