Meredith Kahn, the designer of the jewelry line Made Her Think (an anagram of her name!), is the definition of edgy, unique personal style. With seven tattoos ranging from a shortened quote by WH Auden (“love or perish”) to an image from the book Art Forms in Nature and rocking an all-black vintage cutout dress which is equally as cutting-edge now, she is truly still the “Dark Star” that ELLE deemed her back in 2008. While working as the head of denim for Old Navy (impressively at age 21/22, no less), her inspiration board was always filled with bleached out denim, leather and menswear-inspired items – a far cry from the widespread cutesy, floral, girly sensibility. After designing some jewelry on the side, one day Lucky and Vogue came calling, followed by celebrities such as Kate Hudson and Rihanna – and the rest just spiraled out.
Kahn’s ideal goals?
- To set up a true brand – one with a very specific identity and style that caters to a specific customer.
- To expand – design in one area is easy to apply elsewhere. Examples: in the 1930s, industrial designers were also jewelry designers, the architect (most famously of the Guggenheim) Frank Gehry created a line for Tiffany’s. Kahn might even make a silverware line one day – she already works with metals! (See how easy the overlap is?)
- To inspire other artists and young women and leave a legacy of some kind.
Made Her Think’s style today is not too soft or delicate, it has more attitude and righteousness. It’s successful because it speaks to girls in a way they want to be spoken too – they’re stronger than women of the past and want to display their inner confidence. It even appeals to men – it’s tough! The line is reminiscent of the current archetypal powerful, aggressive females such as Angelina Jolie and Megan Fox.
- It’s important to maintain yourself when you have a family and a business.
- Life is made up of chapters: when you finish one, you go to another.
- Have confidence and perseverance – if you believe in yourself, you will be fine.
- Favorite thing about New York City: The energy, the pulse. You can be anything here, this city embraces it. It’s filles with people with ideas.
- Favorite stores: Curve, Assembly, Fluke, Edith & Daha, Narnia, Oak, shopbop.com
The mark. interns meeting Meredith Kahn (back row, dead center) today – photo courtesy of Kelsey Riley, sales intern.