Artist and men’s jewelry designer Husam El Odeh is redefining accessorizing for the modern man with his perception-shifting creations
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German born Husam El Odeh studied fine art at the renowned UDK in Berlin and worked successfully as an artist in Berlin until he relocated to London in 1999. There he exchanged the canvas for the body and started to make jewellery. Still at University in London, he received awards by respected talent finder FASHIONEAST and the British Fashion Council. He has received the international award for cutting edge accessories design; the “so fresh award” given out by Pierre Lang and unit f in Austria in 2009. In 2010 he was awarded the British Fashion Award as Emerging Accessories designer of the year 2010. Projects with Topman, Topshop, Pringle, Swarovski and Kickers and collaborations with Ann-Sofie Backs and Siv Stoldal as well as his work with Marios Schwab from 2005 until 2008 have established him as a vital part of British fashion. He has also been designing a range of acclaimed accessories for Miharayasuhiro's menswear shows in Paris for the last five seasons. The line designed for Miharayasuhiro has recently been extended by a range of sunglasses and a range of fine jewellery exclusively produced by world-renowned jewellery house Tasaki. His latest collaborations include a number of projects and collections for Acne, which have received critical acclaim as well as having been endorsed by the likes of Kylie Minogue and Chloe Sevigny. And a collection of one off pieces for PRINGLE of Scotland. International Magazines such as Italian Vogue, Pelle Vogue, V magazine, ID, Purple, Dazed and Confused, Another Magazine, Another Man, Ten Magazine, Numero, POP, Elle, Harpers Bazaar and many others have featured his work. Customers include Fashion legends Karl Lagerfeld, Jefferson Hack, Diane Pernet , Lulu Kennedy, Chloe Moretz and Rhianna. Potrait by Tomoko Suwa #husamelodeh #husamelodehjewellery #jewellery #finejewerelly #fashion #london #art #tomokosuwa
Born in Germany to parents from Lebanon and Palestine, El Odeh, 43, found his way into jewelry via art, “exchanging the canvas for the body,” as he puts it in his own words. A move that blossomed after he took the British Fashion Council’s Emerging Talent Award for Accessories in 2010. He then went on to meet Swedish menswear designer Per Götesson after being introduced by Fashion East’s Lulu Kennedy, which would prove to be the preordination of his foray into jewelry.
By joining creative forces with Götesson, the duo has re-imagined the notion of traditional menswear accessories. The nucleus of their collaborative efforts being to create bespoke pieces from unexpected materials and sources. Take his broken commemorative plate crockery pin showing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, which the designer retrospectively captioned: “Seems I foresaw the future … [throw-back] SS19 @pergotesson.”
In a recent interview with Vogue, El Odeh described his pathway into jewelry: “I initially started as a painter, in fact I still make illustrations for some projects. My work was always centered around the body and in a way, it was a quite natural transition to move on to jewelry. In fact, I felt my work being placed on the body and worn gave it a much more intimate and immediate relationship with my audience and clients. I still love the fact that people interact with my work on such an immediate and tactile level.”
He went on to comment on the culture of self-expression: “Ultimately, expressing yourself and what you care about as a man has become a sign of strength and creativity rather than something to be embarrassed about. I also think that as much as we like blaming social media, in a way it has also made people more connected and inclusive. I have seen this with my nieces and nephews who live in the German countryside; when I compare them to my generation growing up in the ’90s I am really excited to see that they don’t exclude other groups like we did.”
El Odeh has designed accessories for Miharayasuhiro’s menswear shows in Paris, which was extended to a range of sunglasses and fine jewelry exclusively produced by world-renowned jewelry house Tasaki. Other collaborations have included creating collections for Acne, which have been endorsed by the likes of Kylie Minogue and Chloe Sevigny.
As the designer’s exploratory delving into the relationship between ‘things’ and gender continues, we are poised to see how this is reflected in his future work.
Follow his story so far here in the meantime.