Jill Platner’s Soho Story


Since studying metalworking at Parsons in the late ’80s, acclaimed jewelry designer Jill Platner has seen some change since she began selling her pieces on the streets of Soho. “I’m talking black briefcase you could close and walk away when the cops came—of course I had no license,” Platner quips. “I think it was a lot easier to do something like that then. The streets weren’t completely clogged with retail, and there were a lot more kids showing their wares on the sidewalks.”

Nowadays Platner, whose career officially began when her thesis collection was scooped up by Barney’s in 1992, owns a beautiful, big space on New York’s urbane Crosby St., where she will began selling her new collection, 41:74 (the longitude and latitude of New York, respectively) this December. “For me, it was really an exploration of breaking down and dissecting the very simplest of forms,” Jill says of her latest works. “I’m always trying to achieve the perfect combination between hard and soft.”

Although Jill’s challenges no longer include the risk of incarceration, her unique ornaments, which she aptly describes as “nature meets New York City,” still come with their own obscurities. “When I first started working, the materials were so cheap that I was able to make stunner pieces loaded with silver,” the Massachusetts native recalls. “Now, the price of silver and gold is through the roof, which makes it so much tougher to just experiment.” But for Jill, who is also an extremely talented sculptor, the challenge seems to work in her favor. I’m forced to become more creative about how I approach my work.”