It’s ironic, Vibe Harslof’s design philosophy is simple: create unique jewelry that’s clean and pure, leaving nothing unnecessary behind. Yet the vibe that her pieces give off are incredibly complex, speaking volumes about the woman who chooses to wear one of her creations.
She’s strong, individual, effortlessly chic and most of all, fearless.
Creating playful jewelry that is at the same time minimal and refined is a feat Harslof exhibits each season.
She loves to challenge the established preconceptions of what constitutes an accessory and has a way with unconventional materials like smoking pipes, raw wooden corks and exposed nails, turning them on their heads into works of wearable art.
Her latest collection, Vespertine, delves into the perception of precious metals. Drooping, bending, twisting and molding strings of gold and silver into contemporary adornments, gracefully mimicking and recreating the curves of the human body. The collection deeply explores the interplay of masculine and feminine elements. Coarsely braided chains are pounded into delicate finger rings while elegant barely there rings take the shape of knucklebusters.
We sat down with Vibe Harslof to get her take on everything from her creative process, fascination with Kinabaku (Japanese bondage) and her favorite Copenhagen hot spots. Read the full interview below. Click here to shop now.
AW: How did you decide to launch your line?
VH: Kind of random, I was actually never really that into jewelry, so when I, as a young adult, was offered an internship in a workshop, I didn’t think much of it but I fell in love with the craft instantly and decided to make it my way of living, which it has been ever since
AW: It is said that your designs make strong references to the graffiti scene and graphic design tradition. Can you explain this notion further?
VH: I am influenced by subcultures and use them as references in my work- with Fools Gold (the hand brace and neck brace) I looked at Kinbaku, which is Japanese bondage, where the body is tied up in very intricate ways with thin ropes I wanted to translate it into a simplified version in metal, I find the way that the metal both sweeps around and almost lock parts the body at the same time, is very interesting. Other sources of inspiration is hip hop pre 85 - I love the way the girls still look 70’s chic but mixes it with the 80’s ghetto street look and how all the boys look like cartoons.
AW: Your latest collection "explores the perception of precious metals" with stiffened chains and bent strips of gold and silver. What was your inspiration for this?
VH: For a few seasons I have been into ” draping” silver and ornamenting the body in new ways. I think Vespertine is very much an extension of this investigation. What specifically set off Vespertine was my fascination with classic men’s jewelry such as the Tiepin with the small chain and the pocket watch, I wanted to feminize these items which led to playing with the chucky chains combining them with delicate silver threads, as well as playing with the illusion of the mobility of the chain
AW: Could you please describe your production process, from conception to manufacturing?
VH: With every collection I always end up with pieces that doesn’t fit in or that I want to continue working on, These pieces combined with a theme that interest me starts off the new collection. With a few additional sketches, I usually have a vague idea of the mood I want to pass on but it doesn’t take actual shape until I start modeling in my workshop. I need to sit with the metal and work with my hands to get my creativity going. From then on I make loads of models testing shapes, lengths, locks etc until it feels right.
AW: Does your location, Copenhagen, play a role in the design process? If so, how?
VH: Not consciously but I am probably much more influenced by my surroundings and growing up with the Scandinavian way of thinking and designing, more than I am aware of.
AW: What are you favorite places to go in Copenhagen, and why?
VH: Copenhagen has a lot of amazing spots! In the summertime my absolutely favorite place is the harbor- it is a long canal stretching through the city in which you can go swimming. It is both possible to find a spot all to yourself or join the more official bathing spots for watching people- it is 5 minutes away on my bike and I go for a swim as often as possible. It is a relatively new area so it is a rare mix of modern architecture and old abandoned factories that make it very interesting.
AW: What does your studio look like?
VH: It is small, cozy, slightly crammed and messy- I tend to keep all sorts of stuff for inspiration etc that slowly builds up.
AW: How would you describe your brand in five words or less?
VH: Playful, fearless, minimal, understated and bold
AW: What are your personal styling tips for your collection?
VH: I always “hide” my neck brace under the collar of a shirt so you only see the v in the front and the chain in the back, I like the understatement of it. I Wear the ankle braces with either sandals or sneaker, I think both looks very cool- but basically I think jewelry should be worn as often as possible, also the more extravagant pieces, should be worn instead of being kept for special occasions.