The Reward of Good Taste is Lifelong Value - Dapper Designs
How did you get into fashion
I love to tell this story because I feel like it's something most artists can relate to. Ever since I was old enough to walk and play dress up, I wouldn't leave the house unless my arms were filled with bracelets, and my neck full of necklaces. I adored everything I could find that I could somehow turn into a piece of jewelry. That passion got stronger as I grew older and I found myself skipping my High School gym and lunch periods to go create in the art room. It was during those quiet times in the studio that I realized jewelry design was what I wanted to do with my life, and I'm so glad I followed what brought me joy and turned it into a career.
What's the story behind Dapper Designs?
In 2015, I was working as a designer at another company when I started to notice there was a gap in the industry. After taking a step back, I realized that not one brand out there represented both men and women, and with the rise of the LGBTTQQIAAP community, I knew there were voices out there that wanted to be heard. Thus, Dapper Designs was born. I like to say that Dapper Designs (now DPRD) blurs the lines between "what's his" and "what's hers". It's one of the first ever unisex jewelry brands to hit the market and all of our pieces are completely interchangeable so that any of our rings can snap or hook onto any of our bracelets and necklaces for a reinvented look. Many customers even hook on their own family ring heirlooms to make it their own.
Describe your aesthetic in three words.
Venturesome, Contagious, Resolute
As a designer, what are your main influences?
My main influences stem from everything like the grandeur of architecture, down to the way delicate things are packaged. Zaha Hadid was a force; and if you take a close look much of her work resembles adornment at a much larger scale. I love to draw inspiration by taking aspects of her buildings and turning them into jewelry components, playing with negative space and the way it would fit on the body.
Tell us about the inspiration behind your most recent series, The Red String of Fate.
The Red String of Fate collection was inspired by one of my best friends who always used to remind me of the ancient legend whenever I would go through a tough time in my relationships. This story always gave me something to hold on to, so it was only natural that I create a physical representation that would allow me to not only share the legend with others, but keep it close by as a daily reminder of what life has in store for us.
According to the tale, all human relations are predestined by a red string tied at birth to one of our fingers. Those who share this thread will share an important story together regardless of time, distance, and circumstance. Through the days of their lives the string will get tangled, stretched and knotted but it will never break. This legend is a way to comprehend our life's encounters, our crossing paths with others, those we help, learn from, brush against, and all the moments that make up our life story. These are neither triumphs nor accidents, but part of a perfectly weaved thread we create ourselves since birth. This collection celebrates all of life's moments and all of our chance encounters. A physical representation of moments past and those that have yet to come.
Do you have a particular favorite piece of this collection?
My favorite piece in this collection is of course, the classic Red String of Fate ring. It's the perfect delicate accessory that holds the deepest meaning, and I'm always stopped by admirers wanting to know where I got it. It stands out without overpowering and is a great conversation starter.
What can we expect from Dapper Designs next?
With the success of The Red String of Fate collection, I'm looking to broaden my scope of work by adding more fine jewelry to the mix. Think gold and diamonds mixed with semi-precious colored gemstones to give the pieces an edge!