"I shot out of obscurity, practically overnight," says designer Philip Crangi, referring to the CFDA Swarovski Award for Accessories he won in 2008 for his eponymous fine-jewelry collection. Not surprisingly, the demand for both his fine and everyday pieces boomed after the award was announced. Somewhat more surprising is the fact that among his growing fans were style-savvy men drawn to the broken-in feel and quirky, striking elements in Crangi's pieces (think spikes, safety pins, nuts and bolts, and hooks) that remain the trademark of his casual-jewelry collection, Giles and Brother (after his sister Courtney's nickname).
After taking a few years off from wholesaling to step back and reflect on his business, Crangi recently relaunched Giles and Brother's men's collection at Barneys.
We stopped by the Manhattan studio where Crangi designs and manufactures his collections to get a glimpse into his process. Here, he shares why he doesn't work in the morning, how he's avoided the "popularity contest" of the fashion world, and the highlight of his career so far (hint: It involves a Muppet).
Click through the slideshow for our interview with Crangi, as well a behind-the-scenes tour of his studio.