Founder and designer of the LA jewellery brand adorning the fingers and arms of many A-list celebrities, Robert Keith, gives us an insight into his inspiration and iconic designs
Hoorsenbuhs founder and designer Robert Keith started his company with the modest goal of becoming an American luxury brand, like the formidable Ralph Lauren. With continuous success since the brand’s conception eight years ago, and with the recent launch of a collaboration with Jay Z at Barneys New York, it appears he’s well on his way.
It’s hard to open a fashion magazine without seeing a piece of Hoorsenbuhs jewellery - their gold tri-ink designs now truly iconic. Stylists, celebrities and many other arbiters of fashion are loyal members of the Hoorsenbuhs fan club.
While Hoorsenbuhs owes its names to a 16th century Dutch trading ship with ties to Keith’s ancestors, their designs are rooted in modern interpretations of adornment. Pieces like the Quad-Link ring and the Phantom ring have become the new classics on every jewellery-loving woman’s wish list. Both are takes on the Hoorsenbuhs maker’s mark, which Keith continues to come back to as inspiration.
Top: Open-Link necklace, Quad-Link rings, Dame Tri-Link rings, Monogram plate bracelet, 5mm bangle and Phantom Clique rings
LG: What is the biggest inspiration for your jewellery?
RK: Our maker’s mark continues to inspire our collection. As with any discipline, what seems a challenge actually rewards you. That is the case with our mark - its gift is consistency, recognition and a constant stream of fascination.
LG: When you created the tri-link motif, did you have men, women or both in mind?
RK: My main goal was to create something that not only transcended sex, but that could also become an iconic symbol, recognised immediately.
LG: Where do you work best?
RK: At my atelier in Santa Monica. It’s near everything I want to have close: family, friends, nature and metropolis.
LG: Where do you feel most at home?
RK: In my backyard, in the Jacuzzi, under my weeping eucalyptus tree... heaven on earth.
LG: Do you have a favourite gold piece that you've designed?
RK: Every piece is like a child, very special and has its own uniqueness.
“Gold has an allure, alchemy and intrinsic property that continues to inspire my work”
LG: Why do you design in gold?
RK: The first ring ever made was out of gold. Gold has an allure, alchemy and intrinsic property that continues to inspire my work.
LG: What do you love about Los Angeles and New York?
RK: I love Los Angeles because I know her so well, we have a long relationship. LA has a serious side but in a more laid back way. Curiously, I love New York, but it’s still a giant mystery to me. When I’m in New York I do feel more serious and less laid back.
LG: What was it like to collaborate with Jay Z?
RK: I’m still working with Jay Z and his team. It’s been a great honour to work with them on the Barney’s Holiday project. There’s the quote “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean”... that’s fitting for our collaboration.
“I’m still working with Jay Z and his team. It’s been a great honour to work with them on the Barney’s Holiday project”