Interview: Maor Cohen of M. Cohen Designs
Whether at Coachella or the clubs, the outdoors or the office, chances are you’ve seen someone wearing one of Maor Cohen’s designs. And, chances are, that person was the workplace style savant, or the cool kid at the festival, who found out about Cohen’s buzzed-about pieces through countless magazine features or spotting it on celebrities like Johnny Depp and Justin Timberlake.
But ask Cohen himself and he’ll tell you that he really designs for everyone. Whether you’re a celebrity looking for a necklace to wear to an event, a groom looking for a ring to commemorate your special day, or just a regular guy looking for a cool bracelet to wear with your watch, Cohen’s designs aren’t pretentious or precious. Instead, he believes in making jewelry that fits in to your life, no matter who you are or what you do. “My signature style is layering,” Cohen explains, “and with that in mind, I believe that my jewelry appeals to a wide array of people because it allows them to express different layers of their personalities.”
We caught up with Cohen to talk about his design process, his creative inspirations and why he chose West 3rd Street for his flagship store…
Tell us how you got into designing?
I first began designing jewelry when I was much younger, working in a store in my hometown in Israel. As I got older and began traveling the world to explore and surf, I would often collect small treasures from the places I would visit – beads, gems, stones, leathers. outlet iphone xs case As part of my ritual with other surfers that I met in my travels, I would gift them friendship bracelets. That bonding and love for creating unique designs is what formed the foundation for my career.
Why did you choose to work with jewelry as opposed to clothing or footwear?
Jewelry just happened naturally; it wasn’t a conscious decision. It’s authentic. It’s what I have always done and it has always been a great way for me to express myself. I don’t really want to live in the box of being a fashion designer. cheap iphone xr case I am an artist. I make jewelry. Tomorrow my spirit and creative eye may feel compelled to make a limited series of denim, hats, belts, jackets, or backpacks. As long as it looks and feels good, I’ll be satisfied.
Why did you choose to name the company after yourself?
The same way a great artist working in acrylic or oil puts his name on the canvas, I feel the same way about what I do. iphone xs case outlet uk I put my heart into my designs, so I want people to know that they have a piece of me, and that it’s authentic and original.
What spawns all the different ideas and themes in your collections?
Inspiration is extremely important to me. I pull from so many different aspects of my life and I try to capture everything, from the simplicity of an inanimate object, to the complexity of human interaction. I have pieces that are inspired by the spirit of Burning Man, I have jewelry that reflects nature and unique designs that tell stories about my love for travel. I’m most excited for my upcoming release in May, for the “Tribe Collection.” This will bring together a blend of African and American Indian tribal influences, for a presentation that is very detailed and innovative for men’s fashion.
Who is the M. Cohen customer?
The M. Cohen customer is definitely fashionable, but more importantly, it’s the individual who appreciates beauty, authenticity and high-quality. It’s someone that values knowing the story behind the jewelry; the person who wants something unique and handmade. I definitely sell a lot to men, but given the wide range of our designs, many women shop M. Cohen as well.
You’ve been designing for a number of years now.. What was the moment were you realized that you were onto something?
Creating has always made sense to me. Knowing that jewelry was the conduit for me to express myself, well that just happened throughout my travels and life experiences as an artist. I realized the potential of the M. Cohen brand though, when in the same day, a fashion icon like Johnny Depp first wore my jewelry, I also created a custom piece for a gentleman in West Hollywood who had never worn a bracelet before in his life. iphone xs case for sale Two completely different men, one recognized for wearing jewelry and one who never had before in his life, both drawn to M. Cohen because they really connected to my designs in an honest way. That was special.
There are a lot of people who are now trying to break into the men’s accessories arena. How do you differentiate yourself from the other brands out there?
M. Cohen is genuine. Every piece has a story. I draw inspiration from so many sources and my mind is always active, so it enables me as an artist to always bring something new to the industry. Plus, I source materials from all over the world and only get the absolute best. Much of what I use is scarce and difficult to obtain, from villages and regions across the globe. Still, no matter the demand or limited supply, I won’t compromise integrity and authenticity – I always wait to get my materials from the source, to ensure a level of quality and consistency that distinguishes M. Cohen.
We love having you here on the street! Why did you choose to open on West 3rd Street?
West 3rd Street to me, is the coolest neighborhood in LA. It always seems to be bright and spirited. There are tons of cool places to shop, dine, and socialize. Plus, West 3rd gives me a nice sense of community. To have my flagship store here, is a reminder that I am part of something important to Los Angeles, a city that I truly love.
What are some of the places that you frequent on West 3rd street?
There are way too many places to name. Most locals know that I am a Juice Served Here regular. I have lunch at Joan’s almost daily. I love to grab food and drinks at Little Door. I often peruse stores like Wittmore, and Plastica to do shopping, and Liberty Fairs brings a fresh element to the block that is always interesting.
Last question: What is your best piece of style advice for guys who want to wear jewelry?
My best fashion advice to guys is simple – be yourself. I don’t mean that in the sense of how you are generally seen by the world, I mean embrace all the things that make you, you. That’s the key to individuality and true style. Find one piece of jewelry that speaks to you, and that will be your foundation. outlet iphone xs case From there, you add layers that tell different stories about your life, your attitude and your aspirations. That’s cool.