- Who is it? London-based jewellery brand URiBE
- Why do I want it? Modern, sculptural and dynamic pieces which team colourful beadwork with contemporary references
- Where can I buy it? In URiBE’s online store, and in shops around the world
Who is it? When URiBE was first founded by jewellery designer and creative director duo Tiffany and Sion Philips almost four years ago, it was with a modern woman in mind. As such, beautiful beadwork, contemporary references and a sculptural element have always been central tenets of the brand’s DNA; these are pieces which feel bold and memorable, and look as strong left on a bedside table as they do around a wrist or an earlobe. But ultimately, they have to make their wearer feel good, Tiffany explains. “The end result has to be something special and unique for the customer – I think with jewellery that’s that feeling you should get.” After all, as she reminds me, “long before there was clothing for clothing’s sake, there was jewellery. When you go to the British Museum or the Met, you can see those artefacts that were discovered from thousands and thousands of years ago, and they are often little beads from a necklace, or arrowheads, things that were worn around the neck. That’s the story of jewellery for me, and it goes back so far. People have always wanted to adorn themselves – to kind of dress up their skin.” With this emphasis on making the wearer feel good front and centre in the mind, there’s a lightness to URiBE jewellery: “The essence of it, for us, is about making something that embraces your body, rather than taking it over.”
Why do I want it? Alongside the recurring motifs of beads and sculptural forms, URiBE has always looked to contemporary culture for inspiration – and found it in a piece of furniture, a building, or a person of note. For this collection, it came from the work of Tadanori Yokoo, a Japanese artist and graphic designer who, in the 1960s and 70s, was prolific in creating rich, psychedelia-infused posters; he is often lazily labelled the ‘Japanese Andy Warhol’, but in reality his many-layered works, in bold reds, greens and blues, are without equal.
Yokoo’s impact can be felt in the stones selected for the new pieces – think: lapis lazuli (an enduring staple for Tiffany, due in part to her Chilean-American heritage), apatite and peridot for blues and greens; and cornelian, rose quartz, pink opal and citrine in the red family – but his works also played a powerful role in creating the photo story used to document the pieces. The resulting photographs, shot by Juliette Cassidy and styled by Pau Avia, draw heavily on the language of pose which underpins Yokoo’s surreal scenes, Sion explains; on set, the team sought to recreate the bodily shapes the artist and his contemporaries teased their characters into – be they erotic, angular or unexpected. The result is captivating and fresh – a play on equilibrium and colour and form that only URiBE could execute so easily. But, happily, which almost anybody could wear.