House of Holland is an English high fashion brand known for their bold urban design, with witty slogans and colorful prints. In May 2021 they reached out to me to work on a jewellery collaboration. Their brand aesthetic is something I've always liked and I thought would be a great brand fit to collaborate with Ninka Pop.
After our initial meetings and idea sharing, I spent time thinking about a theme and collection concept. They had given me initial reference materials that indicated they would like something colorful and bright.
I started putting together a mood board and defining a color scheme that incorporated the themes I believed would fit our brands well, and that would work for end of Summer/beginning of Fall. The vibe was all about high contrast, with colourful shadows and pops of neon.
As I started working on the project, I realized I was having my best ideas at night, right before going to sleep. I would lay in bed just talking and ideating (my husband always jokes that I am getting "hyper" around this time).
That's when the theme of "Electric Dreams" came to be. Electric Dreams represents that burst of creativity and rush of inspiration that comes when you're about to fall asleep. With pops of colour and bold patterns, it captures the state between dream and reality where the creative mind thrives. I loved this idea because it perfectly fit the vibe and it also represented my creative process as an artist.
After that, I selected material swatches from the acrylics I work with. I wanted to incorporate the translucency of the material into the concept, focusing on the interplay of shadow and light.
We reviewed the mood board and concept together, and everyone liked the direction. House of Holland loved the bright colors and also wanted to add gold, so we included it as well.
Once we had a concept, the next stage was starting to sketch ideas before moving onto designing on the computer.
House of Holland wanted to incorporate chains into the collection, which perfectly fit the recent work I had been doing. However, this time I wanted to come up with a new chain design that would highlight the material even more, and that would be the statement piece of the collection. Since I didn't have a laser cutter yet, I modelled the chain first using my 3D printer to make a prototype.
These are the "Dreamscape" earrings and they are the main pieces of the collection.
For the other designs, I visualized them on the computer, and created mockups to show how they would look in real life, or on a person for scale. These mockup files are useful because can then be edited and used for the actual cutting process.
And of course, I wanted to incorporate some of Ninka Pop's illustrations as well and adapt them to the collection. So I designed the Dreaming Boi and the Retro Alarm Clock earrings which are based on some of my previous designs.
Once the design mockups were finalized, I moved forward with prototyping on transparent acrylic.
For my own collections I don't always prototype this way, but since this was a larger collaboration I wanted to make sure that all the pieces were the right size and they hanged properly. I also wanted to show them to the team before the final pieces were made.
Once we had finalized the designs and the quantities, I prepared the files for laser cutting. At the time, I was working with a company in the UK who would laser cut the pieces for me. After everything was sent, it took about a month to get the pieces back.
Here is a photo of my studio while in the production process.
And then the individual pieces before getting assembled.
Graphics for packaging materials
The last thing we needed design were the earrings cards and boxes for the collection. For the cards, we went with colorful ethereal images that captured that dreamscape vibe. I always send Ninka Pop earrings on fun earring cards that customers can repurpose, and I wanted to make sure we did the same for this collection.
For the boxes we wanted a high quality box that customers could keep for storing their earrings. And of course, we had to choose holographic foil for our logos. I have to say, I am absolutely in love with how these came out.
Since the jewellery would be sold on House of Holland's website, they organized the product photography so that it would best match their online aesthetic. They wanted to go for an elegant white look that would look cohesive on their site.
Before shipping out the products to them, I did take a few photos myself, so I could have some in my own style. Here's a few examples.
House of Holland organized location and model photoshoots themselves, but I wanted to do a full editorial that was more colorful and would capture the "Electric Dreams" vibes. For the shoot, I chose to work with one of my favorite photographers Melina Panos, who is based in Paris. I love her photography style, and her colorful work fits Ninka Pop so well. We have worked together in the past, but this time I went to Paris so we could do the shoot together.
I also thought it would be fun if I modelled some of the earrings myself. It was a bit out of my comfort zone, but I am so happy with how the photos came out.
Check out the final editorial images here to see the awesome results.
'Electric Dreams' is now live and can be purchased on House of Holland's website.
I am so proud of the collection and the final results, and I hope you all love it as well. And lastly, I want to thank the House of Holland team for all their work. It has been a fun experience and I look forward to working together again in the future.
If you're interested in collaborating with Ninka Pop, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.