Despite being the daughter of a very successful jewelry designer, Erin Wahed did not plan on following in her mother’s footsteps. “I do not have the patience for it,” she confesses. But when her search for the perfect ensemble for opening night of her senior show—she majored in photography at NYU—led her to collaborate with her mom Janis Kerman on a ring, Erin started to get the bug. Why not use that initial design—an early prototype of what became the duo’s Moholy-Nagy ring—as the basis for a little trial run?
Drawing on her love of modern architecture and abstract photography—see, she’s putting that degree to use!—Erin and her mamma have put out two collections under the label Bande des Quatres since February 2011. Janis creates the pieces in her Montreal studio together with a master goldsmith where everything is finished by hand. But though the craftsmanship is rooted in the techniques and skills the matriarch has honed during her 40 years in the realm, the designs are straight-up edgy, with bracelets anchored by chunky, oxidized silver shapes and rings that give the illusion of pierced fingers. And that has hardly limited their audience: All the jewelry is designed to be unisex, and the BDQ customer base runs the gamut from stylish twenty-somethings to senior citizens. “80-year old ladies with arthritis buy the rings because they can get them on with swollen knuckles.” Talk about advanced style. —jessie pascoe