‘It can’t just be jewellery; it has to have something extraordinary about it,’ says Sacai’s Japanese creative director Chitose Abe of what first attracted her to the sculptural designs of Danish jeweller Sophie Bille Brahe. The pair met casually in London last year during mutual stockist Dover Street Market’s 10th birthday celebrations.
Abe was already a client of Brahe’s and on the Copenhagen jeweller’s next trip to Tokyo the idea for a capsule collection was cemented. Building upon Brahe’s Croissant moon and Elipse spear designs (already owned by Abe), the pair’s 10-piece earring project coined ‘sacaisophiebillebrahe’, debuted on Sacai’s S/S 2016 Paris fashion week runway.
Together, Brahe’s diamond and pearl designs were reconditioned with 18 carat gold chain fringe, exploring the notions of deconstruction and movement. ‘When a person wears Sacai and moves, a new element is discovered,’ explains Abe, who’s renowned from transforming the familiar into the unfamiliar. ‘I think that is the clothes’ strongest merit,’ she adds of her 16-year-old brand, founded after a decade at Comme des Garçons. ‘With regards to Sophie’s jewellery, I think it has the same element.’
For Brahe – whose business is currently transitioning from that of a ‘bright young thing’ to her well-earned status as a founding member of the powerhouse contemporary fine jewellery category – working with Abe widened her eyes to new creative and commerical possibilities. ‘As a small business, it reassured me to trust my gut, as Chitose has been so successful doing just that.’ Embodying that spirit, here two cult labels became one.