One to Watch: Shihara

TrendsNov 15, 2016

One to Watch: Shihara

New to the U.S. market, fine jewelry’s most buzzed about designer is rethinking the way jewelry is made.

This month’s One to Watch is Japanese brand Shihara, designed by Yuta Ishihara.

New York--Recently, Shihara has been on the lips of many fashion-forward retailers.

Portland, Oregon jewelry store Twist is an enthusiast, as owner Paul Schneider told National Jeweler, and up-and-coming Brooklyn boutique Quiet Storms is a stockist.

Shihara isn’t new; the Japanese brand, designed by Yuta Ishihara, was founded eight years ago and boasts its own Tokyo flagship, but the company has made a recent push into the U.S. market to much excitement and acclaim.

The buzz is due to the ingenuity of the design. Though Ishihara’s formal education is in jewelry, he approaches his work with the mind of an engineer, dismantling accepted, basic jewelry-making concepts, such as the way an earring closes with a post, and inventing new ways of integrating function with aesthetic.

Here, Ishihara creates forms via the earring's chain, reimagining a chain’s traditional function.

Ishihara’s 3-D square and triangle earrings, from one of his first collections, which have become a sort of signature, utilize one edge of the earring’s structure as its closure, going through the ear and connecting to the rest of the design seamlessly, without any wasted space to accommodate for an earring back.

This ethos is repeated in all Ishihara’s collections, in a process he calls “subtraction.” He takes away unnecessary elements, letting that process inform the overall design concept of each piece.

National Jeweler sat down with fine jewelry’s most innovative new designer to see through the world through the inventive eyes of Shihara.

National Jeweler: Tell me about your professional background. What brought you to jewelry design?

Yuta Ishihara: I’ve always loved fashion. I didn’t really agree with the fast pace and how everything changes so often. With jewelry, you can put it on your body like fashion but it lasts much longer. I like the possibility that when someone buys my jewelry they can hand it down to generations later. Even after I pass away, my creations will keep living with personal feelings attached to the product. There’s not very many things in this world that last for 200 or 300 years. I like the idea that I can create something that would last for that long.

NJ: What is the inspiration behind your collections?

YI: Everybody has to attach the jewelry somehow, there’s a way that you attach it to the body but I design how it can be put onto your body. For example, a lot of jewelry
brands buy a hardware separately from their design and put it together, but jewelry is so small and sometimes half of the jewelry is the pre-made hardware. I wanted to design the whole thing. Instead of adding by design, I subtract. When I keep subtracting only the hardware remains. I rethink and design the way that it’s put on the body and the way that it’s worn because without being worn it’s not really jewelry.

NJ: Where is your jewelry made?

YI: It’s all made in Japan.

NJ: What should retailers focus on, or what story should they tell, when showing your line to customers?

YI: Some stores have only a small selection of what I have overall so I just want retailers to explain the cool concept of the brand. A lot of the times, if you only see one piece of my work, you can’t tell what it is because of the way the hardware is designed and how the piece has been “subtracted.” Without the retailers explaining the piece, it can be difficult to understand what it is or the concept.

NJ: How much inventory must a retailer invest in to carry your brand?

YI: Usually, even within one collection, I have different variations, so I would ask to have at least three variations per collection that a retailer carries and a few collections would help. By putting only a little bit, it can be hard to understand. I often play with size and angles so even if it’s one collection there will be five or six different variations. Maybe the size gets bigger or the angle is different.

NJ: What retailers are currently carrying your line?

YI: In the United States, Dover Street Market, Barneys, Jeffrey, La Garconne, Fivestory, Quiet Storms, Need Supply Co. and Twist.

NJ: What is the price range of your pieces?

YI: The lowest pricing point is about $300 and the highest is around $6,000.

NJ: At which trade shows do you exhibit or are you planning to exhibit?

YI: I haven’t done any trade shows but I show with Rainbowwave, a sales showroom.

NJ: What are your plans for upcoming collections?

YI: I have many collections, but without adding too many I want to figure out a way to give more variety within my existing collections.

NJ: Complete this sentence: “People would be surprised to learn that I …”

YI: That I’m not as rigid or as intense as my jewelry. I have a goofy side and my house isn’t as clean as you might expect.

For more information, visit
Ashley Davisis the senior editor, fashion at National Jeweler, covering all things related to design, style and trends.

The Latest

CollectionsFeb 03, 2023
Chipotle Spices Up Valentine’s Day with Jewelry Collection

The fast-casual chain partnered with Anna Sheffield’s Bing Bang NYC brand on a capsule collection and it’s a little “extra.”

SourcingFeb 03, 2023
Greenland Ruby Names New CEO

Geologist Arnt-Eirik Rørnes has taken on the role.

