How do you come up with your designs?
I like designs that are bold, strident and simple. I am inspired by modern and brutalist architecture and love functionality. In fashion, I was in awe of designers who made pieces that could be worn more ways than one—like Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garçons. This was the inspiration for my first ring, and I think about this with every subsequent piece we design.
Where and how is your jewelry made?
Our jewelry is all made in Los Angeles. We employ traditional jewelry-making techniques such as drawn wire and handset diamonds. We’ve worked with the same artisans for several years, and are lucky to have a great team. The shop is a few blocks from our studio, so we are in there each day. We pay a lot of attention to detail and quality and are constantly seeking ways to improve—even slightly.
What are your favorite things to do when you’re back home in Honolulu?
My parents still live in Waikīkī and have been working every day at their beauty salon, Bottega Antoine, since 1978… and they’re still going! I love catching up with school friends. I never leave the island without eating lots of papayas, apple bananas and poke. I hit Foodland and Tamashiro Market religiously.
What’s next for you?
We just launched our wedding collection. We had requests from clients looking for less traditional wedding rings, and we felt that we could contribute something different to that broad market. We designed our own center stone settings, and we can connect the wedding band to the engagement ring and continue to add as years go on. It works perfectly with our concept.
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