Exclusive | The Interview: Virgil Abloh and Jacob & Co. Create Office Supplies Like You’ve Never Known Them Before

BY Harper's BAZAAR Arabia / Mar 12 2020 / 09:00 AM

The visionaries came together to create a fine jewellery collection featuring diamond-encrusted paperclips. Here, Jacob Arabo tells BAZAAR the creative process behind "Office Supplies"

Exclusive | The Interview: Virgil Abloh and Jacob & Co. Create Office Supplies Like You’ve Never Known Them Before

Making bracelets from paperclips may once have been a way for schoolchildren to pass the time, but those days are over, and they ended as soon as Virgil Abloh and Jacob Arabo joined forces.

Virgil, creative director of menswear at Louis Vuitton, and Jacob, founder of Jacob & Co., reimagined the humble paperclip for their first collaboration. The collection, aptly named “Office Supplies”, transforms paperclips into luxurious pieces of fine jewellery, thanks to the addition of diamonds. Lots of diamonds. “Office Supplies” consists of bracelets, necklaces, earrings and money clips made from 18-karat yellow, white or rose gold.

Jacob Arabo has driven Jacob & Co. to become one of the most recognised luxury brands in timepieces and jewellery because of his passion and artistry. Similarly, Virgil’s creativity and passion led him to create Off-White, one of the best-known brands in the world. Here is what happened when Harper’s BAZAAR Arabia asked Jacob Arabo about “Office Supplies” and how it came to be.

Paperclip bracelet in 18K white gold, with approximately seven carats of micro-pavé green diamonds, $29,000

Harper’s BAZAAR Arabia: Can you tell us a bit about the new “Office Supplies” collection? How did you and Virgil Abloh decide to collaborate?

Jacob Arabo: Virgil and I have been friends for a long time and working together just felt so right to both of us. 

HBA: Who came up with the concept of the collaboration?

JA: When we first started talking about doing something together, Virgil came up with the idea of reinventing the paperclip as fine jewellery, which I think is a stroke of genius.
HBA: Can you elaborate on the design process? How is Virgil to work with?

JA: Virgil did all the design work at first, then consulted with me and there was some back and forth, and Jacob & Co. is manufacturing the pieces. Together, we are handling distribution. All the pieces are made-to-order and both Virgil and I will approve each client.

Paperclip earrings in 18K white gold, with approximately four carats of micro-pavé diamonds, $17,500

HBA: Jacob & Co. is known for its mastery of intricate jewellery design and the “Office Supplies” collection is quite minimalistic. Was this intentional and how do you think your clients would respond to it?

JA: In this case, I think the simplicity of the 'Office Supplies' collection will be like a breath of fresh air to our customers, and they will really respond to this, as it is something that can be worn anytime throughout the day.
HBA: You are the jeweller to the stars. What Jacob & Co. celebrity moment would you say has been the most iconic?

JA: The moments that stick in my mind are the early ones with the people who would go on to be the biggest stars, but when we were working together, they were all just starting out. Those relationships have really lasted, with Jay-Z, David Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Drake and others. That was an exciting time and one that I remember fondly.
HBA: Do you have any plans for Jacob & Co. in the Middle East?

JA: The Middle Eastern market is an important one for Jacob & Co. We have our boutique in Dubai and we are actively looking to expand into other areas. We think that the Middle East holds great promise for Jacob & Co.

Virgil Abloh and Jacob Arabo

If you would like to purchase a piece from the “Office Supplies” collection you will need to be patient as each piece is made-to-order and can take up to eight weeks. You will also have to request an order form through officesupplies@canary---yellow.com where both Jacob and Virgil will personally review your order. No pressure.

Images courtesy of Jacob & Co.