Rencontre avec Chris Habana

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What is your main project/activity ?

I create jewelry for our own lines, CHRISHABANA and My Enemy, and make jewelry for other designers.

How did you come to choose this profession ?

I’ve always been crafty and have made things from when I was young. Jewelry is the latest and ongoing medium I chose to get into since it encapsulated all the different experiences I had lived, while still challenging me to learn new and different ways to creating three dimensional things. I thought that when I was 6 and designing the armor for all the Dungeons and Dragons characters I played that it was because I liked designing fashion and clothing. Little did I know it was because I wanted to design METAL.

What kind of tools do you use ?

That’s a hard question because my role in the business has changed from when I first started. In the beginning, I designed, sketched, carved clay/wax, helped finish metal to create the pieces.   At this point in our business, since we have been designing a lot of jewelry/objects/spaces/creatives for other clients, a lot of my tools are the computer and pencil. At this point I work a lot to conceptualize through computer renderings and sketches, and work with talented artisans and workers to realize it.

What part of your job do you like best ? the least ?

The best is for sure the actual work. I love seeing the actual

pieces realized from renderings to pieces. As far as the least ? Without a doubt, the operational part of the business is the part I like the least. The very least.

What is your most difficult or crazy achievement ?

Hmm, to be honest, I think I am still going through my craziest achievement. I am now in a phase where I am trying to move the business to a higher level where we aren’t necessarily so niche. I want our jewelry/accessory/design/creative direction services to be regarded as strong forces in the fashion and art world. I don’t intend to do this by getting as commercial as possible and appealing to more people. We are doing this by making bold moves. It’s been a great experience, as people are really taking notice. Me and my team are working really hard to push the name into new territories, and are having fun in the process.

Would you be prepared to change profession ? What other occupation would you do ?

Ha ! I don’t know if I can change professions at this point, but anything can happen, right ? I’ve said this before – if I wasn’t in fashion/accessory/art world, I would completely become a therapist.

12783343_1006727019374772_355150586_aWhat inspires you ?

I dunno. I mean it’s a stock answer, but I get inspired everywhere, really. Sometimes stock answers are there because they’re true.

Is there a superstition that comes with your line of work ?

I mean I have a lot of personal superstitions. I don’t know if there is a shared « jeweler’s superstition», though.

Your vision of your knowledge and know-how today ?

I am not clear on that question, but if I had to discuss my thoughts on Fashion today and how designers are existing in it, it’s just to say that fashion/accessories/art have become a double edged sword. I think it’s so great that it has become democratic and that everyone feels they can get in on it – I am a self taught jewelry designer so I understand the frustration to want to get into the business but not be able to do it because of lack of training, connections or funds. The fact that fashion ideas can be realized so easily by someone with no sewing skill I think is great because it allows people with ideas to get in the game. But it’s this same fact that also compells me to say that I DON’T like how democratic fashion has become. I think the pendulum has swung past the midpoint and now people don’t really get into fashion or accessories or art etc etc. thinking they will make that their life choice. They get into « a specific t shirt with these ironic logos » , cash in on it, then move on to something else. I feel that there are less and less people wanting to explore and hone their craft more. It’s getting a little too easy.

What are the secrets to creativity ?

There’s really no secret. You just have to be open to seeing and living things as much as you are comfortable with….and maybe try NOT to make something if you’ve seen it before.

What do you think of while you’re at work ?

The next thing I have to do.

What have you done while your collaboration with SIDE PROJECT?

I think you’re asking what we did for our collab. I really enjoyed this project, and working with Antoinette. I loved that I had to find a new language to express our sterling silver line. I knew it had to be simple but unique. So offering designs to Antoinette that were more organic representations of the minimal jewelry was key. I think the capsule collection of rings and cuff were the perfect way to show this.

What skill/know-how would you like to have in addition to your own ?

I would love to learn how to play the piano.