A statement piece isn’t the easiest to come across in our day-to-day life – and if we do find one it’s often way out of anyone’s normal budget. At the start of 2019, Artem Ansheles, the Russian-born, Hong Kong-based actor, singer and TV host, launched his innovative on-ear accessory brand Earon. We spoke to Ansheles to find out more about his direction for the brand and its current collection.
How did you come up with the name Earon?
After coming up with the idea for my designs, I began the initial stages of research to see what other similar products were out there – only to find out that there were none. Since I haven’t found anything else quite like that on the market, there has also been no name to call these accessories, so I wanted to be the first one. You know, we’ve got earrings, ear clips, earmuffs, ear-cuffs… but what do you call an accessory that sits on your ear? It was so obviously straightforward and self-explanatory, yet didn’t sound so cliché.
I feel like Earon itself is about making simple, everyday things into art; even the logo is just a sophisticated interpretation of an ear. Just like Xerox and Sharpie once became generic names for similar products, I hope Earon will one day too – which is probably impossible, since I got the design patent…
What sparked the idea to start a jewellery brand like this?
Earon started as a simple idea during a photo shoot. I was looking for more ways to accessorise my outfit and, after putting a pen behind my ear, I realised that it should be a thing – so I made it a thing. It was never my goal to have a jewellery brand, but I always wanted to run a creative business where I could freely express myself and make this world a visually better place.
I was also always interested in design. In fact, I moved to Hong Kong to study product design. This is where I have learnt many skills that are helping me today to almost singlehandedly realise an idea into an actual physical product, so it was only natural to find a way to utilise those skills.
Who’s your ideal customer?
My designs are not for the faint-hearted. Earon is for those who are daring, extravagant, experimental, provocative and unafraid – and for those who always want more and more ways to accessorise!
My pieces are a guaranteed conversation starter. My friends told me that when they wear Earon out, they get at least a few people either complimenting them or asking what it is. So if you’re wearing Earon, but feeling antisocial and would like to stay in the shadows, good luck…
The visuals on the page are quite intriguing. Do you come up with them yourself?
I do. Unfortunately, as an artist in Hong Kong’s entertainment industry, I don’t get to do much self-expression; this is why a lot of the creative craziness comes out in the visuals for Earon campaigns. I enjoy taking or directing these images as much as I enjoy designing the products, if not more.
It’s kind of like a playground where I get to do anything I want and express myself entirely without the judgment being put directly on me. This is why you will see occasional provocative content here and there.
Being solely focused on ear accessories, do you have any plans to release other types of products?
I am actually currently working on creating sellable artwork. I know it’s a departure from the current product line, but since the imagery for Earon is getting so much attention, I figured why not give people what they like? We are now creating a series of paintings based on unreleased Earon visuals that will soon be turned into printed artworks.
As for accessories, we have just released a new model named Eyeon X, which is a combination of eyewear with Earon. Again, it’s a product that doesn’t exist on the market and if we do go on to making more products, I hope that all of them will be inventions of some sort. But until inspiration comes, I will have to settle on the existing concept.
We love the inspiration of the product P3N and how it draws from waiters at traditional Hong Kong restaurants. Will you push out more products based on Hong Kong culture?
I don’t plan where the inspirations come from and I can’t force them out either – they just come when they come. Hopefully I will get more inspirations from Hong Kong’s culture, but I will also remain open to influences from other places and things.
Your most recent product Unholy is quite a statement piece. Where did the idea come about?
I can’t quite recall. All I can say is that since coming up with Earon, I have been having a crazy amount of ideas that could potentially become a new model. If I could possibly create a new model every week, I would!
Who are your #legends?
When it comes to products or fashion, I’d say that I’m very inspired by Yoon Ambush, who’s changing the fashion accessories game through her brand Ambush and Dior’s jewellery line. Also, Alan Crocetti is so beyond creative with all his designs, which are very versatile and fluid. I’m also a huge fan of Demna Gvasalia – but don’t get me started because this interview will become endless!
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