by Ranjani Gopalarathinam
Brian Crumley has just gotten the news that Crumley, his unisex jewelry collection, is going to premiere in all ten Barneys Co-Op stores in the country. As a result, he doesn't have much time to talk, but he does anyway, because he's a nice guy. Also, the man has historically proven himself a multi-tasker. Having worked as everything from a photo editor to art director in the magazine and fashion worlds, Crumley has been living in New York as a (self-described) "multi-disciplinary visual creator" for over eight years.
His jewelry collection yields the windfall of his experiences (a self-discovery tour of Europe) and influences (Yohji Yamamoto among them). Each piece is whimsical yet smart; organic but chic; distinctive but accessible. One of his signature pieces is the Scarf necklace, which he fashions from handpicked vintage silk scarves and embellishes with single or multi-chain necklaces. Worn, the Scarf necklace is simultaneously the accent (the scarf) and the centerpiece (the construction). Another is a lovely dark oxidized necklace that looks like a rosary that's been found at the foot of a volcano.
Crumley favors sculptural technique over traditional jewelry design. "The range of materials I work with is so diverse, and I am definitely inspired by the boundaries imposed by each," he says. "I use a lot of vintage and I like to find stuff that's not readily available." He also works in collaboration with fashion designers like Victoria Bartlett to produce pieces that work "from an art director's standpoint." As a result, his pieces tend to reflect the same vast historical palette good fashion design does.
His choice of materials could shift in the future, perhaps to include semi-precious stones. For now, though, Crumley is focused on finishing the order for Barneys. "Just call me if you need anything else," he assures us. "I'll pick up."
New York designer Brian Crumley has taken a circuitous path to crafting his own unusual jewelry creations—and Barneys Co-Op is more than happy to follow along.