I recently stumbled upon Bande des Quatres — a jewelry label based in Montréal, collaborated by daughter Erin Wahed and mother Janis Kerman. Founded in 2011, the brand has been gaining more exposure to minimalist enthusiasts due to its effortless nature, inspired from different fields in art and design. However, it is mostly known for its obsession with history and traditional craftsmanship — a rare quality in today’s monotonous and mass-produced era. Made to order, each piece of accessory is carefully overlooked by the designer and the artisan, making every one unique and personal. The appeal of these products is that they were cleverly designed to grasp onto the wearer’s body with a certain fragility. In contrast to the heaviness that is metal (both physically and aesthetically), they give rise to an elegant statement. Simple, poised, and delicate. Photos Courtesy of Totokaelo
SIMON&ME is located in a small store, founded by Simon Freund, in Kreuzberg, Berlin where they sell selected menswear and hand picked selected goods. One of their goods is this beautifully minimalist copper bracelet. Produced in Munich by a blacksmith, the bracelet has an understated elegance. It is void of any logo, embellishment or detailing other than formed during the forging process. Over time the shine will fade giving the bracelet its unique color. We believe that there is nothing greater than the satisfaction of possessing a cherished piece that simply lasts; and knowing that the product you are holding is made from craftsmanship and passion. Last weekend I had the pleasure to visit SIMON&ME in their store and have a look at the products. The bracelet is a simple, beautiful, jewellery piece that will last for years and will endure seasonal trends. A perfect gift for someone special.
Berlin based studio The Medley Institute is found and led by fashion designer Jana Patz. Since 2010 she has developed a constantly growing variety of sculptural but filigree accessories and bags, which she presents at Paris Fashion Week. She finds her inspiration in materials untypical for fashion, such as wood or porcelain. Her main aim is to make these materials correspond to the wearer and the surroundings. That is why – she claims – communication and conversation are the basis for all her work: There will be new ways of reflection and unexpected suggestions for wearable objects, accessories and pieces of jewellery. That is how the design will get to be a stunning single piece in an outfit and there will be a chance of a fusion between body, textile and object. The brand name incorporates these ideas perfectly. Besides the concept, I am very taken by the fundamental clarity and powerful appearance of pieces which are visually very subtle. The latest collection, Fold & Pleat, is a mix of pure and elegant leather bags accompanied by a selection of various accessories shaped by a clear geometric rhythm. A rhythm you can easily tune in to. Photography by Patrick Houi
Young Frankk is a jewelry line launched in 2011 by Virginia-based US artist turned jewelry designer, Christine Young, drawing inspiration from simple and minimal designs, yet infused with bold graphic, geometric, and even organic shapes. As a graduate of Parsons School of Design for Illustration, she incorporates her drawing experience into her designs by translating line work onto metal. Every piece is made by hand by the designer, creating one-of-a-kind and unique pieces. I’ve always enjoyed the simplicity, minimalism and geometric quality of Young Frankk’s lookbooks. Every piece has a boldness and completeness to it, like a story being told with each one.
I’d like to momentarily look back to this 2012 ad campaign for Calvin Klein’s ck Watch + Jewelry brand. Calvin Klein and its segments are famously minimalist brands, and this campaign featuring long-time collaborator Lara Stone and Sean O’Pry doesn’t disappoint. The images with Ms. Stone have been popping around the city of Barcelona this year and I was struck once again by the simplicity and flawless execution of the styling and make-up as well as the products themselves. The color palette of the featured image, for instance, is very striking in its pared down subtlety. As a woman interested in make-up myself, I find the nude, “no make-up make-up” approach very appealing. The campaign was produced under the creative direction of CRK, Calvin Klein, Inc.’s in-house advertising agency, working with French consulting creative director Fabien Baron and French photographer Patrick Demarchelier.
Fast becoming a Minimalissimo favourite, London design brand Minimalux, who produce modern collections of desk accessories, has branched out to design its first and quite stunning range of jewellery called Zero. Zero is a simple jewellery collection of solid metal bands forming a single, subtle style for both men and women. The items, all of which are mirror polished by hand, are also void of any embellishment, detailing, or decoration – other than the subtle machine engraved brand mark. Produced in Hatton Garden, London, Zero has an understated elegance, which I really like about the designs. In particular, the men’s silver ring. Photography by Peer Lindgreen
Tina Frey is San Francisco-based designer creating modern designs in resin. Besides jewellery, her collection also includes everyday objects. The pieces in the collection are hand sculpted and when the clay design is completed, hand-made molds are created for each object. The molds are used to cast each item individually by hand in small batches by color. After the pieces are cast and removed from the mold, they are hand sanded. I appreciate Frey’s honest way of working with each piece, creating a direct relationship or a “bond” between the designer, the piece and hopefully the individual who will eventually purchase it. There is also strong potential in real wearability of her unique pieces for each design can easily become the star element or play the subdued part. Perfect example of sophisticated bold statement.
Without friends where would we be? My good friend Sonia of Area22 dropped us a line about Silva/Bradshaw, a small design studio based in Brooklyn, New York. Apparently, they have something good to offer – and yes they do! Silva/Bradshaw, founded in 2010, is the combination of Sergio Silva and Matthew Bradshaw. Their portfolio spans furniture, jewelry and industrial design – and they’re also working on the design and branding of a restaurant. As wide as their focus is, I’m impressed by the elegance and freshness of throughout their work. It’s just a pleasure to look at, isn’t it?! (Pssst, they actually sell their jewelry online – and it’s quite affordable!)