The truly cool thing about the best design collaborations is that the resulting pieces exemplify the best attributes of each collaborator; as is the case with John Varvatos Jewelry – a collaboration between renowned Turkish jewelry designer, Gurhan Orhan, and iconic American menswear designer, John Varvatos – that is at once fresh and wearable, and hits a terrific price-point.
All of the pieces in this collection are imbued with the “rebel spirit” with which Varvatos has built his entire brand since launching twenty years ago; taking inspiration from the brand’s iconography (skulls and rivets and feathers, oh my!), as well as the color palates and textures of the menswear fashions.
But what gives this jewelry collection its street cred, is that the jeweler doing the aforementioned imbuing is none other than celebrated Turkish jewelry designer and master goldsmith, Gurhan Orhan who – with wife and partner, Fiona Tilley – created worldwide jewelry sensation GURHAN in 1997, establishing a reputation for melding Old World craftsmanship with precise attention to detail and a timeless elegance.
Applying what Gurhan does with 24k gold and rare stones to the street-savvy young executives on the rise who John dresses is not a simple matter of saying “Let’s take this $50,000 necklace and change the 24k gold to silver and swap dark sapphires for the black diamonds;” because frankly, that’s just merchandising, and GURHAN has its own very successful silver collection, already.
No. Rather, Gurhan had to come at it from the complete opposite direction. To wit, start with the DNA of John’s brand, and then think of how to translate that into jewelry, that he would then make using the same techniques for which he’s known.
As a result, these incredibly wearable pieces – decidedly American in style – have been created by the highly-skilled artisans in the GURHAN factory in Istanbul. A well-considered mix of precious and semi-precious stones including black diamonds, onyx, lapis lazuli, pyrite, obsidian, sodalite, turquoise, labradorite, and jasper embellish the silver and brass designs; each stone having been selected for the characteristics and quality that truly elevate these designs.
My favorites? The coin pieces featuring Mercury Dimes and Buffalo Head Nickels, the recurring feather motif, the guitar-pick necklace featuring Varvatos’ fingerprint, and the wrap-bracelets with lava beads.
Now, in its second year, John Varvatos Jewelry is returning to The COUTURE Show; and for those who can’t wait a moment longer, is already available for purchase at Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom stores, and online at www.JohnVarvatos.com.
John Varvatos Jewelry
John Varvatos X Gurhan Orhan
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Get into it!