“I don’t consider myself from anywhere. I’m a man of the world,” says jewelry designer Tom Binns, who hails from Belfast, Northern Ireland, and has found a home in a somewhat different climate in Venice, Calif. “But I enjoy living in Venice. It’s cool, dude.”
This story first appeared in the February 9, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Occupying an 1,800-square-foot loft on a nondescript stretch of Pacific Avenue in the fabled Los Angeles beach town, Binns’ studio is a minimalist space punctuated by his own bright crystal and metal creations, spread out on artist tables and stacked in boxes against the walls. In the back room, the creative nucleus that he calls “my spot,” Binns designs his newest pieces and often trots up a narrow staircase leading to a loft where he keeps more than 500 archival pieces, which he revisits for inspiration.
For breaks, Binns, who also lives in the neighborhood, enjoys hopping on his bicycle for lunch at chic spots like Axe on Abbot Kinney Boulevard and Via Veneto on Main Street, as well as coffee at Groundwork Coffee Co. (with branches on Rose and Westminster Avenues) and tea at Jin Patisserie on Abbot Kinney. Although the trendy street is packed with boutiques, Binns eschews shopping in favor of power walks on the beach and people-watching on the Venice boardwalk, or reading a book picked up from Equator Books.
“I get inspired seeing all sorts of people down here: the trendies, the rich people, the surfers… even the skaters who try to run me over,” he says. Up next for Binns is a store in New York and a retrospective this year at Phillips de Pury & Co. in London, accompanied by a book published by Assouline.