Going Medieval

The slickest thing out of Norway since pickled herring, jewelry designer Linn Lømo is hitting New York with the force of one of her signature ball-and-chain metal baubles. Hint sat down with the Scandinavian superwoman in her Midtown atelier to discuss her handmade bijoux, body armor and cock rings.

Why did you base your business in New York rather than Paris or Milan?
I lived in several cities before coming to New York in 2004. I instantly fell in love with the city. It’s such a contrast to my native Norwegian forest.

Where’s kinkier, Manhattan or the forest?
There is a hidden darkness in Norwegian culture. Growing up you’ll hear stories of trolls and all kinds of mythical creatures, like beautiful women who will lure men into the deep forest and then captivate them for eternity. The only thing separating them from being human is that she has a long tail. The forest holds all kinds of secrets.

When did you start designing jewelry?
I was studying shoe design at Parsons. I took a class on metalwork with the intention to use it for shoes. I became obsessed with the material and had to continue.

What kinds of metals do you use?
The pieces in this collection are silver and gold, with semiprecious and precious stones. I am also working with leather, enamel and bone.

Everything in the collection is handmade?
Yes, I touch every piece.

Who are some of your design influences?
I’m mostly inspired by objects—body armor, medieval weaponry, fetish gear, equestrian equipment, historic Gaelic body jewelry.

Do you envision yourself designing things besides jewelry?
Luggage, like travel trunks. Large, grand pieces with a lot of potential for sculpture.

It’s brave to start a jewelry collection in the middle of a recession.
You have to do what you love in life. There are always going to be hard times. That said, I do consider price points and try to make pieces that are very accessible.

There are lots of S&M-y things, like spikes and chains, in the collection. Are you an undercover dominatrix?
I think those things are sexy.

Would you ever produce a studded cock ring?
I’m working on one right now.

Do you approach designing men’s jewelry different from women’s?
I don’t. Some might say my personal style is tough or masculine. My designs are, too.

Who are some girls and boys in New York whose style you really love?
The city is just filled with uber-cool people. And I love that you can pretty much just wear a black plastic bag, as long as you carry it well.

Who would you love to see wearing your pieces?
I’d love to see a random stranger wearing something I’ve made.

Any fashion designers you’d like to collaborate with?
I’d love to work with Ohne Titel.

I see you out at night all the time. Does the nightlife figure into your aesthetic?
I wear it in the day. I wear it at night.

Tell me what an evening with Linn Lømo might be like.
Lots of dancing, lots of jewelry, champagne, tequila, good friends, flirting.

Sweden has ABBA, Finland has Nokia, Denmark has Hans Christian Andersen. Does Norway now have Linn Lømo as its hottest export?

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