New York City. May 18, 2020. It was 2015 on a rainy day in London when Hoonik Chang and Aisha Baker of the eponymous brand first met. Chang, a longtime student of the arts and jewelry design, had been friends with Baker’s sister for years, but it was the meeting of those two that paved the way for a fine-jewelry partnership to form.
Both Chang and Baker shared a love of Italian design, bold colors, and quirky style best defined by Baker’s fashion sense (Miu Miu is a favorite). “I’ll wear something very simple and add a huge choker and a pop of color,” she says. “I wear a lot of bold accessories, bags, and shoes, but all have a girly touch of modern fairytale.”
And that’s where the brand’s wonderland styling come from—a marriage of whimsy and craftsmanship thanks to Baker’s personal aesthetic and Chang’s jewelry training and design sensibility. Chang initially studied jewelry design at a university in his home country of Korea. From there, he moved to the United Kingdom for further education at Central Saint Martins University of the Arts and interned with a high-end brand. By the time he and Baker met, he was ready to spread his wings as a maker in his own right. Baker, who hails from the Middle East, with a culture rich in a love of fine jewelry, served as an ideal muse. Chang then moved to Dubai to work closely with Baker, and by 2018 the pair established Aisha Baker jewelry. In 2019, the brand exhibited at the Couture show in Las Vegas.
All designs are made in 18k gold with a variety of colored stones, and many pieces feature enamel. Vibrant mixes of colors are evident in every design, and themes are fairytale inspired but not literal interpretations. For example, Mirror Mirror’s Alcazar styles are sleek blocky and digitized-looking gold numbers topped off with enamel and gems to suggest a fantastical royal palace comprising myriad chambers and passageways.
In Prism, oversize Galaxy chandelier earrings are a pastel paradise of celestial motifs—white opal clouds mingle with a pale blue, pink, and yellow gemstone rainbow. In Talkin’ Talk, enamel lips and diamond teeth make for lighthearted ring subjects while a playful Chitchat ring resembles the coiling phone cords of another time when landlines alone connected us.
“Every piece is a reinvention of classic fairytales translated for the 21st century woman,” explain the duo. “Every jewel is an elevated take on our modern lives with a dash of escapism.”
To date, four commercial and two one-of-a-kind collections dubbed Masterpieces are available. In the latter, just five pieces of each design are made. Retail prices start at $2,000. U.S. retailers include Moda Operandi and The Diamond Cellar, among others, and some items can be purchased from the Aisha Baker website.
Fable Cap pendant necklace in 18k yellow gold with enamel and 0.335 ct. t.w. diamonds and 0.159 ct. t.w. rubies, $4,800; email firstname.lastname@example.org for purchase
Victory Dance ring in 18k yellow gold with light blue enamel and 0.36 ct. t.w. diamonds, $4,900; email email@example.com for purchase
Peony Symphony Frozen in Time Masterpiece earrings in 18k white gold with blue enamel, 34.8 cts. t.w. colorless quartz, and 4.02 cts. t.w. diamonds, $38,000; available online at Aisha Baker
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