BIKER JEWELRY 101 – OWNER’S MANUAL FOR SILVER FREAKS AND NEWBIES
Define: Biker Jewelry (pronunciation: ‘bi-ker ‘ju-el-re noun) – biker jewelry, or rock ‘n’ roll jewelry, is less conservative than various types of jewelry and carries more weight and substance. Biker jewelry is easily identifiable owing to its bold statement and trademark masculine look, often created using thick and heavy precious metals, especially sterling silver. Artists in this field often utilize statuesque motifs inspired by old gothic and medieval churches as well as Christian sacred arts. The most popular jewelry pieces are the “cross pendant” and the “skull ring”. It is not uncommon to find a one-pound sterling silver wallet chain made by a famous biker jewelry designer. The combination of leather (sometimes alligator or snake skins), silver and bold designs make up the essential elements of the born to be wild image. The good thing is you do not have to be a biker, or live the biker lifestyle, to wear and appreciate biker jewelry. The biker represents the ability to ride free, to flaunt your own style without boundaries and to live on your own time. Wearing biker jewelry is a statement of freedom and independence.
The biker jewelry of today has evolved from the classic wallet chain and skull ring into highly intricate, custom, handcrafted, beautiful pieces of wearable art made in sterling silver and other precious metals. In the world of biker jewelry, boldness, designs and motifs matter. Commonly used motifs include dogs, eagles, skulls, daggers, roses, snakes, wings, stars, crosses, lion heads, dragons, and flames. Aficionados of biker jewelry treasure good silver designs just like tattoo lovers value great ink designs. Patina on silver provides beautiful black and silver contrasts like no other metals. It can bring out the depth and detail of intricate designs, a look that silver fans adore.
Los Angeles and Tokyo are the biker jewelry capitals of the world. Biker jewelry lovers are known as “silver freaks” in Japan. The first Japanese to admire biker jewelry were young tourists visiting Los Angeles in the 1990’s.
Leather and Silver Works Designer Reference:
Bill Wall Leather or BWL (by Bill Wall) – Chrome Hearts or CH (by Richard Stark) – Dead Ringer (by Steve Gillespie) – Double Cross (Travis Walker) – Gabor Silver or Gaboratory (the late Gabor Nagy) – GT & COMPANY (Gary and Tigran) – Guillaume Pajolec Design (by Guillaume Pajolec) – Imperial Rose Collections; IRC (by David Tadman) – Lazaro Jewelry Soho (by Lazaro Diaz) – Leathers & Treasures (by Dennis Pollicino) – Lone Ones (by Leonard Kamhout) – Reid MFG – Room 101 Silver (by Matt Booth) – Royal Order (by Cheryl Davis) – S.A. Leather (by Soffer Ari) – Skull N Roses (Mr Skull N Roses) – Stanley Guess Werks USA (by Stanley Guess) – Starlingear (by Ryk Maverick) – Tony Creed – Van Amburg Leathers or VAL (by Jerry Van Amburg) – Versani NY (by Ara Versani).
Japan and International Designer Reference:
Atelier Shima (Japan) – Bloody Mary (Japan) – Claudio Calestani (Italy) – Crazy Pig Designs (by Armand Serra) – Deaf Breed (Japan) – Dicky & Grandmaster (Japan) – Dual Flow (Japan) – FAL (Japan) – First Arrow’s (Japan) – Froid Tiedeur (Japan) – The Great Frog London (UK) – Guillaume Tokyo – Justin Davis or JD Jewels (Japan) – Rat Race (Japan) – Rizard Head (Japan) – Share One’s Fate (by Eiji Fumino) – Slayer (Japan) – William Walles (by Miguel Arreola).
First Generation Biker Jewelry and Leather Designers from Los Angeles:
GN – Gabor Nagy started “Gabor” or “Gaboratory”
TW – Travis Walker (from Gabor’s camp) started Double Cross
BWL – Bill Wall (from Gabor’s camp) started Bill Wall Leather or BWL
DP – Dennis Pollicino started Leathers and Treasures
RS – Richard Stark started Chrome Hearts or CH
RM – Ryk Maverick started Starlingear
VAL – Jerry Van Amburg started Van Amburg Leathers
LK – Leonard Kamhout (from Chrome Hearts’ camp) started Lone Ones
Second Generation Biker Jewelry and Leather Designers:
AP – Armand Serra started Crazy Pig Designs (England)
TM – Thierry Martino started SoulFetish (France)
101 – Matt Booth started Room 101 (USA)
Popular Los Angeles Areas for Biker Jewelry: Santa Monica; Venice; Malibu; Melrose
Popular Countries for Biker Jewelry: USA; UK; Germany; Hong Kong; Japan; Taiwan
Biker jewelry, or rock n roll jewelry, was the first type of theme jewelry to cater almost exclusively to men, utilizing bold motifs and masculine designs to represent power, freedom, strength and rebellion. Once thought to be reserved for bikers, outlaws or rockers, biker jewelry has entered the mainstream fashion realm for both men and women. Biker jewelry designers and silver aficionados deserve much credit for the recent surge in popularity of men’s jewelry, rock ‘n’ roll accessories, and skull motifs in fashion.
Gone are the days when watches and neckties were the only accessories a man could look forward to wearing. Today, jewelry has become an important staple to any well-dressed man’s wardrobe, with sterling silver becoming the metal of choice. The combination of leather, silver and bold designs make up the essential elements of the biker image.
Increasingly, men and women alike are being drawn to biker-inspired fashion. Designers are answering to the call by offering new lines for men and women that include biker-style leather jackets, clothing, baseball caps, shirts, handbags, accessories and, of course, jewelry. Without a doubt, biker jewelry, especially the high-end variety, is here to stay.
Author: Mr. Skull N Roses – “LIVE FREE OR DIE TRYING”
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