With a name like giantLION, it’s hard not to imagine this jewelry brand as the next big thing. Backed by designer Caroline Whittington, giantLION is glamorous, simple jewelry for the modern fashionista. Founded in 2011, the line features must-have necklaces, bracelets, and rings that are simple enough for everyday wear, but innovative enough to make a statement. two+seven caught up with designer in an exciting, exclusive interview.
two+seven: Give us some background. How did you get into jewelry design?
Caroline Whittington: You could say in some sense I always knew I wanted to be a craftsperson. When I was young, the first thing I said I wanted to be when I grew up was a “doll-maker.” I always had a dream of making a
living creating something special that someone else would want and also believe was special.
I studied art at VCU in Richmond, Virginia and was initially a Painting major. On a whim I took a jewelry class and really just developed a love for producing work that could be appreciated outside of the gallery setting. IShortly thereafter, I changed my major to Craft and Material Studies where my focus was in Metal and Ceramics.
Throughout college and after, I was always making and selling jewelry but still dabbling in freelance painting and illustration. It wasn’t until a year ago that I decided to put all other mediums aside and I began to solidify my jewelry collection, and then I started my company.
2+7: And what a cute name! How did you come up with giantLION?
CW: Well, it’s kind of silly, but I love cats! Big, small, domestic, wild! The idea of a lion particularly speaks to me because to me they symbolize this great beauty, culture, and timelessness. Those were the words that I was throwing around when a friend and I were thinking of names for the brand. The first thing she thought of was “giant lion” and I just said “Oh my gosh, YES!”
2+7: There’s an overall theme of simplicity in your designs. What is it that draws you to a minimalist aesthetic?
CW: I certainly couldn’t describe myself as a minimalist, but I definitely have always been drawn to that aesthetic when creating. I think the idea of simplicity in fashion allows for more versatility, especially in other areas of your ensemble, and I think that something that is classic is usually minimal.
CW: My customer base ranges from age 17 to 70+, literally! I see girls wearing one of our pieces solo and so simply and I see girls wear our pieces in layers upon layers. I think the common link is that the girl who loves giantLION is also a girl who is totally stylish, a little bit eccentric, probably nostalgic, definitely classy and cool, and can’t help but stand out from the crowd.
CW: We’re having a huge sale on Fab.com mid-October, which is really cool because a lot of our customers wait for this sale to stock up on their favorite pieces. We’ll be at the Unique NYC Craft Show in mid-November, which will also be a lot of fun. In addition to that, we just shot an amazing new Lookbook with photographer Cameron Lewis, which will go live soon, and I just finished up our samples for a new collection that will launch this Spring.
2+7: Do you have a favorite style?
CW: My favorite style is our Crystal Cuff, which I cast originally from vintage crystals. You’ll probably never see me without one on, and some days you’ll see me wearing about 10! I also love our Disc Ring in silver, our small Pyrite Cube ring, and the Modern Tribal Necklace is a customer favorite.