“I grew up going to pow-wows and stuff” isn’t the first thing you expect Annie Lenon to say as she’s puttering around the garden apartment and studio she shares with her boyfriend in a brownstone in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene. But then you recall that the 25-year-old jewelry-maker and Pratt grad hails from Bozeman, a city of 27,000 located in the southwestern corner of Montana — a state that with its prairies and badlands and Indian reservations seems downright exotic to most New Yorkers — and you realize she’s working from an entirely different reference point. In her day job, Lenon works in brand packaging for West Elm, and since last fall, she’s been a co-curator for shows by the American Design Club along with fellow New York designers Kiel Mead, Henry Julier, and Rich, Brilliant, Willing. But her most notable work has been as the author of two small but deft jewelry collections. The first offered knotted chains or single strands hung with cast silver python-rib charms; the second, called Ceremony, played with cascades of wildly colored hand-knotted German silk thread. “I was more interested in fringe,” Lenon says, “but they came out looking like Native American breastplates.”
Given her upbringing, it’s safe to assume the designer’s tribal inspiration isn’t just runway-inspired flummery. “It’s like when Sorel Boots became popular,” she muses. “They were the biggest clunkiest snowboots when I was a kid and I hated wearing them. And now they’re the biggest thing.”
Style movement you most identify with:
What you keep around the house for inspiration:
Rocks, branches, books, fabric, photographs
Place you go to be inspired:
Album most played while you work:
I mostly listen to bluegrass.
First thing you ever made:
A fairy potion out of petals, grass, dirt, and water… and magic.