Lab Series (ELC)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Q & A with Philip Crangi

RISD graduate Philip Crangi started his fine jewelry collection Philip Crangi Collection along with his forged and fashion forward costume jewelry line Giles and Brother in 2001. It was only a matter of time before he would be awarded with the CFDA Swarovski Award for Accessory Design. In this exclusive interview with What He Wears, Philip discusses inspiration for his fall collections, which trends he loathes, and dishes some advice for men wanting to add jewelry to their look. 

WHW: I enjoyed your Spring/Summer collection. I used several pieces for a shoot I worked on entitled  "Henley and I," and everyone on set was in love- including myself. Do you find it difficult designing jewelry for men?

PC: Designing for men can be tricky; it’s about creating something that feels like it’s been yours forever, and that gets better the more you wear it.

WHW: Do you have any favorite pieces or are they like your children, therefore no calling out favs?

PC: Yes indeed, I do have favorites. I love the railroad spike cuff and leather wrap bracelets; they seem like the most distilled ideas to me and many other pieces emerged from them.

WHW: Do you remember your very first jewelry purchase?

PC: Yes. I bought my mom this carnelian intaglio horse-head ring at Eckard Drugs in Boca when I was 7 years old. It was Mother’s Day.

WHW: When did you realize you wanted to make your passion for designing and forging jewelry something you do for a living?

PC: It sort of just happened organically. I knew as soon as I started making jewelry that I was on the right path, but as far as making a living doing it, that took many years of trial and error.

WHW: I read you find traveling, “The most inspiring thing,” how do your travels inspire your work?

PC: Just being put into a new environment and being forced to look at things in a different way really opens up my mind.

WHW: When we spoke at the Save Fashion event, I was telling you how I’m really not a fan of bling; I find it obnoxious to see men ‘blinged out.’ What trends in men’s jewelry do you loathe?

PC: Chunky silver, no offence to Mr. Lagerfeld.

WHW: You’ve done collaborations with designers like Vera Wang, Shipley and Halmos, and most recently for Fall 09 you collaborated with Jason Wu. How did that come about?

PC: Well, Jason approached us about collaborating on his Fall ’09 collection and we were developing a few things that really worked with Jason’s collection. I think it was successful because of how different our aesthetics are and how unexpected the pairing was.

WHW: Some men do not venture out in the jewelry department. They wear a watch and that’s the extent of it. Do you have any advice for men wanting to experiment with jewelry?

PC: A watch is a gateway to jewelry and a great place to start. But men, like women, should feel more like themselves when they put on jewelry, so there’s no point in forcing the issue. Wear what feels good.

WHW: What was your inspiration for fall?

PC: I built on some classic men’s motifs—beaded necklaces, leather and brass, and simple, iconic pieces.

WHW: What’s next for Philip Crangi?

PC: I plan on spending the summer pushing the limits of my tan. 


Anonymous said...

First time visiting your blog, but I dig it. This is a great interview!

Ryan said...

Thank you!

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