There’s a Korean pastry called a kkwabaegi that looks a lot like a twisted doughnut. When Jeannie Kim decided she was going to launch her own line of jewelry after having worked on the design teams at Alexander Wang and Proenza Schouler, she went straight for said treat. “What’s more attractive than a pillowy baked good?” she asks. “Initially I was exploring interesting textures, ones that I felt would be attractive to the eye and to the touch. I thought back to some childhood memories spending time at the Korean bakeries in Queens—the kkwabaegi was always my favorite.” Kim launched her self-named label earlier this month and the Dough rings and earrings were among her first designs. Also available on her website are the Daisy and Poppy pieces, all handmade in New York using antique gold and silver. Her next collection will include pendant necklaces and signet rings featuring abstract face motifs. Prices range from around $85 to $245.
“The line is really inspired by the women who’ve created incredible art throughout history, like Claude Lalanne and Louise Bourgeois,” Kim notes. “Artisans like Line Vautrin and Griegst are endless sources of inspiration for me, as well.” The designer also credits her former employers with helping to grow her individual point of view. At the start, she admits, it was difficult for her to break out on her own. “The biggest challenge was finding the courage to put my name on something and put it out there for the world to see,” she says. “It’s nothing short of intimidating when you’ve worked for such talented people to step forward and ask for your turn. But you have to decide that you have something to offer, something you are passionate about. And of course, I wanted to have some fun too.”