Style by Yew


It takes a certain eye to be able to design. We often see designers crossing over from creating a clothes line to a cosmetic or shoe line. They carry over an element of who are inherently and is the central inspiration which ties all the collections together.

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The concept of less is more is one that I consistently follow when it comes to styling. Jewelry designers Neil Prakash and Hiroko Kobayashi from Vancouver certainly have an interesting story to tell venturing from a background in architecture to jewelry design. While their esthetics are based in minimalism, the process of designing often starts with an idea that’s transformed into origami then the final product. Their line hk+np boast some subtle yet interesting jewelry that are timeless.  To learn more about their collection,  went straight to Neil and Hiroko and this is what we found.

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Photo: Designers Neil Prakash and Hiroko Kobayashi

Q: You are both practitioners of architecture that ventured into jewelry design. Why did you choose jewelry and not something else?

A: While Hiroko was studying architecture in Tokyo, her good friend was training to become a silversmith. She would ask Hiroko to design jewelry so that she could hone her craft. Hiroko found that she really enjoyed making small things and thus started in jewelry. Since our beginnings we have also designed some housewares as well.


Q: What is the main thing you thought about when you designed your collection?

A: How we can bring architectural ideas, like space and form into our jewelry design. We take a very architectural approach to our work, and try to keep our details pertinent to the overall design. Each new collection is an exploration with these ideas in mind.


Q: How would you classify your aesthetics?

A: Our aesthetics in jewelry and architecture would be considered modernist, although we try to achieve a certain timelessness with our pieces.

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Q: What was the most challenging part about designing a jewelry collection?

A: The most challenging part would be to retain the freshness of the original concept in the final design. Ideas tend to change and morph when they are being explored and materialized. To retain the freshness of the idea which initiated the exploration is crucial in creating a successful collection.


Q: Which jewelry designer have you been inspired by?

A: We really like the work of Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe. One piece we really like by her is the Vivianna Bangle Watch. All of her work has a straightforward combination of materials and simple yet expressive forms.


Amy Yew is a contributing columnist at Vancouver Courier and a fashion and style writer. She is also a Lucky Magazine community contributor. Tell us what you think and submit any questions you have to You can also tweet your thoughts @AmyYew.


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