Why shop at a big, impersonal department store when you can get something really special, made with unique design and skill, and support an independent designer at the same time? Some of our favorite accessory designers offer really unique pieces that also make a statement about you, as the giver. Best of all, they’re all under $200 (many under $100) and you can get all these items online right now!
We love Asian American prolific designing duo Ken Leung and Dana Chin of Ken & Dana Design. (They also have a fine jewelry line BYLU, which we love.) Their “Rights” collection is extra meaningful because it uses landmark U.S. Civil Rights Supreme Court case identifiers as its voice. It doesn’t get any cooler.
The ring above has stamped on it 347 U.S. 483 (1954), the legal citation for the case of Brown v. Board of Education, which desegregated schools in the 1950s. They also offer the legal citations for Romer v. Evans, which protects against discrimination by sexual orientation; Leser v. Garnett, which upheld the 19th Amendment women’s right to vote; and Loving v. Virgina, which legalized interracial marriage. Twenty percent of each sale goes to the Harlem Children’s Zone.
Alex Woo is another AA designer that we not only love, but celebs and fashion editors alike covet. Famous for her Little Icons collections, the award-winning New York-based designer creates graphic pieces that make it easy to express yourself without any of the cheesiness of typical personalized jewelry.
If you really want to splurge, get it with diamonds. Sigh … someday.
I’ve been hesitant about jumping on the animal print bandwagon. Done wrong and you’re so Peg Bundy from “Married … With Children.” Done right and you’re Kate Moss — perfectly disheveled and groomed simultaneously. I’ve decided to give it a go, and I’ll start with a zebra print in a clutch. It adds just that little pop you need, and it’ll take you well into spring.
Studs, on the other hand, are easy to love, and for a reason. It adds a little rock ‘n roll to any ensemble. While I’m over the whole studs-on-every-piece-of-clothing look, I do still like them in small doses and less-than-expected places. Try it. You’ll be surprised at how it instantly updates your look.
Treesje “Axle” makeup bag in blue, $98, www.Treesje.com.