I was intrigued to see that the style of word necklace I added to my line in 2012 is catching on in the big leagues. I started with this necklace in June 2012.
As I’ve said before, I definitely did not invent the concept of a necklace with evenly spaced, cut-out letters spelling out words. In fact, last year, I was amused to find a photo of Lara Flynn Boyle wearing a similar necklace in the movie Wayne’s World. It was in an article about the 21st anniversary of that movie. Twenty-one years ago I was a business journalist — I wasn’t making any kind of jewelry at all!
I mentioned that to Kate via Twitter and she replied, “I appreciate that but you deffo started the new wave of it!!” And I do have to agree with that. When you’re a designer, one surefire way of verifying that you’re doing something new — or at least something new to a generation, or to the general public — is that you get a lot of “why?” questions: “Why are you doing the letters separate?” “Why aren’t you doing a nameplate necklace?” “Why CAN’T you switch to nameplates?” I’ve gotten those questions about the necklaces since I made the first one. Before that, I got similar questions when I introduced the multi-ring word sets that eventually led to the necklaces. It’s the shock of the new (or “new to me”) phenomenon that can eventually turn into a “Never is the next new thing™” scenario.
My necklace style hasn’t caught on as much as the ring sets, yet, so I won’t yet declare that it’s the “next new thing,” unless others follow in DKNY’s footsteps. For now, if you search for “word necklace” images on Poodle, you still see mostly nameplates — often in cursive –like the famous Carrie necklace in Sex and the City.
There have always been a few examples of letter necklaces that use separate letters but allow them to slide around on the chain, like this Jessica Simpson “I Love You” piece I spotted on Overstock.
My old friend Topshop seems to have done two sliding-pendant word necklaces back in 2009, from what I can tell from this photo.
Those look similar to Topshop’s Make Your Own Word necklace, where it appears that the letters aren’t in fixed positions on the chain.
I was never into the sliding thing. Wearing a word is no fun if it’s hard to read except when the necklace is perfectly placed for a product photographer, right?
On Etsy, there are definitely “sliders” in the letter necklaces search — including some with the letters engraved on disks or blocks. (Of course, there are plenty of traditional cursive word necklaces there too.) I did find two Etsy designers who offer necklaces with separate letters attached to chain links, like mine, so they don’t slide around. But those necklaces are in brass, whereas my necklaces come in silver or gold. I’ve always loved the idea of an obscenity rendered in fine materials, and I did start my letter necklaces obscenely, with my IDGAF, STFU and GTFOH offerings. Another difference: the Etsy necklaces have letters twice the size of mine. While I’ve done a larger size for special customers — I’m doing one now — I specialize in the more delicate letters because, again, I enjoy the contrast between the message and very fine workmanship.
Two other differentiating factors for my necklaces: they use my self-created font (and I have a lawyer ready to pursue anyone who copies that font, bitches!), and that I focus on social-media- or pop-culture-inspired messages or words. My twerk necklace is a good example of that. So, even though I didn’t come up with the jewelry concept, I am confident that I have my own unique take on it. “I like that about myself,” as Marcel the Shell would say.
You can shop all my letter necklaces here (on my website, I call them letter necklaces, not word necklaces, because some of them are acronyms) — and stay tuned for a new one this spring. If you have a personal request, feel free to contact me at wbjewelry at hotmail dot com. I love customizing!