Bluegrass star and guitar virtuoso Molly Tuttle is, from all appearances, having a great year. She has new music coming out soon. She won a Grammy, the top award in her field. Plus, she worked with jewelry designer Larissa Loden on a collaboration. “Girl is on fire,” says Loden.
Yet appearances are just that—they tell you only one or two things about a person. Tuttle is enjoying an amazing career high. But she also has alopecia areata, an autoimmune skin disease where the immune system attacks a person’s hair follicles and causes hair loss on the scalp and body.
Sharing the story of her diagnosis at age 3 and her experiences with alopecia universalis—the rarest form of the disease that causes total body hair loss—has been important for Tuttle. She occasionally performs without a wig or hat as a way of highlighting who she is, making the world a bit more understanding, and helping others who have alopecia.
Loden and Tuttle met years ago at a music festival. Tuttle was playing, and Loden was selling her jewelry. They kept running into each other after that, and their mutual admiration and individual talents grew. Recently, Loden asked Tuttle to collaborate on jewelry, and the result is a personal and profound collection that debuts March 29. Loden and Tuttle are donating 30% of the sales of a pendant necklace in the collection to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF).
Each Tuttle x Loden piece pulls from a different aspect of the singer’s life, including her bluegrass roots and her alopecia diagnosis. Loden, who works out of St. Paul, Minn., shared their collab story with JCK.
How does Molly’s work and your mission as a jewelry designer mesh?
Fashion and music have always been two peas in a pod. They are all part of expressing yourself. Molly has amazing stage presence and a great eye for style. So I just asked her to create a Pinterest board, and that is what we used to start designing the collection. The collection is really based off of her music, like the moon pieces are an inspiration from her song “She’ll Change.”
Why did you want this collaboration to be a fundraising and educational opportunity?
I think it’s really important to share Molly’s story, and part of that story is from a young age Molly has had alopecia. Molly shares her story, and it is so inspirational and touches many people. We want to celebrate and share with people her story and let people know about great organizations like NAAF. And just today we got a DM from a mom of a daughter who just got diagnosed with alopecia, and it meant so much to her to see such a badass like Molly Tuttle.
Do you have favorite pieces from the collab?
I love them all. I really love the Super Moon earrings and the She’ll Change necklace, but the alopecia awareness necklace holds a special place in my heart.
Top: Musician Molly Tuttle, who has alopecia, collaborated with jewelry designer Larissa Loden to create a special collection that highlights Tuttle’s musical career as well as her advocacy for people with the hair-loss disease. (Photos courtesy of Larissa Loden)
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