A Mexican Jewellery Maker who Channels ’90s Nostalgia

A Mexican Jewellery Maker who Channels ’90s Nostalgia

Sofia Elias is the artist and designer behind Blobb, a playful candy-coloured jewellery collection.

By guest author Dalya Benor from the New York Times.

Name: Sofia Elias

Age: 26

Hometown: Guadalajara, Mexico

Currently Lives: In a two-story, 1920s brick building in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City.

Claim to Fame: Ms. Elias is an artist, architect and designer, who is best known for her jewelry line, Blobb, a collection of candy-colored rings and bracelets inspired by objects from childhood. The playful pieces, which evoke 1990s nostalgia with names like “Jolly Rancher,” “Lucky Charm” and “Twizzler,” have been worn by Dua Lipa, Bella Hadid and other young celebrities.

Big Break: In 2019, Suea Cho, a buyer for the trendsetting store Opening Ceremony, went to Mexico to find brands for its “Year of Mexico” campaign, an initiative to showcase designers from outside the United States. At a dinner, Ms. Cho noticed Ms. Elias’s jewellery and placed an order for 80 rings. It was a daunting first order — the ring have six layers of resin, each taking about 16 hours to dry — but it would introduce her work to an international audience.

Latest Project: Ms. Elias, who describes her practice as “an exploration of different materials,” has ventured into housewares inspired by everyday Mexican objects. Her Wobble vases are made by melting down colourful plastic buckets sold by street vendors, and look like “an object caught in motion,” she said.

Next Thing: Later this month, Ms. Elias will create a line of one-of-a-kind rubber chairs that she refers to as “soft sculptures.” The blob-shaped chairs are designed to collapse under the sitter’s weight and return to their original shape, blurring the lines between functional object, practical joke and art. “I’m currently working on a chair that will have no function, which will be its function,” she said.

Breaking the Mould: During her final year at Anahuac University in Mexico, Ms. Elias experimented with spontaneous and playful materials like spaghetti, bubble gum and glitter to construct architectural models. The ludic materials offered freedom from the rigid confines of traditional architecture. “I started to accept that it’s OK for things to be different,” she said. “I’m making things that are imperfect. That’s what makes them perfect.”