Many designers and retailers have joined the finger party, introducing midi rings and delicate gold chains into their jewelry offerings, but Catbird is where it all began. The Brooklyn-based label and boutique has amassed a serious cult following since they first opened their doors in 2004.
“We were a boutique in the traditional sense, but what always stood out for us was jewelry,” says founder and designer Rony Vardi. “We became a place where you could find an accessible keepsake rather than an impulse buy. The girls who came in would return to the shop over time to add to their everyday jewels. This was really how the idea of layered personal pieces came to be such a part of our identity, from the early girls of Catbird and their way of wearing our rings in a way that felt tailored to them.”
The brand’s influence now extends far beyond its Williamsburg, Brooklyn storefront. In addition to influential style types like fashion editors and models, Catbird has found fans (or what they fondly refer to as “kittens”) in such discerning celebrities as Kate Bosworth, Emma Watson, and Kristen Stewart.
“None of this was instantaneous,” says buyer Leigh Plessner. “The turning point for us was also a turning point for Williamsburg, when the stylists and models and actresses started hanging out on Bedford. They really took our pieces out there and were so influential when it came to giving us our initial push forward.”
And now that stacking delicate gold rings has become more commonplace (“it’s not this new phenomenon anymore,” Plessner says), the “kittens” are wearing Catbird jewels in new and unexpected ways. It’s cool to see this shift in real time, with the girls who come into the store. It’s extended upwards to the ears [Editor’s note: We agree!] so we’re doing a few new earrings for the fall. But it’ll be Catbird’s take on the trend, subtle and glittery,” says Vardi. “It’s being absorbed more into personal style, a thin chain layered with a statement necklace, or a stack of bands with a vintage cocktail ring. It’s about ease and confidence,” adds Plessner.