Jessica Jesse and Susie Hoimes, the creators behind the just-launched jewelry line BUDHA GIRL, are no strangers to making statements. Both boast a larger-than-life personality and an innate sense of style that would give Diana Vreeland and Iris Apfel a run for their money. Jesse, a Dallas-based artist, philanthropist and former model for Hubert de Givenchy, is as worldly and sophisticated as they come. Hoimes, a San Francisco–based jewelry expert and designer, is most famous for the collection of top-tier vintage jewelry she sells at her boutique there, MDVII Antiques. It’s no surprise, then, that when the duo joined forces, the result was to be a bauble collection that is as bold as it is chic.
“Susie is a big fan of Christian Lacroix,” says Jesse, of what inspired the line, which includes everything from art deco-esque cuffs to gold- dipped, choker-like torque necklaces. “We’re inspired by early Saint Laurent, the real chunky metal pieces, and Chanel — the originals.” Budha Girl (in Hindu mythology, Budha is the name for the planet Mercury and, interestingly enough, the god of merchandise and protector of merchants) references costume jewelry of bygone masters and decades, but updates the vintage looks with a thoughtful, modern and rather attainable spin. Most pieces start at $110 and stay below $500.
Every piece in the collection is meant to evoke a sense of serenity, rooted in Jesse and Hoimes’ careful attention to spiritual habits and scientific research on the topic of brain health. “We use rituals every day,” Jesse says, “and we should extend that to how we dress. Old contemplative practices teach us to take care of our minds. When our brain becomes quiet and when we repeat things with intention, it’s been proven that our brain functions so much better.”
Case in point: what Hoimes and Jesse call the Buddhist Prayer Bead All Weather Bangles. The bracelets, which come in a set of nine, are made of a bendable polyvinyl carbonate that has been covered in a burnished gold-dust filament. (The bracelets are quite convincing as solid gold; in fact, Hoimes is repeatedly asked to take them off before passing through airport scanners. She refuses, explaining that they are, indeed, rubber.) The catch? You can’t quickly slide the stack of closed-loop bangles on or off all at once. Instead, you are meant to slip each rubbery loop on, one at a time, in a meditative, pensive fashion. Then there are the stingray-shagreen Wrist Wraps, below, which boast interchangeable “end caps” in various symbols — Buddhas, snakes, lotus flowers — that are meant to serve as sacred reminders. Should you subscribe to Budha Girl’s philosophies, will your brain become like that of Einstein or the Dalai Lama? It might. All we know is that you’ll look awfully stylish while thinking that way. Available at Ceylon et Cie and budhagirl.com.