Discover the top 8 RAW jewelry designers around the globe in 2020
Hell yeah, we love jewelry. The more RAW and rugged, the better! Every time we discover a new jewelry designer that matches our taste, we get excited. And usually, that means it gets expensive as we buy one piece. Well, to be honest: often, more than just one…
In case you are as passionate about extraordinary jewelry as much as we are, this article is for you. In the following, we will summarize the greatest jewelry designers in 2020 that match our RAW and rugged taste in fashion styles. The jewelry designers you are about to discover are from different parts of the globe: Cape Town – South Africa, Bali – Indonesia, Paris – France, Munich – Germany, San Diego – U.S.A., Berlin – Germany. Excited? Good! Here we go.
Where to buy RAW and rugged jewelry?
Our list of top 7 jewelry designers contains brand recommendations from around the world. Probably you are lucky and you live next door to one of the department stores of the brand you like. We will give you the references below where their stores are located. In case you don’t live close by, no worries. All of the brands sell their pieces online as well and ship internationally. Buying jewelry online can cause headaches. Is the bracelet or ring gonna fit in the end? Been there, done that. Those concerns were raised when we bought jewelry online ourselves in the past. Some thoughts and tips: necklaces are the easiest to order as they don’t need to have an exact fit like rings or bracelets do for example. In order to help, we are planning to write a guide on buying jewelry online which is going to explain how to measure sizes in the best possible way. Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media if you want to get a notification once available.
What makes jewelry RAW and rugged?
So if you are in search of RAW jewelry, what is important to look for? Firstly, the design. Look out for jewelry with texture and oxidation instead of classic clean designs with smooth and perfectly shiny surfaces. Usually, people polish their jewelry to make the silver shinier after silver has tarnished. With RAW jewelry it is the opposite. Don’t polish it! Wear the pieces you own and embrace the patina forming after a while. Don’t clean it off. It will give your jewelry character and depth and will make it look more RAW and rugged after time.
#1 – VRVO Body Adornments – Cape Town, South Africa
One of our favorite jewelry designers for a very long time and probably the one responsible for arousing our lasting enthusiasm for raw and rugged men’s jewelry at the start. York Van Rheede Van Oudtshoorn crafts extraordinary jewelry. His designs are often inspired by African wildlife and besides silver as the main material, often horns are also part of his creations. All items involving animal parts come with a certificate for proof of derivation. VRVO sells jewelry online and ships internationally. If you happen to be in Cape Town you must not miss out on missing one of their stores and get a chance to meet York in person. He is a great guy and it is always great to chat with him for a bit.
#2 – King Baby Studio – Handmade Rock n Roll Designer Jewelry – Santa Monica, California, USA
Mitchell Binder is the founder of King Baby Studio who creates unique jewelry designs that capture the spirit of America with rock n’ roll sex appeal. Moving to L.A. in the 1970’s and finding a lot of inspiration in the music industry at that time, this is the history of Binder and what formed his handwriting in craftsmanship. Nowadays he is the go-to jeweler for Hollywood. King Baby Studio caught our attention when we discovered the infamous wing ring. A few years later we bought it and are still wearing it almost every day. Photo below, as well as a link to the product. If you compare the perfect look of the ring on the product photo, with the photo of our heavily worn ring, you see the perfect example of raw and rugged jewelry. Not shiny, nice patina and gradients from the oxidation.
#3 – OSS – Paris, France
OSS manufactures extraordinary raw and rugged jewelry pieces. Every item is handmade by the brand’s owners Josefina & Pablo. The brand philosophy is to transform errors, malformations, and imperfections into beautiful texture. That is the spirit of raw and rugged jewelry. Every piece is created without any sketches or designs in advance. Furthermore, all items are expected to continue to evolve over time. Many of their pieces you can choose to order in oxidized silver or in black silver. Meaning, that the black option has a stronger density of oxidation. OSS is selling their jewelry online. Their website has integrated chat functionality where they get back to you very fast. The first time we ordered from them, they gave us great consulting through this chat widget and sent example photos to compare the oxidized silver and the black silver options.
#4 – Capulet – Munich, Germany
CAPULET stands for eccentric solid sterling silver jewelry. Each piece is a handmade unique design from the Capulet jewelry workshop in Munich: The so-called House of Capulet. In addition, each item has its own story such as the rings Venus and Adonis, which according to Ovid were lovers. The designer and company owner Nina Heyd and her goldsmith team in four workshops ensure that every customer gets their own personalized and perfect piece of jewelry. CAPULET places particular value on the individuality and personalization of the piece. In addition, sustainability is one of the most important core values of the company’s philosophy. Capulet counts international stars among its customers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Lady Gaga, Johnny Depp and Paloma Faith. Capulet has an online store and for each piece, you can customize through their product details page by typing in a text that should get engraved.
#5 – John Hardy – Artisan Hand-Crafted Jewelry – Bali, Indonesia
John Hardy was established 1975 in Bali, in a small village close to the spiritual center of the island, well-known as “Ubud”. Balinese artisans have always been the foundation of the company. Nowadays people from over three generations are working for John Hardy. Every piece is handmade. Community and artisanship are the core values of the company, as well as sustainability. If you happen to be in Bali, don’t miss out on visiting their Ubud workshop and showroom. It is very impressive and you can make an appointment in advance to get a tour and have lunch with the designers and coworkers. John Hardy produces a big variety of different collections, for men and women. Not all of those match the category raw and rugged jewelry. But one collection we fancy a lot which is the legends collection. The most amazing items are variations of eagle wings and the eagle wing dog tag. Check them out below.
#6 – Werkstatt:München – Munich, Germany
Werkstatt:München was founded in 1996 by Klaus Lohmeyer who turned to craftwork driven by his passion for raw materials such as silver and vegetable-tanned leather. Blending together meaning, function and timeless elegance into finely crafted pieces with the intent to embellish people with very own personalities. A highlight of their collections is the sunglasses made of silver – very extraordinary. The Werkstatt:München workshop in Munich’s Glockenbachviertel truly is an amazing place. If you happen to be in town, this is a place you must go and visit. It is well hidden though in a backyard. Check out the store listing, linked above for directions.
#7 – Eins Berlin – Crafted Jewellery – Berlin, Germany
Faith, love, hope. Liberté, Equalité, Fraternité. Past, Present, Future. In the triad, there is often a higher meaning. This is exactly how the creative team behind EINS BERLIN works. The team of three behind Eins Berlin creates Jewelry that is inspiring, style-conscious and timeless at the same time. The name is a tribute to the city of Berlin, which is shaped by a similar three-stream: unbound creativity, self-fulfillment and expression as a principle of life and deep respect for quality and dignity.
#8 – Parts of Four – Los Angeles / Paris
Parts of Four is designed by Evan Sugerman, U.S. born artist from Los Angeles, California and studios exist in L.A. and Paris. Parts of Four produces jewelry, objects, furniture, and installations since 2011. Parts of Four believes in magic and the ability of the material to hold history and power. Pay special attention to the Talismans which combine healing stones with silver craftsmanship.