Jewelry is a work of art that one could wear—it is an expression of oneself and it stirs up emotion of both the wearer and the spectator. With such essence and impact, we understand that jewelry-making isn’t just a craft, rather, an art process where inspiration is a fundamental part of the equation. While we know many jewelry designers who take inspiration from architecture, there are some who draw theirs from nature. Among such jewelry designers is Hirotaka Inoue, an observer of birds, plants, insects, and nature in general. He translates such inspiration into abstract forms and incorporate them into the jewelry pieces of his eponymous brand, Hirotaka.
Best Places to Shop for Hirotaka Jewelry Online
Top 12 Best-selling Hirotaka Jewelry
Founder’s background story
With such fondness in nature, it is no surprise that Inoue’s journey to being a jewelry artist began with a meaningful encounter with Buddhism back when he was a little boy. Inoue’s curiosity about the minimal use of jewelry in the Japanese traditional culture was stirred every time he gazed upon Buddha and other deities of his religion and saw the abundance of ornaments and jewelry they wear.
Inoue brought that curiousity with him although he tried out a different career after finishing a political science degree an UCAL. He worked in an IT company’s Human Resource department for a few years and then decided to move to Paris just to follow what his heart really wanted: to be in jewelry design. He worked as apprentice of a jewelry collector, who connected him to her contacts in Tokyo. Later on, as Inoue puts it, he was “miraculously” accepted to be a jewelry product planner for a huge jewelry wholesaler.
Hirotaka brand and its signature style
Inoue eventually left his job after a successful side stint in custom jewelry-making for his own groups of clients and launched his own brand, Hirotaka. It somehow officially entered the jewelry-making industry in 2010, starting off in New York with a small trunk show and releasing its first collection. The brand took off after being talked about by stylists and editors, its name passed on from person to person, eventually leading to the prominence of his edgy style in the jewelry world.
Hirotaka always look back to Inoue’s Japanese roots, which is often manifested in the minimalist theme of its jewelry designs. But that’s not only what the brand’s pieces are all about—a hint of a playful spirit is often smeared across its collection, too. The perfect balance of those two styles, minimal and edgy, plus the added beauty of nature inspirations form the organic quality of Hirotaka jewelry. Albeit abstract, you’ll get a glimpse of nature’s density in the jewelry pieces that would usually have a touch of urban theme or a punch of chic and punk design.
In the mix of minimalism, playfulness, and rock-chic style, a delicate and elegant attribute serves as a glue that keeps everything together. No wonder the extremely flattering pieces have gone international, with the brand name “Hirotaka” recognized by people everywhere. But more than the styles and themes, Hirotaka’s pieces are ingrained with rich stories that make them even more unique, as well as connected personally to their designer. The designer’s travel to the rainforests of Indonesia inspired his Camouflage rings released in 2013, while his experience of seeing dewy spiderweb during a sunny day is incorporated in the label’s Gossamer line.
The Vanité collection has a more interesting background than any of the brands pieces—the founder’s father himself carved the real-looking tiny skulls that are in the pieces. The artisanship added to the design has been truly remarkable, with the years-long experience of his 80-year old father in orthopedic surgery back when he wasn’t retired yet. It took his dad 6 months to finish the mold in wax with the use of same scalpels he used in the 1960s—but it was all worth it.
Hirotaka continues to impress its fans with pieces that range from 250 to 6000 dollars, a perfect range where it can meet the needs and budget of a wide-range of jewelry users. The sparkle of diamonds against the polished gold in most pieces still captures attention, especially with the unique silhouettes inspired by the founder’s interpretation of flora and fauna surrounding him. With a whole lot of nature theme to explore, Hirotaka will surely release more surprises in the future, still carrying the essence of minimalism, chic quality, delicate accents that the brand is known for.