DESIGNER TO WATCH – BJØRG
Dawid Bowie already is a fan of the handmade jewelry by Norwegian-born and New York-based accessories designer BJØRG – and in a couple of minutes you will be too. Promised! BJØRG was founded in 2004 by Bjørg Nordli-Mathisen who is known to only work with materials that are 100% natural. He has a conceptual and sensible approach to design, using only rough precious stones and crafted metal textures. There is a certain darkish humor in his artfully crafted pieces, which in fact make them even more desirable.
Wearing jewelry by BJØRG is the icing of any outfit – no matter if worn to a minimalistic or opulent look. Each collection gives birth to breathtaking pieces. So make sure to have at least one BJØRG show-stopper in your jewelry box…
WTL: What inspires you when designing?
BJ: Inspiration can come from the strangest of places. I don’t really have a routine for seeking it but certainly reading and flipping through old books always sets the gears in motion, so to speak. The wax-moulding process is a very inspiring step in creating and crafting jewelry; it’s my version of the blank canvas where you can let your hands work intuitively without the restrictions of analysis.
WTL: Who are your style icons?
BJ: Louise Bourgeois is certainly an icon and one that I have always admired. Marguerite Duras is also someone that comes to mind. Icons are always French it seems…
WTL: What kind of woman is wearing your jewelry?
BJ: I’m very pleased to see that all kinds of women are wearing it. Quite a few men also, which is great! If I were to attempt to define the “typical” wearer of our jewelry it would be someone who is bold, curious and appreciative of the arts.
WTL: Which three words sum up what BJØRG stands for?
BJ: It’s always difficult to boil it down to just a few words but three words that are often mentioned in our offices are: intuition, craftsmanship and texture.
WTL: What was your inspiration and theme for your latest collection?
BJ: For this years collection, which we have named “The Fourth Dimension”, we had quite a few muses actually. We looked at a lot of work from Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian and Picasso. Early cubism and futurism was the landscape we were trying to navigate in.
WTL: What are in your opinion this seasons’s essentials and key trends?
BJ: I will have to plug two of our least jewelry-ish pieces. The “Déjà Vu” purse, which is formed like an eye-ball that can be opened and is in rose-gold with a nude leather strap. And the “Deconstructor” glasses, which will have you seeing the world through cubist eyes come spring…
WTL: We have seen that you recently collaborated with Aminaka Wilmont. What other designers would you love to work with?
BJ: Yes, I am so glad you noticed. It’s a delicate balance because the jewelry should not steal too much attention but you want people to take notice of course. We have collaborated with them three times now I think. I love their shows… We have also done a few collaborations with a very talented Norwegian designer named Veronica B. Vallenes who shows during Copenhagen fashion week. I personally am a big fan of Rick Owens and Gareth Pugh – they both have dark sensibilities but their shows always seem to have a very rich universe which appeals to me.
WTL: What was the milestone in your life that has inspired you to become a designer?
BJ: Living in India was certainly a milestone. There I was introduced to the craft through antique pieces and was exposed to a lot of very beautiful craftsmanship that completely changed my perception of jewelry.
WTL: How does your home country influence your designs, if at all?
BJ: It doesn’t influence me consciously but I am sure that growing up in the north of Norway has made me appreciate nature in a very strong way and I think that shows in my pieces as I always want the jewelry to feel organic.
WTL: What are your future goals as a designer?
BJ: I have recently moved to New York, so my goal is to find my rhythm here and hopefully, with my team, come up with next season’s collection as soon as possible.
WTL: This year you will have your 10th anniversary – will there be a special edition?
BJ: We have talked about something a little out of the ordinary. Let us see what we come up with, without making promises…
WTL: What do you like to do when you are not designing?
BJ: I love long walks, a cliché but true in my case and of course hanging out with family and friends.
WTL: What is your favorite band and music you listen to?
BJ: My favorite artist has always been David Bowie and it really was a dream come true when our jewelry was used in his video for “The Stars (are out tonight)” last year. It will be very hard to top that I think…
WTL: What is your dream destination you love to travel to?
BJ: I have yet to visit South America, actually, so Costa Rica or Peru would probably be the top of my list.
WTL: What is your favorite restaurant, bar and club?
BJ: I have going for lunch at Café Habana here in New York, a very unassuming place with delicious food. My favorite bar / club is our terrace at the summer cabin in Denmark, where Mojito ingredients are handpicked from the garden and all my favorite people are present.
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Picture credit: Steen Evald Aps