Miami, Hong Kong, Paris, Seoul, New York, London, Tokyo... St Barth was missing on the long list of prestigious cities where Chrome Hearts, the brand of high end silver and gold jewelry and leather clothes homemade in Los Angeles, has exposure. The new store offers an occasion to revisit the epic cult label and its legendary founders.
Chrome Hearts, the cult label of Los Angeles with a rock ‘n’ roll history and meticulous craftsmanship, launches its boutique in St Barths. It’s Kristian, the young offspring of the Stark Clan, who has breathed life into the idea of a boutique on the island, he thought up the concept down to the smallest detail with a lot of taste, meanwhile keeping with the unique and legendary style of the brand. But how could it be any other way when you are the progeny of such a bold and talented family? Let’s look back at the saga of Los Angeles’ royal family, the Starks, whose name has been synonymous with enduring vision for over 30 years.
Chrome Hearts is first and foremost a family affair… a brand started thirty years ago by its prodigious founders, Richard and Laurie Lynn Stark. They have later been joined by their children, Jesse Jo, at 28, has already built a beautiful carrier of singer and songwriter, Frankie Belle, 16, prominent figure on social media, and her twin brother, Kristian, who has just put the finishing touches to his first concept store in St Barth. Created at the end of the 80’s, the cult brand has emerged from Richard and Laurie Lynn’s experience creating custom made leather items for punk and rock legends, such as Steve Jones of Sex Pistols fame, Heart, Lenny Kravitz and Mötley Crüe. In 1992, Chrome Hearts received one of the most prestigious awards in fashion, the CDFA prize, which honors the accessories Designer of the year. Since then, the independent family enterprise never ceases to attract an incredible list of admirers and hype collaborators like Rei Kawakubo, Bella Hadid, Virgil Abloh and Pat McGrath. The brand, directed by Richard and his wife Laurie Lynn Stark, more recently joined by their eldest daughter Jesse Jo, now has about thirty shops in the world – quite a feat for an enterprise that wants to stay true to its roots. Artisans who meticulously craft each piece by hand in the same factory as when it all began, a production site which today covers three blocks in the heart of Hollywood. Their integrity is almost physically palpable and it’s precisely that singular personality along with their authentic and unshakable aesthetic that have allowed the brand to stay pertinent after all these years. This is why Chrome Hearts now counts among its passionate collectors several personalities from very diverse walks of life, from Elton John to Kanye West, from Aerosmith to Kendrick Lamar, from Kate Hudson to Rihanna. Chrome Hearts is now a true empire, built little by little with personal friendships and a lot of respect. The brand has always fascinated celebrities. A new generation of it girls like Soko, Dree Hemingway, or even Lady Gaga, has discovered the brand and joined the rank of their fans. It’s thanks to Jesse Jo, the eldest daughter of the clan, that the empire owes its 2.0 version. At age 18, she developed the new design of the cult label, the “studs and spikes”, which quickly became a staple item of Chrome Hearts. While keeping her own identity, she has been able to interpret her parents’ brand in her own way. And what a success! Since then, Jesse Jo, who is just as business savvy as her mother, has recruited her childhood BFF Bella Hadid. She has designed her own collection for the label, Chrome Hearts Capsule, a collaboration of which she is very proud. A new one is about to see the light of day with the launch of Hellz Bellz eyewear, glasses designed by the top model for her special collaboration with Chrome Hearts.
But why stop there? The iconic brand is constantly challenging itself… their latest endeavor? A line of unisex perfume, +33+ and +22+. The familial label of luxury accessories and lifestyle, known till now for its exquisite craftsmanship and its work with silver and leather, has recently launched the Selfridges collection: perfumes, candles, nail polish, and incense – closely linked to the Chrome Hearts line, a well-balanced mix between old-school rock and youthful energy. This process will have required seven years of hard work for the powerful matriarch Laurie Lynn who is its instigator and undeniable soul. She, who is both glamorous and motherly, has everything of a “momager”, a manager mom, strong and ambitious, fiercely stimulating her three kids. The beauty products Chrome Hearts are all hand-made in France and poured into crystal bottles adorned with silver caps, the cult brand’s signature.
While remaining true to its rock roots, Chrome Hearts has become a family dynasty in which each family member makes their contribution but whose common objective will always be to maintain the empire and make it evolve.
As the brand keeps getting bigger and has won its spurs over the years, the Stark children have done the same. Jesse Jo intends to pursue her music and her creative carrier in artistic direction. Frankie Belle will continue to design for her own bathing suit line, Dipped in Blue, and is currently coming up with a divine collaboration with specially for the St Barth’s new concept store. As for Kristian, he is determined to grow the family business in his double decker concept store in Gustavia, except when the waves will call him to indulge in his passion for surfing. These three have beautiful days ahead of them… and we wish them all the best!