EditorsFeb 03, 2023
Piece of the Week: Gismondi 1754’s ‘Marea’ Cuff

The diamond and tanzanite bracelet was inspired by the waves of the Italian gulf near Genoa.

Brought to you by
Bringing Over 130 Years of Diamond Expertise to Modern Grading

De Beers Institute of Diamonds provides the very best in diamond verification, education and diamond services.

CollectionsFeb 02, 2023
Lowe’s Is Now Selling Jewelry

The home improvement store’s website features an “Empowerment Tools” demi-fine jewelry collection.

Weekly QuizFeb 02, 2023
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
Events & AwardsFeb 02, 2023
Registration is Now Open for JIS Spring 2023

The show will feature a new pavilion of 30 jewelry designers and manufacturers from Surat, India.

Policies & IssuesFeb 02, 2023
Tiny Radioactive Capsule Lost in Australian Outback Found

A government official said search crews “found the needle in the haystack” when they located the capsule belonging to Rio Tinto along an 870-mile stretch of road.

Brought to you by
De Beers Institute of Diamonds Expands to Offer Education

De Beers is sharing over 130 years of experience and expertise through the De Beers Institute of Diamonds with a selection of courses.

EditorsFeb 01, 2023
Designers to Watch in 2023: Boochier

Behind the playful and nostalgic brand lies deeper meaning.

Events & AwardsFeb 01, 2023
New Miami Jewelry Center Slated to Open in Q1

The Time Century Jewelry Center is located in downtown Miami’s jewelry district.

SurveysFeb 01, 2023
Consumer Confidence Falls in January

Wariness about the year ahead offset a more positive view of the current economic situation.

MajorsFeb 01, 2023
Six New Retailers Appointed to IJO’s Board of Directors

The IJO also welcomed one new vendor member to its 13-member board, Brecken Farnsworth of Parlé Jewelry Designs.

ColumnistsJan 31, 2023
Squirrel Spotting: How About a Word for the New Year?

It begins with a “t” and ends with a “c” and is imbued with warmth and positivity, Peter Smith writes.

Policies & IssuesJan 31, 2023
Rio Tinto Issues Apology After Radioactive Capsule Goes Missing

The tiny capsule, which is believed to have fallen out of a truck, was lost somewhere along an 870-mile stretch of desert road.

MajorsJan 31, 2023
Indian Jewelry Brand Tanishq Opens First U.S. Store, More on the Way

The jeweler’s expansion plans include 20 to 30 more stores in North America and the Middle East over the next two to three years.

Events & AwardsJan 31, 2023
Gucci Is Getting a Gem Award

The Italian luxury brand will receive the first Gem Award for High Jewelry Excellence.

MajorsJan 31, 2023
Martin Flyer Names New VP of Business Development

Industry veteran Kevin Lane has stepped into the role.

MajorsJan 30, 2023
Researchers Uncover Bejeweled ‘Golden Boy’ Mummy

The ancient Egyptian teenager was buried 2,300 years ago with 49 amulets to guide him through the afterlife.

SurveysJan 30, 2023
Consumers Embracing Non-Traditional Ways to Mark Valentine’s Day

The NRF’s annual survey shows that consumer attitudes about how, or even whether, to celebrate Feb. 14 continue to evolve.

Events & AwardsJan 30, 2023
JA Is Searching for the Next Retail ’20 Under 40’

Nominations are open now through March 24.

MajorsJan 30, 2023
10 Jewelry News Stories You Might Have Missed

A column detailing how independent jewelers did last year and the top watch brands of 2022 were among the most-read stories last week.

FinancialsJan 27, 2023
Tiffany & Co. Shines for LVMH in 2022

Acquired in 2021, the brand’s high jewelry sales have doubled and its new “Lock” collection was an instant hit.

MajorsJan 27, 2023
Diamond Council of America Appoints Treasurer, Board Member

Executives from Fred Meyer Jewelers and Riddles Jewelers have filled the roles.

CollectionsJan 27, 2023
Piece of the Week: Heavenly Vices’ Lock Necklace

The Victorian-inspired design is a functional lock and key.

Supplier BulletinJan 26, 2023
JA New York Spring Brings the Industry Together

For over 100 years, JA New York has played an integral role in facilitating the evolution of our industry, while also honoring past traditions.

CollectionsJan 26, 2023
NDC and Lorraine Schwartz Announce New ‘EDDI’ Class

The Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative provides diamond credit and mentorship to young brands helmed by BIPOC designers.

IndependentsJan 26, 2023
Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry Set to Open 10th Store

It will be located in San Antonio’s Alamo Quarry Market and will be Lee Michaels’ third location in the city.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy