Atafeh Karimi makes incredible jewelry. In the past her sharp, creative eye and rock 'n roll aesthetic has styled music videos, movies, and numerous print campaigns. Now, Atafeh (pronounced: ah-ta-fehy) is focusing on her own line of high class, heavy metal jewlery. The collection is a true reflection of her glam-punk lifestyle; a gritty mixture of leather, chains, precious stones, feathers (and more leather). 

On a brisk morning in Brooklyn, photographer Jayne Lies caught up with this Persian beauty at her studio, for this installment of our Girls Girls Girls series.

Who inspires you?
My mom. She is superwoman and the most intelligent woman I know. My brother dedicated himself at a very young age to his passion and is the most sickeningly talented drummer. My baba because he left Iran at 17 to come to America and build a completely new life for himself. And of course my man, Rivington Starchild, because he always pushes me to be better. 

What is your biggest fear?
Incidents that can change my life instantaneously.

Five things you can't live without right now?
Coffee, my leather jacket, raw honey, my Wolf body-form, and... Badger lip balm.

"my brother is the most sickeningly talented drummer I know"

What are you listening to?
The Kills and DAMEHT are my favorite bands. But right now I am stuck on the Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars song, Uptown Funk. I'm a big fan of Mark Ronson and the style of the video is impeccable.

I want to talk about your jewelry. Where do you find your inspiration?
A lot of my work is influenced by Middle Eastern aesthetics. Traditional styles from Afghanistan and Pakistan are very inherent in my designs. I am half Persian and grew up admiring jewelry from Iran that my Baba would bring back with him.  Most of my designs have a heavy tone because I have always been attracted to grand appearances. A fair amount of my design silhouettes derive from 18th century clothing. Most of the time a fragment of an idea will pop into my head and then I run with it and see where it ends up.

Is there a specific technique you’ve been using?
I am completely obsessed with layering and it has become the backbone of my work.


Describe the hardest part about designing your own line.
I think my biggest challenge as of now is expressing my voice as a designer to its fullest capacity while being predominantly self-taught.

You tag all of your jewelry posts with "#cultlife" - what is this?
"Cultlife" is the motto of my lifestyle, and therefore, representative of a certain kind of person. Someone who feeds off making a statement, whether they get looks of confusion or intrigue. My designs are indicative of this concept of "Cultlife" and are about identifying with something, rather than simply wearing it.

Who are your style icons -- either specific people or a favorite time period?
I'm not sure that I have a style icon. I am more inspired by time periods. The 1920's were a great era for style and I remain enamored by it.  But, if I did have an icon it would be the merger of Alison Mosshart and Audrey Hepburn; two women whom I admire immensely. Audrey Hepburn defined the word "classic" in terms of style and incorporated seemingly masculine looks into a very feminine demeanor, while Alison Mosshart is classic Rock N' Roll and sticks to a uniform -- which I relate to (you can always find me in a leather jacket and some version of black pants).

For that new new, follow Atafeh on instagram here.