Trust: These two know a good dinosaur-shaped chicken nugget when they see one.READ MORE
Guys don’t really use the term besties, but even so, Jacob Melinger (pictured) and Alan Paukman fit the bill. The two grew up together, taking art classes and causing trouble at Columbia Prep on New York’s Upper West Side, but college made their creative collaborating a little trickier: Jacob was as the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Alan was attending Gallatin at New York University.
Distance may have complicated things, but it hardly stopped them. Email brainstorming sessions motivated the duo to launch a design studio, Nikolai Rose, in 2006—allowing them to develop such disparate works as wool ties, doorknobs, and even music videos.
These days, from their Long Island City space, Alan focuses on the non-fashion special projects while Jacob heads up the men’s jewelry line that now sits at the core of the Nikolai Rose brand. The aim of the collection: “Simple, sturdy, and never seen before,” as Jacob explains it. And while that’s a plenty lofty goal, the line’s pared-down tie bars, strikingly understated bracelets, and shape-shifting rings nail it—and draw in the women along with the guys. Just ask the crew in Beyoncé’s “Flawless” video, Lorde in “Yellow Flicker Beat,” and Miley Cyrus on the cover of Rolling Stone—all wearing Nikolai Rose creations with gusto. —erica