Get to Know: Jewellery Designer Ninna York
Not many people enjoy a trip to the dentist’s office but for Danish jewellery designer Ninna York, one particular visit basically kick started her career. “My mom was a dental technician and when I was 8-years old, I got to make jewellery out of wax. She cast it for me in silver and I just loved it,” says Ninna, whose eponymous collection is regularly spotted dangling from the earlobes of influencers and gracing the pages of indie fashion magazines (her Viper knuckle rings are so in demand, H&M even knocked them off).
But becoming a jewellery designer wasn’t as easy as simply learning the trade. As any successful designer will tell you, talent is only part of the equation. Hard work, passion and a little bit of ingenuity are a must - characteristics that Ninna has in spades. When she couldn’t find a goldsmith to teach her the craft, she taught herself while simultaneously taking classes for dental school. “[Dentistry] was my plan B,” says Ninna. The day before her application to continue her studies were due, she finally landed an apprenticeship with a goldsmith. “By then I had already taught myself…I just learned the [proper] techniques afterwards.” Even then, every day after her apprenticeship, Ninna would work on her own collection until midnight. “I love my job,” says the designer. “I love designing them in my head and transforming them into pieces in my hands.”
To see a Ninna York piece is to recognize a Ninna York piece. The aesthetic combines chunky sculptural elements with a clean Nordic design sensibility, resulting in notice-me pieces that are just begging for an Instagram post. “Every piece I make, I make it for myself to wear,” says the designer of her handcrafted pieces that take anywhere from 15 minutes to one week to create. “I don’t wear it all of course (I don’t have so many fingers)," says the designer, laughing. "But I wouldn’t design anything I wouldn’t wear.”