Spring / Summer '21 Inspirations

Ever since we began making jewelry from our studio in Los Angeles over 25 years ago, our focus has been on creating pieces that tell a story, coupling worldly inspirations with thoughtful, time-honored craftsmanship. 

The Spring/Summer Collection builds upon a rich tapestry of influences: California design, beach culture, memories of travel and even our brand’s own history, all seamlessly blended in our signature effortless aesthetic. 

Our Creative Director, Tessa Tran, shares some of the stories behind the designs.

California Love

“We’re pretty obsessed with beach and surf culture. Chan grew up in a beach town and we usually find ourselves by the ocean whenever we go on vacation. Since we can’t travel internationally at the moment, we’ve been taking a lot of day trips up the coast of California. One of my favorite places is Rincon —it’s a well-known surf spot near Santa Barbara that has this chilled out, local vibe. It’s a really cool mix of surfers, locals who own houses on the point and young kids on break from school during the Summer. There’s such a relaxed, free-spirited energy that’s so different from the city. We tried to bring that energy to the forefront this season, with stones and pearl chips that look like pebbles you might find on the beach.”

Signature Details

“The silver button has been a signature design element from the original wrap bracelet Chan made over 25 years ago. The shape comes from a shell that she filed down and casted in sterling silver. The buttons give a personal touch to each piece and are kind of like our calling cards, so we wanted to pay homage to them in a subtle, wearable way.”

Worldly Treasures

“I love to travel, and some of my most memorable trips have been with Chan. Wherever we go, our first stop is always to the local markets to find items we can bring together with treasures we’ve collected on past adventures to create one, beautiful design. Because we can’t travel at the moment, it was important to me that this collection transports the wearer and brings the spirit of travel to life. 

We tried to evoke a feeling of wanderlust by using charms from all over the world, like opal from Ethiopia, evil eyes from Turkey, citrine from India and Mexican turquoise. For me, these pieces serve as fond memories of travel and I’m hopeful we’ll be able to do it again, soon.”

Memories of Morocco

“I visited Morocco with Chan years ago and I immediately fell in love with all the vibrant zellige tiles. Gorgeous tiles are everywhere—in the hammams and the riads—they are really mesmerizing, even among the dizzying energy of the medina. We cut smooth semi-precious stones into geometric shapes to give them an ancient feel, and inlaid them into unfinished metal for a worn, lived-in look. I like to think they capture the essence of Morocco and how beauty and color are interwoven with old, historic things.”

Penchant for Color

“I discovered this book randomly at Hennessey + Ingalls, a bookstore near our studio in downtown Los Angeles, and was immediately drawn to it. I wasn’t familiar with Kavanaugh prior to finding this book, but her interior designs capture the whimsical, 1960’s California folk vibe so perfectly. It really inspired me to play with color and explore the impact that bright, punchy shades can have. Color can change your entire outfit and your entire mood. This idea was a big influence on the collection. Our intention was simple: create everyday pieces with colors that make you feel happy.”

Hidden Gems

“We were digging around in our archives one afternoon and found a box of these hand-painted shells. In the late ‘90s, Chan was traveling a lot to Jaipur, on the hunt for gems she could use in her designs. This was back in the day before you could email anyone halfway across the world to get something—you had to physically go there yourself. She discovered a group of refugee artisans from Kashmir who were living and working in a rural village, and commissioned them to create these hand-painted shell pendant necklaces. The finely drawn birds and flowers are traditional to Kashmiri handicrafts. When they launched in the early 2000s they became so popular Jennifer Aniston was even photographed wearing one!

This season, we added semi-precious stones and colorful leather cords to accent the vintage pendants. It’s really about building upon beautiful things from the past to bring them into the present, and that concept is woven throughout everything we do. One detail I love is that the back of each pendant is signed by the artist who painted it.”

Modern Bohemian

“These scarves are inspired by the colorful paisley and floral ties my dad used to wear when I was growing up. I wanted them to have a slightly retro look with the floral pattern and rich colors, but also feel modern so we embellished them with sequins. I love the 1970s boho aesthetic and these are a little nod to that.”

— T