Cover Los Angeles-based designer Katherine Kim (Photo: Katkim)

From simple studs and tennis bracelets to crystal-mounted chandelier earrings, jewellery is a mode of creative expression for Los Angeles-based designer Katherine Kim

Katkim’s sleek and sophisticated structures are made using recycled metals set with responsibly sourced gemstones. Handcrafted in Los Angeles, California, this brand’s unconventional pieces are bursting with personality.

Founder Katherine Kim talks to Tatler about the importance of sustainable fashion, and why the term "wearable art" has gained currency within the jewellery industry.

Read more: Tatler Ball 2021: All The Dazzling Watches and Jewellery Seen on the Red Carpet

Why is sculptural jewellery gaining traction?

My background is in graphic design so I’m most comfortable with drawing simple lines from organic forms. I find beauty in the movement, rhythm, intersection, space, boundaries, scale symmetric and asymmetry that engages the body when a sculptural piece is being worn.

Can jewellery be considered art?

Art comes in different forms and I believe jewellery is one of them. Pieces are created using a designer’s imagination. They are connected to his or her emotions, and from start to finish, jewellery production is a very intimate process.

Why is it important for jeweller’s stick to sustainable practices?

It’s time to speak up about the issues surrounding the jewellery industry. People need to be educated so we can make faster changes. Craftsmanship and quality are my top priorities, but sustainable and ethical practices have also always been at the forefront of my business.

How do you ensure Katkim operates responsibly?

My team and I are very mindful of how much waste is produced by our business. We only work with trusted and reputable suppliers who have an ethical supply chain, which is also why I keep my production local so we can oversee the entire process. Operating responsibility requires thought because there’s so much to consider. It’s an ongoing effort.

What’s the biggest misconception about jewellery?

That a man has to buy it for a woman. Women can and should buy their own jewellery. More women than ever are buying for themselves.

What’s your favourite gemstone?

Nothing compares to the white diamond.

Describe your jewellery in five words.

Versatile, pure, sustainable, timeless, quality.

Who were you most excited to see wearing your jewellery?

Charlize Theron.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Seek validation internally. It’s impossible to please everyone.

What do you love about living in Los Angeles?

That you can make the city anything you want it to be.

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