According to conventional wisdom, you’re supposed to dress for the job you want, but one of the many things we love about LA-based jewelry designer Jess Hannah is that her clothes and her career aren’t an obvious match. Imagine a woman in a white button-down, denim shorts and sneakers wielding a metalsmithing torch. But that’s her uniform, or as she says, “I have a take and I stick to it.” Her vibe is tomboy and classic, echoing the barely there feel of the gold necklaces and rings she designs.
Like so many career origin stories, Jess’s love for jewelry springs from her childhood, specifically her memories of playing with her grandmother’s jewelry box…on the rare occasion her father would allow it. “Though I was too young to wear any of it just yet, my dad would let me try everything on,” says Jess. “The beautiful craftsmanship, the gold pieces with diamonds—that’s what sparked everything.”
It may seem strange that a self-professed minimalist was inspired by diamond-studded vintage styles, but what she’s done is find a way to fit fine jewelry into her tomboy look. “As long as the pieces are simple, like a signet ring or a really lightweight chain, they can mold to anyone’s style.” Another reason she designs with simplicity in mind? “Simple pieces will still be desirable when certain trends fade years from now. They’ll transcend the typical fashion seasons.”
And the same can certainly be said of her style formula: denim and a white button-down. By committing to a uniform, you are actually committing to a certain perspective, at least according to Jess. “The one thing that truly makes you different is that no one else has your point of view. Stick by your guns and do you, not what other people want to see.” We’ll take it.
Since Jess has such a specific personal style, we knew we could count on her to lend us some very specific recs for places to see and things to do in LA. (Instagram handles included for browsing and planning pleasure.)
Get green tea at…
@KazuNoriSushi, with hand rolls.
Bump into local friends at…
@VerveCoffee. It’s also where I have work meetings when I need a change of scenery.
The best place to eat dinner solo is…
@WoodSpoon, whether you’re alone or not. It’s a tiny Brazilian spot a block from my loft, and I’m there at least once a week. Though you can’t beat the tacos and guac from @Guisados.
The best dessert is at…
See some beautiful contemporary art at…
@TheBroadMuseum. It just opened and is very cool.
Take snapchats at…
My apartment with my cats. Invite only :).
Shop J. Hannah Fine Jewelry.
Special thanks to Formerly Yes.
Photography by Angi Welsch.