Utterly unapologetic. That’s how Lynn Ban describes her jewelry so it’s no wonder that her designs are beloved by Rihanna. The jeweller and designer was born in Singapore but moved to New York at age four. Educated at Cornell, she has a background in art history, which informs her aesthetic along with a love of classic fashion from the 80s and 90s. While a career working with vintage couture would satisfy most, Lynn gave it all up to concentrate on her jewellery.
Lynn Ban launched her eponymous fine jewelry collection in 2011 and since then her business has grown exponentially. Lynn’s focus is on clean, timeless pieces with a sense of fun, all made of the best materials available. Usually these pieces are made of silver, black rhodium and diamonds but very soon a collection made of 18k yellow gold will be available at Net-a-Porter. Lynn Ban jewelry can be found on the pages of Vogue, Elle, W and other fashion publications. Her celebrity following includes Beyoncé, Demi Lovato, Sarah Jessica Parker, Madonna, Alicia Keys, and of course, Rihanna.
Rihanna was first spotted in Lynn’s designs back in 2012. That year Rihanna wore a Lynn Ban cuff during her performance of Where Have You Been on American Idol and a few months later Rih showed off a couple of Lynn’s jagged rings on Instagram. Little did we know that a great partnership was in the making.
Here the busy designer shares her sources of inspiration and passes on a little advice to those ambitious enough to follow in her footsteps.
What motivated you to become a jewellery designer?
My very stylish mother is also a gemologist and I have always been fascinated with jewelry.
Your jewellery is very dark and edgy yet glamorous. Where do you get your inspiration?
I am mostly inspired by music and fashion. Madonna is always inspiring to me as is Rihanna. David Bowie, Stevie Nicks, Lenny Kravitz, Prince, and Michael Jackson also come to mind. Rick Owens is my fashion god…and I am also very inspired by the photographers Steven Meisel, Steven Klein, Mert & Marcus, Mario Sorrenti and Inez & Vinnodh. I also love the dark and subversive…
What kind of person do you envision wearing your designs?
I design for strong, empowered women and men who aren’t afraid to be themselves.
Have you ever created any pieces with Rihanna specifically in mind?
Yes! The “Coil” rings in my collection were commissioned by Mel Ottenberg and designed for her…and the rest is history! I also made the custom cross necklace for her that she wore on the cover of 032c.
What’s the one piece of jewelry that you hold most dear to your heart?
For my wedding my mother gave me a beautiful Boucheron diamond necklace and bracelet from the 1950s that I absolutely love and holds special memories to me.
What’s the best advice you ever received?
To say “No” more than “Yes” because you can’t be all things to all people.
What advice do you have for aspiring jewelry designers?
Create pieces for yourself and if others like them you are in business!
Not only has Rihanna worn Lynn’s original creations but she also regularly raids the designer’s extensive archive of vintage jewellery and clothing for performances, appearances and magazine photo shoots. Below you can view a sample of the many times the singer has worn Lynn Ban. Visit LynnBan.com to view the collections.