Call them weapons of mass decoration. This spring, guns, bullets and grenades are the focal point for a handful of jewelry designers looking to put a positive spin on the politically charged symbols.
One such designer knows the perils of war firsthand. Rafi Anteby, a former officer in the Israeli army and former head of a counterterrorism consulting group here in the U.S., created his Los Angeles-based line Bullets 4 Peace as an antidote to our violent times.
“I’ve witnessed many conflicts in my life including wars in the Middle East,” says Anteby, who in 2006 introduced the fashion line ShaDang. “We live in a very sensitive time and space and I feel a strong need to make a statement.”
As a result, he crafted necklaces featuring real bullets with a message of peace, including a bullet opening into a lotus flower accented by a ruby in the middle, retailing for $450. Basic necklaces on chains, leather or suede cords start at $300, whereas a sterling silver bullet necklace with pavé diamonds retails for $1,500.
Anteby also looks to donate a portion of sales to charity with his “Every Bullet Has a Target” program.
Donna Gunther, owner of Surfing Cowboys in Venice Beach, Calif., admits she was hesitant to bring charm necklaces featuring a brass skull with two six-shooters, a gas mask with rhinestone eyes and a hammered dog tag from Los Angeles-based Apocolucky Charms, into her “peacenik” neighborhood.
“We wondered how people were going to respond,” she says, noting that “They’re selling surprisingly well.”
Gunther attributes the success of the pieces to their ability to trigger meaningful discussions.
“In our environment, the war is heavy on everyone’s mind, but it’s hard to be communicating about it on a regular basis, especially in the fashion world,” she says. “But with these pieces it becomes a point of conversation. It creates an awareness.”
The line, designed by Dax Savage, retails at $84 for a necklace with two charms to $192 for a necklace with five charms.
Jewelry designer Zani Gugelmann created her silver bullet necklaces to open in the form of a capsule, encouraging buyers to enclose their own inspirational message or wish. After all, a silver bullet is defined as a simple or seemingly magical solution to a complicated problem, she says.
To further the positive message of the line, called Santo (meaning “saint” in Spanish), the New York-based designer plans to donate 10 percent of sales from four new necklaces, featuring sterling silver bullets wrapped in different-colored gemstones and retailing from $350 to $850, to charity. For example, a portion of the ruby banded bullet sales will go toward an AIDS charity whereas part of proceeds from the pink sapphire banded necklace will go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Justin Tranter, designer of the Brooklyn-based line Fetty, discovered a large audience responds to his signature heart and gun necklaces. The pieces sold so well at Urban Outfitters, Tranter, who initially designed the necklaces to sell at concerts to promote and finance his garage glam band Semi Precious Weapons, launched a higher-priced 14-karat gold and diamond collection of charm necklaces featuring a damaged heart with a gun, axe or saw, retailing at Barneys Co-op from $525 to $675.
“People really like their jewelry to mean something,” says Tranter, who enclosed a gun necklace in some copies of his debut CD release last month. “This jewelry tells the story.”
In Philadelphia, fashion and jewelry designer Melanie Brandon struck a deal with her hometown to make her collection of cuffs, bracelets, rings and pendants from the metal of melted guns confiscated from city streets.
“I wanted to take something that was destructive and turn it into something beautiful,” says Brandon, whose line is called Melani Von Alexandria. “With each piece made, another gun is off the street.”
Currently in production, the collection, which is expected to be available in December, will retail at $200 for a gunmetal cuff sporting the initials MVA to $2,500 for a chunky pendant necklace of gunmetal, diamonds and crystal quartz.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye