Fashion is art, art is fashion. Fashion is a form of expression. Choosing what to put on one's body each day is a form of communication. It lets others know how we feel, what we want to project, or influence our emotions. It distinguishes us from the next person and displays our preferences and passions. It gives us character. Fashion is also a snapshot in time that showcases trends -or anti-trends- in society, culture, and politics.
BILL SCHIFFER | SELF PORTRAIT, 1988
Jewelry designer Bill Schiffer joined the fashion/art conversation with an artist's eye. An artist, muralist, and sculptor, the New York native's approach to creating wearable art jewelry was his desire to bring art to product. Schiffer attended The High School of Music & Art in Harlem, known as "The Castle on the Hill," a magnet school that later merged into the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & the Arts.
BILL SCHIFFER | KING OF THE JUNGLE, 1988
Surrounded by creativity from an early age, Schiffer was not limited by his materials or surroundings and experimented in paints, paper collage cutouts, and sculpture. He expressed himself through large-scale abstract street art and murals full of vibrant color.
LOVE HOUSE | BILL SCHIFFER, "MIDTOWN 11:45 AM", 1984
BILL SCHIFFER, 1990
BILL SCHIFFER | FLOWER
He began designing wearable art as jewelry in 1973, and got his first counter placement at Bloomingdales, soon followed by Saks Fifth Avenue. His jewelry counters became permanent fixtures in the departments lasting 10 and 12 years, respectively. All pieces are hand made and either limited or one-of-a-kind.
"I wanted to bring art to product. I felt like people who ran department stores were fairly unconscious about what art could bring them, so I started creating pieces for visual effect. At first I didn't want to put value into the materials, so I made everything out of a polyester resin and then I'd hand-paint. Eventually I started using crystals, and then I got into silver and gold."
-BILL SCHIFFER, EVERYTHING BUT THE HOUSE
In 1980 Bill Schiffer opened an art gallery with his wife Sally Hawkins on West Broadway in New York's Soho district. There, he placed an iconic mural on the side of the building that came to represent Soho as a sign of the times.
SALLY HAWKINS GALLERY | MURAL, BILL SCHIFFER, 1980s
Though Schiffer is most well-known for his hand-crafted jewelry, he stopped crafting new wearable pieces in 2006, following the passing of his wife.
BILL SCHIFFER, 2010
BILL SCHIFFER, 2010
Schiffer continues to create multi-dimensional works of fine art, and in 2017 completed another wall mural on the side of New York's Bistro Les Amis, once again leaving his mark on Soho.
BISTRO LES AMIS | BILL SCHIFFER CONCEPT ART, 2017
BISTRO LES AMIS | BILL SCHIFFER MURAL, 2017
Bill Schiffer finally fulfilled his lifelong dream of moving to Spain's Costa Del Sol after liquidating his personal jewelry and art collections. We're happy to have acquired a number of pieces to share with you, and love bringing a bit of art to the every day outfit.
EVERYTHING BUT THE HOUSE | BILL SCHIFFER, 2017
Photography by William Thaggard
Copy & Art Direction by Erica Sanae