Marla Aaron Debuts Industrial Design–Inspired Fiddling Series

It’s a nerve-racking time in America. With so much collective stress bearing down on us, we could probably all benefit from grabbing a kid’s fidget spinner and spinning it madly.

Marla Aaron feels our pain. The New York City–based fine jewelry designer, a recent guest on JCK’s podcast, The Jewelry District, has debuted a new collection that features sophisticated styles with fidget-friendly mechanisms inspired by industrial design, some of which have never before been seen in jewelry.

The brand’s new Fiddling series is full of charms, locks, and complete jewels with moving parts that inspire wearers to play, or “fiddle,” with them.

Aaron tells JCK, “The collection derived from the idea of how people when they are anxious or nervous fiddle with jewelry. The designs celebrate fidgeting with charms and rings incorporating pulleys, pin art, door locks, and unusual mechanisms. The styles swivel, twist, turn, roll, open and close, and are functioning mechanisms.”

Aaron adds that the collection came together in pieces, explaining, “We have an unorthodox way of working as a company, and each piece of the collection was worked on separately…we’re always working on new jewelry styles and it can take years to perfect [a piece].”

Marla Aaron Trundle rings
Trundle Lock rings, $2,900–$7,000
Marla Aaron Pulley charms
Pulley charm, $3,800

Once the idea of “play” crystallized, “we began iterating elements—adding braille as an option because it’s a touchable language, embossing our Letter Lock typeface sideways for the wearer, having the Pulley swivel twice (once at the wheel and once at the base) for more touchability,” says Aaron. “I wanted to create pieces that people could wear to find joy and comfort in, and the timing made it more urgent to release all of the designs as a family.”

Aaron and her team are already planning the next iterations in the series, which is currently priced at $2,200–$14,800.

Marla Aaron Pin charm
Pins charm, $14,800

The Fiddling series debuted in advance of a relaunch of the company’s website this week. The site has been retooled and hosts interactive videos that allow visitors to experience the collection’s modular designs virtually.

The brand’s campaign also included photos of several accomplished women in the new jewels, among them cinematographer and film director Reed Morano, MZ Wallace founder Lucy Wallace Eustice, interior designer Olivia Song, and Urban Asanas owner Jyll Hubbard-Salk.

Aaron, a designer who continually pushes the boundaries of what’s possible in her work and in ways of doing business, says she considers the website to be a thing in permanent flux: “I view a website as never finished, and this one is no exception—we have even more significant changes to unveil over the coming months.”

She personally built the brand’s first website, but says over the years it’s been become a “Frankenstein,” meaning that it’s been updated and changed out of necessity, but not always gracefully.

With this revamp, the company says it’s properly invested in the site. A key goal when redesigning the site was to infuse it with the excitement Aaron and her team have cultivated on the brand’s Instagram.

“Our biggest challenge with the website has always been the tyranny of choice—simply too many options for consumers,” she explains. With the reworked site, “We think we’ve made it easier for customers to choose. The most important update to the site is our ‘guide to all’ page, which educates the customer on each part of the collection, inclusive of measurements and illustrations. We wanted to create a more streamlined experience.”

Aaron adds, “Our website and the liveliness of our Instagram had been totally separate, and our site felt almost antiseptic. These two worlds have been brought together as one in the new site.”

Top: Marla Aaron 18k and 19k gold Myriad Locks, $9,000, conceal a mechanism that allows each side to open fluidly when pushed gently (all photos courtesy of Marla Aaron).

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JCK Magazine Editor