Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Defining Lines

Lei ChicAdmit it. Buying from local designers isn’t always a noble act. You weren’t thinking about fueling the state’s economy when you slipped on that last Fighting Eel dress. And it wasn't exactly on your mind when you stocked up on those cute, locally made headbands at Sugarcane.

Sometimes, you just want to wear something beautiful; something that reflects your attitude; something that makes you feel sexy as hell when you put it on and head out on the town. And you don’t want anyone else to be wearing it quite the way you are.

Lei ChicMai Yamazaki knows all about that. The Honolulu-turned-New York designer produces an edgy, modern line of jewelry designed to complement personal style, without overwhelming the wearer’s look. She named the line I Am Designs, a play on her name and also the intent of her work.

I Am features geometric styles crafted completely from precious metals. Brass lures are strung on delicate silver chains, perfect for layering, while thin gold bars sleekly top off double-finger rings. Earring styles include tiny, cube-cut studs in 18-karat gold and studs made of hammered wire fashioned into triangles and squares. Feminine, but still tough.

Yamazaki creates the pieces in her Brooklyn apartment, sizing rings and necklaces to order, even producing custom work. She’s previously crafted a pair of drop-chain earrings and a men’s ring for clients that ended up becoming part of the line.

The designer is in town this week, bringing work normally available only through her Etsy shop to Fresh Café's Art & Flea event, where she’ll be discounting prices on samples and custom orders.

Helping bring the economy, and sexy, back.

Mai Yamazaki’s I Am Design line is available through her Etsy shop. You can also snag pieces at Fresh Café’s Art & Flea event, held at 831 Queen St., this Thursday from 5 to 11 p.m. And, select styles will be available at Goose and Barnacle, opening soon in New York.

Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 in Permalink

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About Lei Chic

Lei Chic is a daily email and shopping blog that plugs you into Hawaii's newest and hottest boutiques, designers, trends, spas and salons, and more. You'll also discover all the cool events, dinners and sales happening around town in our Weekend Picks every Thursday. With Lei Chic, you'll get the inside scoop on what everyone will be talking about tomorrow – in your inbox today.

Lei Chic associate editor Natalie Schack has been a cultural anthropology student,museum worker bee and dabbler in graphic design. When she isn't scouting new fashion, compiling to-do lists or crafting puns, Natalie spends her free time dreaming up elaborate picnic ideas; "researching" via YouTube tutorials, blogs and Instagram; and dusting off her pith helmet for the next adventure life throws her way.

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