Given that her first career was as a clothing stylist, it makes sense that Re Jin Lee envisions each unadorned piece in her collection like a model in need of just the right lewk; she dresses each palm-sized dish or elegant ring cone up with a cheeky pattern (like winking eyelids) that’d make even Tyra wanna keep ‘em around season after season. Born in Brazil to Korean parents, Re Jin studied at London’s Central St. Martins before eventually moving to New York to pursue her dressing-up dreams. But after a few years, she found herself drawn away from fashion plates toward, well, regular plates and began painting her abstract sketches on dishes from restaurant-supply stores. As her ceramics obsession snowballed, she joined a pottery studio and started making her own dishware under the BDB moniker in 2008.
But you know what’s exhausting? Lugging heavy bags of plates to tradeshows. In 2012, she started scaling done her creations—but keeping a focus on utility.“Living in New York, people don’t have room for lots of trinkets, so I want to make smaller things that were still truly useful,” the Brooklyn-dweller explains. “I realized that all of my jewelry was kept in a box, and it would made sense to create something to display it.” That epiphany, a fitting marriage of her first two careers, resulted in a line of small, sculptural pieces pretty enough to give the jewels they hold a run for their money. —maren ellingboe