Piercing artist J. Colby Smith has brought his signature aesthetic down under.
The bicoastal aesthete — known for spearing the ears of stylists, editors and designers — has partnered with Sydney-based jewelry label, Sarah & Sebastian on a mini-collection of hoops, particularly engineered for the “conch” region of ear anatomy.
The designs, which will retail between $250 and $350, are meant to “visually stay true to my delicate curation, but add a bit of dimension to it. I wanted the width without the clunkiness,” Smith said while in Sydney for a launch event.
The two designs are cast in 14-karat rose gold or 18-karat gold — one a squiggly silhouette, and the other a sleek clasp of sorts. Both styles come with the option of a small diamond, or plain. They will be available at Smith’s Los Angeles and New York piercing studios.
For Smith — known for his ability to review an ear’s individual shape to assess how it should best be bejeweled — jewelry design is a constant pursuit. But he has no plans to launch a steady label.
While models including Abbey Lee Kershaw flocked for his delicate chain septum rings and diminutive, yet impressionable studs, “I could never keep up with launching collections as it would take me away from what I really love, which is piercing and connecting with my clients. I plan to create where I can and collaborate with other existing talent to keep it fresh and unlike anything else in the world,” he said.
While just a few years ago rings were the most popular category for layered adornment, earrings are quickly taking their spot. Piercing stylists like Smith and Maria Tash have risen to acclaim with their individualized outlooks on personalized decoration.
“Modifying our look is what makes us unique. Some people do it with fashion, makeup or hair. We do it with jewelry and piercings,” Smith said of the ear’s new popularity.