Q&A: Kether Parker of Hoorsenbuh

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It all started with a woman in Starbucks approaching Rob [the creative director of Hoorsenbuh] and asking where she could buy one of his rings,” remembers brand ambassador Kether Parker as he removes one from his finger. “He just got a straw, measured her finger and wrote her number on it.” The rest is now history with Hoorsenbuh taking America and the world by storm with its edgy, yet effortlessly elegant jewellery based on its three-link, anchor-chain logo. 

It’s a brand inspired by a Dutch merchant ship from the 17th century that dealt in metals and gems, from the co-founder and creative director Robert Keith’s ancestry. “It was the brand that really came before the product,” says Parker. “We weren’t sure if we wanted to go into eyewear or clothing.”

Using only 18-carat gold, rose gold and white gold for its designs, Parker expresses his desire to aspire to the levels of well-known French fine jewellery houses like Cartier. “We’re really trying to be an American fine jewellery house, because there really hasn’t been one since Tiffany,” he says.

It’s the high-profile nature of the collaborations, however, that has framed Hoorsenbuh’s success. Whether working with De Beers, using its forever mark diamonds for their Matrimony Collection, or collaborating with Damien Hirst on their Cathedral Collection (jewellery in the form of pills, Viagra and rosary beads), the Santa Monica-based studio has sparked some truly ground-breaking contemporary partnerships. To add a bit of edge, the duo collaborated with celebrated rapper Jay Z for a Barneys exclusive, which included jaw-breaking knuckle rings. “We made it larger and more bulbous, but very much kept our DNA,” Parker explains. “Jay Z also sent us his family crest, so we added that to the piece.”

There’s no doubting the brand’s popularity in the hip-hop scene with customers like RiRi, Beyoncé and Pharrell. But it is ‘cautious with it too, it’s not the market we were trying to tap into’, Parker states. “We started in the Paris Hilton days, but we thought paparazzi photos really diluted the brand. So we’ve been extremely careful about curating the brand in fashion magazines.” 

Timeless and simultaneously on-trend, Hong Kong is lucky to finally have a stockist for what Parker describes as a truly ‘1970s inspired jewellery brand’. With its clean lines and bold, heavy statement pieces, it’s as cool and Californian as the man himself.

Hoorsenbuh Available at Plukka, Shop 113-114, 1/F, Landmark Atrium, 2539 5088; plukka.com.

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