We started carrying Lillian Crowe Jewelry this Spring, but what do rib cage and (literal) heart-shaped necklaces have in common with Brooklyn Industries clothing? We spoke with Lillian to get her take.
BKI: Do you find shoppers hesitant to purchase body part designs such as the spine or the rib cage?
Lillian: Not if they have a backbone or guts! No, but seriously, it seems that people are either all about it and love it on first viewing or don’t get it at all. I don’t really think they’re the kind of pieces you can convince someone they like. They’re sort of like a litmus taste for an obscure strand of taste, which most interestingly, can apply to people whose outward taste is anything but obscure.
BKI: What kind of feelings do you want your pieces to evoke?
Lillian: (Intense feelings of emptiness!) I want them to create a void people didn’t realize was in their jewelry collection that can only be filled by bringing the piece(s) home with them.
BKI: You say that each piece is made to order. How long does one necklace take to create?
Lillian: The casting can be tricky as the pieces are very intricate and can lose detail in cooling. Also, the finishing of the pieces (I do it all myself) can be a bit labor intensive. I’d say from the time someone orders a piece it’s a minimum of 5 days turnaround.
BKI: How would you like people to perceive your jewelry?
Lillian: Ideally, as something exciting that’s happening in a genre that can sometimes seem uninspired.
BKI: How did you feel when Brooklyn Industries reached out to you about carrying your line?
Lillian: I met Lexy on my most underslept (and crazy bird nest haired) day at the Pool tradeshow in Vegas, which is ridiculous since we’re both New Yorkers! As soon as I saw her badge, I started rambling about growing up with Brooklyn Industries and my high school memories of their ads featuring hip hop artists and eventually she smiled and walked away, saying she’d be back, but I was pretty certain I scared her off. I was completely surprised and thrilled when she came back hours later to buy some pieces to bring back to New York! I was totally shocked and extremely excited but also alone, so I instantly started text messaging my friends who grew up in Brooklyn, knowing how much it would resonate with them and that they’d feel the same way I did.
BKI: What makes Lillian Crowe jewelry a good fit for Brooklyn Industries?
Lillian: I think my line reflects the spirit of Brooklyn Industries. Everything is made in New York and at least half of the materials in every piece are reclaimed. I am very influenced by the city and what I see on its streets. I think, like Brooklyn Industries, it speaks to a customer who is aware of their purchasing power; what they are buying, where it is coming from, and what it reflects about them when they wear it.
BKI: Where in New York did you grow up? And do you see yourself designing in other parts of the world?
Lillian: I grew up on the Upper West Side, very close to Lincoln Center. My father actually grew up where Lincoln Center now stands. I love every and any excuse to travel; I’ve studied abroad in 3 countries and traveled to many many more, so I’d never say no to an opportunity to work somewhere else, although I’m fairly confident I’d always come back here, as I always have in the past. There’s an energy and wonderful mix of so many people and cultures here that you really can’t find anywhere else. It’s a renewable source of inspiration.
BKI: Do you have any funky rituals to get into a creative mindset?
Lillian: I think living my life is a funky ritual. I do or say whatever strikes me regardless of how it may be interpreted by others (thanks dad for that one!) and I think it really helps me to be in a creative mindset all the time and have the ability to be inspired at any moment by almost anything.
Select Lillian Crowe designs at Brooklyn Industries can be found here!