At the collective space The Common last Thursday during a Storefront pop-up shop event hosted by DNA, we were taken with jewelry designer Kate Ellen and her array of intriguing jewelry for men. Recently listed among the ‘Best of San Francisco 2010’ for fashion and beauty by 7×7 magazine, the self-taught jewelry designer – who, it should be noted, designs for both men and women – gave us the run down on her men’s pieces.
What inspired you to design men’s jewelry?
I started designing jewelry to make things I wanted to wear, and likewise, with men’s accessories, I like to design things I would like to see a man wearing. I think about what I would find attractive on a dude, and I go from there. When I was a little girl, I was always fascinated with my dad’s garage, with all the tools and hardware, and in wonder that he knew how to use it all. My men’s stuff is an homage to the garage and to people who still know how to make and build things with their hands.
What type of man wears your jewelry? Do you feel it takes a certain type of man to pull off jewelry – or would you say it’s something any man can wear?
I think any man can pull it off. My line is comprised of throw-back and retro designs, like cuff-links, tie tacks and tie clips. So any man who has an occasion to put on a shirt and tie will look amazing in my stuff. The designs are very masculine and stylish, so both a dude’s dude and a really fashion conscientious man will look sexy.
Your thoughts on The Common Storefront pop-up and how this event benefited you as a vendor?
I love getting opportunities to meet other local designers and engage with people who appreciate local artisans. I love these type of events because they are so unique and creative – this is not your mama’s trip to the mall.
Photography courtesy of Philipp Striebe for Kate Ellen Metals; make-up by Nadia Metwally; styling by Lynsey Clark.