by Stephen Garner

During her time as a student in New York City, Thai-born designer Pattaraphan “Nok” Salirathavibhaga discovered her love of jewelry making as she explored the intersection of fine arts and fashion. She first landed an internship with Katherine Kim, the founder of Kat Kim, and later with Oscar de la Renta’s jewelry design team, and with Rachel Comey. “I focused mostly on interning and working with boutique fine jewelry brands,” Nok tells MR. “With smaller teams, I got to learn a lot and had to juggle many tasks, while directly interacting with the founders and designers. I became really invested and I was also super inspired by them. I couldn’t wait to have my own brand.”

And, after she graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, Nok returned to Bangkok, Thailand where she did just that. Her jewelry brand, called Pattaraphan (pronounced pat-ta-ra-pun), has a unique point of view in jewelry, design, social responsibility, and lifestyle. “We’re a Thai brand working with independent businesses and local craftspeople,” says Nok. “Yet, our designs and communications are contemporary and relevant to today’s audience. We like to experiment, but we don’t forget what feels right to us. When you create authentic designs and share your values, people are drawn towards this. So, in a crowded local and global markets, I’d like to think that we stand for something different.”

She notes that some of her all-time best-selling items are the High Pressure Necklace, Pressurized Earrings, Remnants Bracelet, and Lovers Chain Necklace. Recently, Ele Ear Cuff and Valen Pearl Necklace are quickly becoming one of the bestsellers as well. Typical retail prices range from $120 to $529 depending on the materials.

“At the heart of Pattaraphan is the desire to make something special and something real,” Nok adds. “Each design stemmed from my personal experience and means something to me so I think this design process really comes through in all my pieces. In combination with the brand philosophy from the meaning of Pattaraphan, which means beautiful skin in Thai, my jewelry is designed and crafted to feel good when worn. Balancing this wearability and Thai heritage with my love for edginess, I want to create pieces that are unpretentious and versatile. I also aim to design my jewelry pieces so they can be worn alone or layered together and I think customers really appreciate this.”

And while the brand only releases one full collection each year, it does drop special items occasionally throughout. Like for holiday, Nok launched a new “safe locket.” It’s available in both gold and silver with intricate diamond details. The brand will be donating 10 percent of direct sales of all necklaces from November 30, 2020 to February 28, 2021 to Baan Dek Foundation.

For 2021, she’s also working with a Bangkok-based textile designer so she can add a tote bag to the line. She adds, “It will also have our first non-jewelry product and I’m excited to source sustainable materials and work with local seamstresses to produce the totes!”