We catch up with Aaron Changpo, the founder of contemporary jewellery label Varon
- Who is it? Varon is a Mexico-based gender-neutral jewellery brand
- Why do I want it? Contemporary jewellery design that steps outside of the popular Scandinavian aesthetic
- Where can I find it? Online and in selected stores in the US
Who is it? Aaron Changpo founded Mexico-based jewellery label Varon six and a half years ago. Although, it was never part of his life plan. “I studied visual arts, and I was not really interested in making my own jewellery,” he says. “But I’ve always been surrounded by it, because my grandfather has kept a jewellery workshop in Mexico City for 75 years. I was brought up with it, so happened almost naturally.” Today, Varon is a standout name among a plethora of contemporary jewellery brands, considering the way we adorn bodies of all kinds for a highly original take on gender-neutral design.
In keeping with his grandfather’s work ethic, every single piece produced – from chunky, silver chains to plexiglass cuffs embedded with gold – is handcrafted in the label’s own atelier. “We also work with precious and semi-precious stone,” notes Changpo. “We believe that the stones are alive, that they are moving in a different time to the human body. Everything is 100 percent hand-made,” says Changpo, proudly. “A lot of jewellery you see now is not truly all hand-made. It’s just three steps: they make the mould, they just cast it and they polish it and then they go and sell it. Our pieces go through eight different steps, eight different pairs of hands.”
Why do I want it? Varon caters for a customer looking for something outside of the popular Scandinavian-influenced aesthetic, which often dominates in emerging jewellery brands. “Our customer base is also really democratic,” says Changpo. “It’s hard for a jewellery brand to achieve this approach, but we really do have people of all genders buying our pieces. Couples are always interested in purchasing matching pieces too – it really is something for everyone.”
Changpo also produces one-of-a-kind custom commissions, asking those who prefer a bespoke approach to provide images to which he will respond with a design. “I request that they send me around ten images, but it cannot be images of jewellery,” he explains. “It can be architecture, or a flower, or furniture, for example. And I will work from that.” The label has also produced special collaborative pieces with prominent Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco. “We have plans to launch another artist collection,” Changpo says of how he wishes to keep the brand expanding. “Varon is not static. It is something that moves, reaches other disciplines and borders between fashion and art.” Whatever the future holds, we predict big things.
Where can I find it? Online – pieces are shipped worldwide – and in selected stores in the United States. Varon will also soon be stocked at Farfetch.