If you’re going to tackle the international fashion industry, you might as well start with the best.
And designer Tam Tran did precisely that – beginning with Tommy Hilfiger, just as he began to take off.
“It was a great opportunity – I did everything, trying to figure it out,” she says. “It was a bunch of young designers traveling worldwide, to Europe and Asia, sourcing factories and production.”
Fast-forward 20 years and you’ll find her designing jewelry and presenting workshops at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Design.
She studied goldsmithing for a couple of years starting in 1999, at Robert Kulicke’s Jewelry Arts Institute. Kulicke eschews power tools for his craft, preferring a hands-on approach to metalwork.
Now, in her Lost Wax Studio, Tran works in gold, silver and bronze, incorporating beads, coins, hemp and leather into her pieces, and producing amulets, talismans, bracelets and necklaces.
“It’s a tactile thing that you’re drawn to, to hold onto because of your intuition,” she says. “It feels good in your hands – it’s organic, not precision.”
She finds her inspiration from daily life in New York, and from the ancient collections at the Metropolitan Museum. “There are things here that don’t consciously register at first, but that may come back in a month,” she says.
The items she makes, each by hand and each one-of-a-kind, start at $45. One of her challenges is to make them affordable, while dealing in precious metals and commodities. “It’s problem-solving,” she says. “You get the best that you can within a budget.”
And something organic, with a huge sense of history and style.
For more information, go to http://www.lostwaxstudio.com/