By Arwa Lodhi
GNOTHI SEAUTON – KNOW THYSELF. That’s the motto of Abraxas Rex, the unique, almost mystical, jewellery company created by Paris Kain.
Created under the same name as his breezy, Boho, hand-painted kimonos, Abraxas Rex jewellery couldn’t be more of a contrast: fiercely oversized and futuristic, his cuffs, rings and pendants are not for the timid. But it’s exactly that kind of contrast that fascinates Kain.
Inspired by the ancient Gnostic deity Abraxas ( a mystical representation of both light and darkness ) – the Abraxas Rex collection represents the natural coexisting duality that is in every living form. Abraxas Rex merges ancient themes and shapes with the modern, as well as ancient minerals found on earth juxtaposed with meteorites from outer space.
Kain stepped into the world of jewellery design after having found a captivating stone outside a monastery in Kyoto. Since then, he’s incorporated other precious found objects from the natural world into his work, including stones found on his travels, dinosaur bones, and meteorites–extremely rare finds, which he sources from Siberia.
Sold at Barneys in New York, Browns in London, and Colette and Rick Owens in Paris, Kain’s outstanding work has won celebrity clients and fans, including Beyonce and Jay Z, and was also incorporated into several runway collections, such as those for Calvin Klein in 2008, Alexander Wang in 2009 and most recently, Rick Owens.
Intriguingly, Kain says he also finds inspiration for his jewellery in the work of his father, Paris Theodore, who was an assassin for the CIA. A real-life Bond ‘Q’, he used to make assassination devices out of Zippo lighters and walking canes. No doubt, there is a connection: Abraxas Rex jewellery, named after the god of light and dark, is also killer cool.
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