Faye Y.

Shihara may have not been around for as long a time as other jewelers, but it entered the scene with a bang so loud it would be impossible to ignore.

Located in the Land of the Rising Sun, the brand has been around for the better part of the decade. Founded by jeweler Yuta Ishihara, Shihara has entered international consciousness with its minimalist yet captivating designs, exploring the limits and playing with geometric shapes.

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Knowing the man behind the design

Yuta Ishihara is a man who has always valued style. Ever since he was a young man in Yamanashi prefecture, where he grew up with metal shops as well as gemstone factories around, he had an eye for what would be timeless designs. He was understandably influenced by his surroundings after witnessing the delicate work that is being put to produce even just a single piece of jewelry.

The jeweler’s penchant for the classic was also motivated by his unhappiness with the fleeting nature of fashion, changing more often than one would want. For Ishihara, jewelry does not need to function the same way. The accessories are fashion pieces, but they last way longer than any other item clumped into the same group. A pair of earrings, or say, a ring, can be handed down from one generation to another, while still appearing new and in pristine condition, unlike other articles of clothing that usually have a shelf life.

With fast fashion, other creations would be out of season without even being appreciated to its fullest. For jewelry, it can last for hundreds of years and still have its original value, or even more. Ishihara is proud that his jewels and all the personal feelings he has attributed to them will remain, even when he is long gone. The idea of creating something that would outlive him has kept him intrigued as well as inspired, knowing that not many things can fall under this category.

The Shihara philosophy

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One glance at Shihara’s jewels and you will immediately recognize that it is like no other, using geometric shapes in an unconventional manner, yet producing something that you feel you would want to keep forever. It is this ingenuity that has captured the attention not only of the Japanese people, but also of newly gained admirers in the Western world.

Where most jewelry makers will take pieces of metal and solder them together, Yuta Ishihara functions in the opposite way, removing hardware and other parts until what remains is the essential. Instead of adding, Shihara excels in subtracting. The Japanese brand is challenging the already established designs and methods to create something thought-provoking and different, but in a good way. The end result are accessories that are worn, yet do not feel completely foreign to the body. There is also an added effect of you, the wearer, feeling more confident as if the jewels are connecting to you.

The collection to look out for

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The Japanese brand’s first collection is what also grew to be its most iconic. The design that became the most recognizable with Shihara is its three-dimensional triangle and square earrings. The way the jewelry attaches to the ear seamlessly without blocking and wasting any space is admirable.

Looking at the accessories from the Shihara repertoire so far, one would see plenty of circles and lines that are molded to create something unique and precious. These designs are equipped with either concealed or adjustable closures, just like the brand’s very first. Yuta Ishihara uses measurements as accurately as an engineer would to create intriguing shapes and dimensions, with many variations for each—made out of playing with angles, shifting between big and small—to keep things interesting. The possibilities are also aplenty in wearing the earrings, bracelets, necklaces and rings that showcase Yuta Ishihara’s inventiveness and curiosity.

Complement your beauty with Shihara

Shihara has its flagship store in Tokyo, but you don’t have to fly all the way to the Asian fashion capital to snag some of the brand’s goodness. In the United States, Shihara’s creations that go for hundreds to thousands of dollars are available at Barneys, La Garconne, Twist, Fivestory as well as Dover Street Market.

The stores usually only carry a fraction of Shihara’s collections, but behind every piece is s a story that Yuta Ishihara encourages retailers to share to potential buyers, besides the brand’s overall concept. It isn’t only helpful, but also very intriguing and attractive for a customer, especially when they are new to the style of the Japanese jewel maker. With such stories, the beautiful yet audacious pieces are appreciated not only for how they look, but the richness of their history and essence as well.

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