Hello Kitty’s recent 40th anniversary has spawned yet another fabulous collaboration we’re lusting after: nOir Jewelry, a N.Y.C.-based brand known for bold statement pieces decked out in gemstones, has created 20-style collection in honor of the adorable cat—actually, scratch that—adorable girl with the unforgettable bow.
The brand's unique offerings encompass everything from animal-shaped cocktail rings, to tribal bib necklaces and spiked-out star and moon earrings. For this new collaboration, its design team focused on fusing together nOir's edgy-elegant aesthetic with Hello Kitty’s super-cute style to create unexpected, yet wearable works of art.
“The collection started when we had met some of the Hello Kitty team at a trade show while just walking by, and we both were really excited about potentially working together,” Elad Barouch, senior designer of nOir Jewelry, tells InStyle. “On our end, it was a great challenge for us, as Hello Kitty is such a recognizable icon, and yet, we wanted to find a way to design pieces that will be completely different from what was done before.”
And to add to that fresh appeal, the team found inspiration from the phrase: "Hello Panther." "With that, we imagined a subversive Kitty, hijacking the timeless jewelry designs that features panthers and other classics and making it her and our own,” says Barouch, whose personal favorite piece is the Hello Kitty Twist Necklace, made with 18K gold plating and clear cubic zirconia (below, left).
Born and raised in Israel, Barouch started his career with a design background in toys before diving deep into the intricate art of jewelry making. After studying industrial design in college, he moved to the United States and enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York to focus on shoe and handbag design. He was soon introduced to Leeora Catalan, the original founder of nOir Jewelry, and worked closely with her on a blockbuster collection of superhero-inspired jewelry with DC Comics before joining the team full time.
Since then, nOir Jewelry has created capsule collections with Mattel for Barbie, Tokidoki, and Gwen Stefani’s fashion brand, L.A.M.B. “I love working on collaborations as we get to see another side of the design process and get to work with unique inspiration and fascinating creative people, but still put our own take on it,” says Barouch. “We are always looking at exciting opportunities and special projects, as it is really part of our DNA.”
Shop the nOir Jewelry for Hello Kitty collection (prices range from $45 to $550) at noirnyc.com.