June 16, 2016
Love Stories - Bailey Hunter
Residence: East LA
Current philosophy: to trust yourself
Currently inspired by?
Pantsula style of South Africa, streetwear and mass market branding, Hassan Hajjaj, and modern architecture of South India.
Style icons you reference?
Irene Silvagni, Rihanna, Yto Barrada, Anna Mae Wong, and Sade.
You recently changed your design studio from Cistanthe to Tigra Tigra, why the change?
I had been wanting to do something fresh and new for a bit. Cistanthe was more about finding a voice through different materials and styles, communities and techniques.
TIGRA TIGRA's focus is honed in on those techniques and produces things that have a strong human hand and take a very long time to make - a very heightened level of luxury - but made into things and worn in a casual and non-precious way.
Who are you currently collaborating with?
I just finished up a collaboration with the Swiss house, enSoie, which was a home collection focused on American folk art techniques. We collaborated with a hand-printer in Northern California, a wood carver in Los Angeles and the historic quilt-makers of Gee's Bend, Alabama. Currently, we are working on a new project in Haiti doing sequin drapo work which I am excited about.
This is also a socio economic project - are there any dream communities you wish to collaborate with?
The idea behind TIGRA TIGRA is to make things with groups that are highly-skilled and supporting socio-economic growth in developing communities. I am always looking for new communities to collaborate with.
You probably have seen many adornments in your travels, are there any jewels you have collected from your travels?
My favorites are giant silver bangles from Udaipur, a giant silver cross with mixed gemstones from Ethiopia and an ostrich eggshell beaded necklace from Tsumkwe, Namibia.
What kind of jewelry are you keeping on your body? If any at all?
I wear gold hoop earrings and a square antique gold ring with three diamonds which my mother gave me everyday, a gold pygmy ring from Joanne Burke and the snake ring from PL!
Crystal or Stone? Stone!
Dream Destination? Senegal
Tigra Tigra is an explorative venture through ancient tradition, modern interpretation and experimental design - Is it possible for designers to create with out that format? I feel like jewelry is a direction interpretation of all those realties.
Yes, I think there are so many ways for designers to create. I don't think it makes sense to be put into a box. Jewelry is so interesting because it is something that can last forever and be passed on and worn every day - it is such a distinct object that can tie past and future.
I'd live in the present...able to reference and draw inspiration from the past but also moving forward into the future with innovation and technology.
A weekend in LA I usually....
sleep in, eat apple fritters and almond coffee for breakfast, drive south to go to the beach, a classic car show or go sailing, make dinner at home, go for a drink at General Lee's Cocktail House in Chinatown.
Photography and Interview by Cassi Gibson