we visited designer Jennifer Behr’s new studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where she crafts one-of-a-kind hair accessories. she took us through her unique hands-on (and heads-on) creation process and talked brides, bangs and making unicorn horns for Lady Gaga.
Head of the Class
Jennifer Behr studied sculpture before starting her line of hair accessories in 2005, and this makes sense when you consider how she builds each sample by hand. “I don’t draw, so I design directly on the head. [The subject is] whoever happens to be sitting closest to me in the studio at the time,” Behr says. “We’ll wear the pieces around, and there’s always a discussion about balance and weight and comfort every step of the way.” All of the designs are hand soldered in New York. (This makes the crystal work lighter and the pieces more flexible when you wear them.) Behr has on staff a full-time artisan who diligently handles all the delicate handiwork that makes up many of the designs.
Creativity at Work
Behr’s company has grown since she first launched it out of her living room eight years ago. She and her team recently moved the studio into an old factory building in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. “We think the space was previously used as a sewing factory, which seems appropriate,” she says. The centerpiece? The 10-foot-long drafting tables she found at a salvage yard on a trip home to Baltimore. It turns out they came from the drafting room at Sparrows Point Shipyard, where her father was chief engineer. “They’re the same tables he worked on 30 years ago, and now he’s refinishing them for us,” she says.
Every design in Behr’s bridal collection takes inspiration from her ready-to-wear collection, which includes crystal bobby pins, hair combs and headbands, and there’s no denying brides-to-be are drawn to the line. “Headpieces have always been connected to ceremony,” explains Behr. “Plus, they’re photographed more than any other accessory at a wedding. No one can see your shoes, but your headpiece is going to be in every photograph.” According to Behr, you don’t even need a special occasion to wear one: “There’s a bit of a bangs-growing-out season right now, hence the bobby pin popularity. People are always looking for new things to do with their hair.”
This marks Behr’s second season collaborating with us, and we’re carrying pieces from her fall collection as well as a few custom designs. “J.Crew gets that brides are looking for fashion pieces now rather than super-fussy, traditional bridal items,” she says. Her favorites from fall? “My personal order includes our star circlet. The Swarovski crystal stars are hand soldered onto a very delicate wire circlet, so they look like they’re floating in the hair. It’s a very romantic—and incredibly comfortable—piece.”
Photography by Bryan Derballa.
To further your wedding fix, check out our “XOXO” board on Pinterest here
To pre-order our newest collection of Jennifer Behr styles as well as shop our weddings & parties collection, click here