I started the Nick Von K brand in 2010.
The brand name comes from my Grandfather, Baron Peter von Klarwill, who represented a fairytale figure of European culture to me. He arrived in New Zealand in 1938 having fled the Nazi invasion of his homeland, Austria. He spoke many languages, loved reading books and had a massive art collection and I felt the Nick Von K name perfectly blended my love of European aesthetic and my Kiwi upbringing.
We have a team of in-house jewellers and other collaborators here in New Zealand and some custom designs we create from start to finish here. However we produce most of the collections in one production house in Bali where they cast their own metal and also fabricate and finish. When I first travelled to Bali more than 15 years ago I was immediately captivated by that creative, beautiful and crazy culture and I struck up connections with a handful of local artisans, many of whom I still work with to this day.
In Bali family comes first, and most of the makers I collaborate with work from home so over the years I have met the whole family and watched their children grow up. I feel very creative in Bali and I find it’s much easier when we can sit down and get our hands dirty together refining a new design. I have one main stone carver that I've worked with since the brand first started, who lives in a small village in the mountains, and I bring him raw Pounamu that I've sourced from local stone finders in South Westland New Zealand. I often like to sit down and carve pieces myself at my carvers house, while the chickens wander past eyeing me up and probably asking each other what that white boy is doing there.
These relationships are the heart and soul of the Nick Von K brand, evolving over time from creative partnerships into lasting friendships.
Each and every piece of Nick Von K jewellery is designed by me and goes through a process of refinement until it is of the quality I’m happy with. Sometimes I’m very precise on exactly what I want and other times I give the makers I work with a little creative freedom to interpret my ideas. If you ever get the chance to visit my studio in Auckland you’ll find endless experiments and one-off pieces that are not on this website. I’m always trying out new things and the joy of the creative process is the reason I chose this profession back when I was a teenager. Each piece is blessed with that joy, and I hope in turn it brings you happiness when you wear one of my creations.
Nick Von K has been worn by a stellar lineup of icons both local and international: Lady Gaga, Clive Owen, Adam Lambert, Paris Hilton, Heather Graham, Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Halford, Angus Young, Keith Richards, Emeli Sandé, Netsky, Steve Aoki, The Jupiter Project, Tiki Taane, Anika Moa, JayJay Feeney, Holly Smith, Gin Wigmore, Jacinda Ardern, Sonja Yelich, Zoe Bell, Bam Margera and his wife Nikki.
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