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Special Issue
WWD A issue 02/24/2014

Germany’s design heritage and new energy merge in three jewelry brands that are gaining global attention.

This story first appeared in the February 24, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

• Amélie Riech trained as an architect yet holds a diploma in fashion design. Both of these influences are evident in her refined jewelry collection, Uncommon Matters. Riech, who grew up in Paris and Berlin and still travels regularly between the two cities, uses fine metal (gold- and silver-plated, mostly on brass) and materials such as onyx, porcelain and glass to sculpt her wearable, intricate works.

Closures are cleverly structured to be invisible in the fluid, movable pieces.

Uncommon Matters is sold in galleries and concept stores, including Andreas Murkudis in Berlin, Lisa Perry in New York and Luisa Via Roma in Florence. Retail prices run from $112 for a simple onyx ring to $599 for folding earrings to $1,648 for a linked collar.

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• Jana Patz makes jewelry with a twist — Möbius loops and figure eights. Patz’s line, The Medley Institute, specializes in shapes that are at first glance simple, but upon closer inspection these gold- and silver-plated and sterling pieces curve and soar.

Berlin-based Patz, also a lecturer at the city’s University of the Arts, drapes metal on the body in a kind of tactile topography.

Stockists for The Medley Institute include Weltenbürger in Los Angeles, LaGarçonne.com and Haltbar in Munich. The brand was also highlighted in the Vogue Salon during Berlin Fashion Week in January. Prices for rings range from $137 to $342, bracelets are $260 to $397 and necklaces run $240 to $301.

Next up: Patz will offer some options for men.

• Jonathan Johnson is the nom de bijoux of Hamburg-based jewelry designer Oliver Pfeiffer. His curious blend of sustainable production (including recycled gold and silver) and pop culture influences combine to create a varied range, from name necklaces spelling out “Made in China” to gem-studded rings pulling from Mughal Indian styles.

Pfeiffer has collaborated with Bruce LaBruce and musician Angie Reed; a recent collection is inspired by natural and man-made detritus, and features tourmaline and cast leaves, insects and soda-can pull tabs.

The Jonathan Johnson collection is sold at Berlin concept store Happy Shop and Hamburg music shop Hanseplatte, as well as online and in the brand’s showroom/shop.

Prices range from $80 for liquid mercury-look stud earrings to $340 for a Bruce LaBruce L.A. Zombie ring, to $11,775 for a large gold chain with a massive facetted Brazilian topaz.

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