When BFFs Greg Buntain (left) and Ian Collings launched their design studio Fort Standard two years ago, women’s jewelry was about the furthest thing from their minds. Then again, the two furniture-makers who met studying industrial design at Pratt hadn’t anticipated carving Bauhaus-like building blocks or assembling minimalist lighting fixtures, either. “We had one goal: to do our own thing,” says Greg. “We didn’t really have a direction or a business plan. We just started designing all these different things, and they’ve all kind of worked out.”
So, how did they make their way to industrial bronze bangles and metal-and-rope necklaces? “They sort of grew out of these candelabras we make,” says Greg. “We use this lost wax process—we mold the design out of wax, and it’s cast in bronze. But we loved working with wax so much that we decided to scale it down, and we ended up with these little cages that you wear around your wrist or on a piece of rope around your neck.”
And, to the duo’s surprise, people are really responding. “At the end of the day, we’re two guys who haven’t done much jewelry design,” says Ian. “And sometimes we wonder, ‘Is it something that women are going to want to buy? Is it going to be feminine enough?’” But they try not to overthink things. The ultimate goal for these pieces, as Grey explains: “Let’s just make them look cool!” —raquel laneri
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