Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Located along the borders of three countries, which includes Germany’s southwestern border, is the picturesque Moselle Valley; an area renowned for its lush scenery and white wine. Germany is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Micha Kuchenhoff.

Chances are when you braid stainless steel and sterling silver chains with pearl strands and cross pendants, add components of vintage jewelry or create vivid arrangements with chunky semi-precious gemstones and neon-colored fringe you are bound to grab someone’s attention.

Based in California, the one-time professional office organizer stumbled upon her present career when she came across clients who wanted to throw out their old jewelry, home décor, and worn fabrics.

At her request to salvage them, these clients no doubt flashed her curious glances as they handed over to her what they considered useless items. To Kuchenhoff, however, they held a world of endless possibilities.

The designer’s signature style of chunky, piled on, overpowering pieces includes stunning gemstone necklaces, one of which is a composite of gunmetal steel chains and spiked Brazilian Agate, gold earrings and unisex, three-strand bracelets fashioned from gunmetal and sterling silver chains as well as plenty of striking gold charms.

Kuchenhoff’s provocative and affordable fashion jewelry, Micha Design launched in 2003, is packed with a high voltage bad girl vibe reminiscent of the jewelry style worn by Madonna during her Like a Virgin heyday.

Her pieces are definitely for a woman who can hold her own as no bold re-imagining seems off limits; she plays with lace, leather, spikes, denim, and feathers to create a different personality for each collection. For example, her Tassels and Fringe Collection has a very 60s go-go dancer vibe while her Braided, and Lace collections both embody a vintage flair.

“I pretty much design whatever pops into my head. I get an idea as soon as I look at a particular item whether it is broken necklace pieces, old hardware, vintage pearls or chains; it doesn’t matter. I visualize these items as a bracelet or necklace,” she explains.

“When I first started doing this people loved it! Even women who never wore jewelry bought my designs and a lot of men too.”

Kuchenhoff loves creating her pieces with estate jewelry and other materials as these choices gently impact the environment.

Micha Design is all for reuse, reduce and recycle. People like to challenge me by giving me random items and they are always surprised by what I can do with them. That makes doing custom jewelry requests a thrill to do. It is a blessed experience to be able to do what I love.”

People, InStyle, and the L.A. Times are a sampling of publications that have featured Kuchenhoff’s designs in their pages.

Entertainers Jessica Simpson and Fergie are among Micha Design’s loyal following as well as reality t.v. stars Kelly Osbourne and Kourtney Kardashian.
Photo 1 (top right): Gold Goddess Harness with Vintage Choker and Gold Chains
Photo 2 (center): Gold-Plated Metal and Brass Wire Diamond Drop Earrings
Photo 3 (bottom left): Steel Chain Shoulder Piece

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