Watches & Jewellery

Stars & Spikes: Interview with Cody Sanderson, cult jewellery designer

The young metalsmith, whose eponymous label is stocked at Dover Street Market Singapore, talks about being the new kid on the block in the realm of edgy jewellers
Reading time 3 minutes


On getting into the jewellery business...
When I was a jewellery salesman, I would look at the jewellery in my cases while working all over America and ask myself how I would make a bracelet or a ring better if I were to design them. Then I began designing jewellery in my own kitchen and things took off from there. We now work out of our own workspace and I even have an apprentice who helps me.


On his roots...
I would rather be known for being an artist or designer who happens to be Native American than to be labelled as a Navajo jeweller. Many people have this impression that I use the star symbol in my designs for the Native Americans in Texas but I do it for (my son) Jordan. His last name is Estoile, and that means star in our mother language. The star symbol also gives a sense of power, and ranking systems all over the world use stars as a form of metric. I like it because everyone can identify with the star.

"I would rather be known for being an artist or designer who happens to be Native American than to be labelled as a Navajo jeweller." - Cody Sanderson

On his design inspirations...
It could be from anywhere or anything, from a kid's toys to a shattered iPhone screen. The texture of one particular ring I created was based on tree bark. A lot of my jewellery is also ergonomically-designed with a square opening instead of a round one, and caters to the human body so the wearer feels comfortable. A square ring also locks the jewellery in place and allow for a better fit.


On being likened to established cult brands...
Our jewellery complement each other. I use the word “our” because I feel that all the brands out there are helping me in the sense that Cody Sanderson can be worn not just alone, but with Goro's, Chrome Hearts, or even Tiffany & Co. What makes Cody Sanderson different is that I speak to the people on the streets. If you see me in a restaurant and know who I am, please introduce yourself. I also bring around gifts like a bandana or ring, and pass them on to young collectors who may not necessarily have the funds to buy my jewellery now. It's my way of making them remember Cody Sanderson.

On his plans for the future…
We're speaking to brands like Dita, IC Berlin and Dillon, and I really hope to do some amazing sunglasses with them. I also want to do furniture, rugs, sculptures, and be able to do them extremely well. There's a really a lot of things I want to do and I don't see myself retiring. There’s a saying in America: “shaking hands & kissing babies”. Politicians do a lot of that, and that's what I'm going to do in 2018.



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