Annie Costello Brown and Desiree Kohan launch Deer jewelry line [Updated]
"She's boutique and I'm art studio." That's how L.A.-based jewelry designer Annie Costello Brown, above right, comes down on her personal style vs. that of her friend Desiree Kohan, above left, owner of the Des Kohan boutique.
The two L.A. tastemakers (Brown is wearing a vintage table cloth skirt and a Guatemalan blouse from the thrift store, and Des Kohan is in lacy shorts by Damir Doma, a designer line carried in her store) have joined forces to create a new 20-piece collection of jewelry named Deer.
Deer is interesting in that it incorporates industrial-looking materials -- leather, brass tubes, mixed chains and washers -- but in a decidedly dainty way.
Kohan, who was a trend forecaster for brands such as Prada and Gucci before opening her boutique in 2005, has built her business on her ability to teach clients how to wear clothing by avant garde local and European designers such as Juan Carlos Obando, Preen, Hussein Chalayan and Sharon Wauchob* in their everyday lives. That thoughtful approach to building a wardrobe factored into the design of Deer. "The pieces are very much inspired by styling, because they are designed to be worn and used in multiple ways," she says. [*Updated at 5:38 p.m. June 1 to correct spelling of Wauchob.]
The "cobra" necklace ($298), for example, consists of a snakeskin tube and a chain full of coins that can be pulled apart and worn as a choker and bracelet. A draped chain necklace ($358) is shown with a mixed metal, brass tube choker ($186) that's sold separately. There are also bracelets ($128) with subtle vintage brass bullet-shaped beads that can be worn in multiples.
But the most stunning piece may be the mixed shells and stone necklace ($568), with brass drops, malachite, turquoise, lapis and coral details. The three strands can be worn separately or together.
"I think people are going toward more delicate, special pieces," Kohan says, running her fingers over one of the coin bracelets. An idea is sparked. "Oh my god, we should do anklets!" she says to Brown, who is in agreement. "High five on that!"
Deer, $135 to $795, is available on Des Kohan, 671 Cloverdale Ave. in Los Angeles, and at www.deskohan.com.
Photos, from top: Boutique owner Desiree Kohan, left, and jewelry designer Annie Costello Brown; the Deer display at the Des Kohan boutique; pieces from the Deer collection. Credits: Courtesy of Des Kohan