In Designer’s Corner, we feature extraordinary artists and fashion designers from around the world. Each designer has a unique journey into the accessories and jewelry space which influence their work and is a huge part of their success. We share these stories in this interview series.
Giles and Brother is founded by the sibling pair Courtney (“Giles”) and Philip Crangi, hence the namesake. The brand makes sterling steel and brass jewelry that embodies the American pioneering spirit. In the process, they are moving forward in the true frontier in the fashion jewelry space. BRENMI has the honour of sitting down with Philip to find out what they are up to right now.
Hi Philip, thank you for taking the time to conduct this interview, we fell in love with your work, browsing through stores in Toronto. And of course, we think both you and Courtney are amazing!
Thanks so much – its always really great to hear that!
Can you provide us with a little background to you and Courtney, anything you want to share, your upbringings, and what are you and Courtney like?
We grew up on the campus of a boarding school in balmy Boca Raton Florida where our parents taught art- Boca is smack between Miami and Palm Beach and a place very much influenced by those two very different vibes: Miami vibrantly multi-cultural and cosmopolitan, Palm Beach blue-blooded all-american and preppy – And I think our work has always reflected that view of an American style made up of a lot of very different vibes.
How did Giles and Brother launch?
We launched Giles & Brother back in 2001 here in NYC- it grew out of our original fine jewelry collection Philip Crangi Jewelry- We’ve always wanted Philip Crangi to remain this specific and small project of highly detailed fine jewelry and we felt that we needed a bigger more open project- We liked the idea of making super personal and soulful work that didn’t cost a fortune and thats how G&B was born.
“Staying true to ourselves is the biggest struggle in every aspect of our lives”
What do you want people to associate with first when they hear the name Giles and Brother? What’s the story behind the name?
Growing up on the mean streets of South Florida in the 80’s Courtney got the nickname Giles and nobody can remember why but it stuck- So when we started this new brand we felt like Giles was a great name, and of course I’m the Brother- We want people to think of great american style when they hear the name Giles & Brother- a bit sporty a bit preppy but all honest and easygoing- Our girl is very much based on Courtney’s easy, glamorous tomboy style- think Lauren Hutton- and for guys I’m always looking back to the likes of Steve McQueen and Peter Beard and other All-American trouble makers and pretty boys with great style.
How has your brand grown over time, and how have you and Courtney personally grown over this period?
One day you realize you’ve been working at something a long time- we were a lot younger when we started this project and I think the way it and we have changed the most is by having the courage to stick to our original plan- We knew what we wanted Giles to be in the beginning- “a more open project” but after trying a lot of different things we realized what made us special, what made us stand out: honest soulful work with mark of the hand that created it, work as personal to the wearer as it is to us the makers.
Throughout this entire journey, what has been your biggest struggle?
Staying true to ourselves is the biggest struggle in every aspect of our lives and no where more so that with designing a collection over so many years- finding the balance between newness and tradition is both the hardest part and the most fun- we love a challenge!
This is great advice Philip, definitely inspiring and refreshing to hear from an established designer. Hope to keep in touch and let us know how everything goes in the future!
To check out Giles and Brother please visit their site: www.gilesandbrother.com