I'm pretty transparent about my addiction to Instagram, but what I didn't expect when I first started documenting my life in lo-res photos, was that the photo sharing platform would become a place for discovery, exploration, and connecting with other creatively-minded people. A few months ago, when my friend and mentor Karen Robinovitz shared some photos of PEPPERCOTTON's rainbow-hued, sparkly jewelry on Instagram, I immediately clicked through and became obsessed with their wares. Their aesthetic is a hyper saturated wonderland that travels from the 1970's to an intergalactic future, where candy-colored pop culture reigns supreme. Don't be surprised if you find Barbie paraphernalia or plastic cake toppers woven into their jewelry alongside Swarovski crystals and raw cut gemstones, all handmade in their light-filled Greenpoint, Brooklyn studio.
The duo behind the brand, Patrick Culpepper and Aurelia Cotton, met while studying at Rhode Island School of Design in painting and apparel, respectively. Upon graduating in a dismal economic climate, the two decided to collaborate and create their own success - using a stockpile of deadstock and vintage Swarovski crystals that they had stumbled upon in Providence. I instantly felt bonded with their experience, having graduated from Parsons at the same time and seeing so many of my friends struggle to find any work in the design industry, across all fields.
Since partnering and moving their operations to New York City, PEPPERCOTTON has been featured in Vogue Japan, Harper's Bazaar, W Magazine, Vogue Italia, and stocked internationally at high-end boutiques (think Opening Ceremony and tenoversix). Meanwhile, their stock and collection continues to grow on their own site - with new, unique, and one-of-a-kind pieces added regularly (P.S., they're also offering an exclusive 25% off everything with the code "NMASON25").