Creating a jewellery legacy: A Q&A with Kaity Modern’s Kaitlyn Ham

When we heard wind that the queen of minimalistic chic Kaitlyn Ham of Kaity Modern had teamed up with one of our favourite jewellery brands surō jewellery – to design a range, we just knew it would be a collection that we’d want every piece. And it didn’t disappoint.

With Kaity’s style attracting over 305K followers to Instagram, her clean aesthetic made for the perfect partnership with surō – a brand who highly values longevity, morality, practicality and craftsmanship with its handmade collections based on works of art, the natural world, and cultural ideas.

Off the back of the launch earlier this month, we pulled Kaity aside to find out everything there is to know about the surō jewellery x Modern Legacy collection from what originally drew her to working with the brand to whether we’re likely to see her hit the design chair again in the future…

Can you tell me a bit about the surō jewellery x Modern Legacy collection?
This collection is based on the idea of jewellery as meaningful yet functional art. Each piece has a clean, structured finish coupled with a rawness that I think best evokes my personal approach to style and aesthetics – an undone sophistication, if you will. The pieces are designed to function both for everyday and occasion wear, making a subtle statement whilst blending seamlessly with all manner of outfits. They are also designed to be worn alone or layered together, depending on the wearer’s mood.

What originally drew you to the brand?
I have always sought out brands that put quality and integrity at the forefront of what they do and surō jewellery is one such brand that places great emphasis on transparency with each collection they produce. We live in a time where increasing importance is placed on a brand’s ethos at every level of production, from how something is made to where materials are sourced, so it seemed only right that my first foray into jewellery design would be with a brand possessing these integral qualities. Their selective and hands-on approach to design also resonated strongly with my personal approach as a consumer so it really was a perfect match.

Why did you decide to launch a jewellery collection together?
I think we both felt the jewellery landscape could benefit from our combined aesthetics and eye for design. Personally, I have always struggled to find the right jewellery for myself in that mid-range price bracket that has the quality and uniqueness I am after, as well as specific pieces like a minimal ear cuff or vintage-style T-bar necklace for example. We just found a common interest in seeing the same pieces on the market, so we decided to make it happen.

Did you always want to get into design?
Design has long been something I have wanted to get into, absolutely. Working in the digital realm can lack that real tactile creativity that product design can give – so it is nice to lend my hand to creating something tangible that people can actually use and wear, rather than simply look at.

How hands-on were you with the design process?
We really worked closely in exchanging ideas on design and took the time to understand my
approach to not only style but art, interiors, culture and spirituality to make this a really personal collection that resonated strongly with myself and my brand. I wish I could take credit for the final handmade result in a practical sense, however, all talent there lies squarely with the surō team and their unique craftmanship.

We love the campaign shots. Can you talk me through the process of shooting the campaign?
The approach to the campaign was based on the idea of a moodboard, whereby each shot is a
standalone moment set amongst a broader illustration of what the collection stands for. We based it on my personal style, combining both masculine and feminine elements with clean interiors to denote our vision of how the collection is intended to be worn. It really was the best way we could capture the mood of the collection and what both our brands represent.

Are we likely to see you collaborate with surō jewellery on a second collection?
I would love to contribute to another collection, absolutely. Jewellery is such a perfect outlet for collaborative ideas as it has that longevity and sustainability I feel is so important in design nowadays, whereby it can be changed just subtly to create an entirely new vibe. This slower approach to consumerism is deeply attractive to me creatively.

Can we expect to see you branching out into other design work in the future?
Definitely. I feel there is always a gap in the market when it comes to my personal taste – so I am looking into more design opportunities in the future. Watch this space!

All images: Kaity Modern x Suro Jewellery

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