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Mitchell Binder is a Los Angeles-based designer known for his unique designs and popular brand King Baby.

In the nineties, Binder worked in the jewelry industry and did well for himself. However, he dealt with constant counterfeiting and theft of his beautiful sterling silver designs while working in the business. As a result, he decided to leave the jewelry industry completely. But the jewelry industry wasn’t quite finished with him.

I had a garage filled with my old samples that I sold,” Binder recalled. “Unbeknownst to me, I had this huge following in Japan. There were bidding wars. So, something that I used to sell for a hundred bucks was selling on eBay for a thousand. A couple of guys flew over from Tokyo and bought everything I had ever made.

Essentially selling his original livelihood, Binder was able to use the money he made from the Japanese sales to open King Baby Studio in 2001.

King Baby Studio

King Baby is Binder’s official jewelry line. All of the designs from King Baby Studio are handcrafted in the U.S. According to Binder, King Baby jewelry will always embody “the freedom of the open road and the spirit of rock ’n’ roll.” Currently, the King Baby brand has fourteen stores overseas and five in the United States.

 

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In an interview with Steve Sims, Binder couldn’t help but show his studio some love when asked how the King Baby brand is so recognizable and consistent: “You know, I think it’s a couple reasons. One is just the basic way we make things. People that have any kind of awareness of quality or how things are made, they can look at a piece of our jewelry and because of the weight construction, the finish, you know, we don’t need to have our name printed on it for you to realize that it’s something of quality and it is King Baby. Our loyal fans get that. And actually, just anybody that you know who wants value for their money is aware of that. We don’t need to put our logo on everything.” Few brands can pull off keeping their logo low-key, but King Baby Studio seems to have it down.

King Baby is far from an underground or underappreciated jewelry brand. The likes of Johnny Depp, Tommy Lee, Steven Tyler, Jason Momoa, and Lou Reed have all been spotted with Binder’s signature rings. Skull rings and snake bracelets are King Baby icons, images of masculine style that are as much of a part of pop culture as any.

 

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What’s next for Mitchell Binder

Currently, King Baby Studio is proudly showcasing a creative collaboration between Mitchell Binder and the artist Yelawolf. Stylistically, the collection embodies Southern music, rebellions, and a sense of individuality that isn’t easy to find in the jewelry world. The designs range from incredibly detailed to beautifully simple, and Binder’s well-known oxidization technique is notably implemented.

That isn’t the only thing Mitchell is up to. There is a plan to move to Nashville where he currently has a store and a new venture. Mitchell and a friend of his, Brian Weissmann have been collaborating for a couple of years on building a luxury boutique style hotel and music venue in Nashville. The Brian Paul is scheduled to open late 2020.

When asked whether or not King Baby could really be King Baby without Binder, as well as what plans he may have to sell the brand, Binder simply said this: “For me, I was very, very careful when I started King Baby to realize that it’s something that I do, not who I am. Because those lines can be blurred really easily, man. And it can be tricky. So, I try to remember that. Sometimes I got to remind myself every day that it’s not who I am, it’s just what I do. And I love it, but you know, I’m still me without King Baby, you know, and I always want to remember that. We’ll see what’s next. I mean, what I love is you never know what’s around the next corner. So that’s a good reason to wake up every day. I kind of figure, you know, it’s worked out pretty good so far, so I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing.”

To hear more from Mitchell Binder…

Website: King Baby
To listen to this podcast: Steve Sims with Mitchell Binder

To subscribe to Steve Sims, “The Art of Making Things Happen — Podcast” 

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