Behind The Scenes With Genderless Jewelry Brand, Maison Miru

Maison Miru Jewelry Takes Pride In Challenging The Gender Norms

Maison Miru- North Star Nap Earrings ($95) and two of the Celestial Crystal Nap Earrings ($75). Designed for 24/7 poke-free wear, the Nap Earrings have a flat back, push pin closure. Made of medical grade titanium, they are hypoallergenic, waterproof, and tarnish-free. Courtesy of Eleonora Arico

Gender-neutral fashion and jewelry trends are driving brands to rethink their traditional approach. The editors at believe that fashion has always been fluid – it’s just doing differently now. Today, there seems to be nothing inherently gendered about any clothing style or jewelry style. More to my point, in past history, men wore high heels, wigs and even makeup. The idea of androgyny can be celebrated, as it is an unbiased way for an individual to identify with one’s self. And, in the roaring 20’s. androgynous style is gaining more and more visibility -with no end in sight. Gen Z seeming is pleased in breaking traditional gender barriers by challenging gender-specific norms and representing a broader spectrum of beauty and style that appeal to both masculine and feminine audiences. 

No rules. All welcome:

Even jewelry trends are moving well away from rigid gender roles. Millennials, Gen Z, (and even some Gen Alpha) jewelry buyers often want the freedom to express themselves. Today, it is standard to see men on the cutting edge of fashion trends in jewelry wearing pearl necklaces. Where once men might have been limited to simple gold, platinum, or silver bands and perhaps a handful of chains or religious pendants, now it’s pretty acceptable for them to wear pearl necklaces, lapis bracelets, and creative rings, a pearl necklace, or a delicate diamond chain. 

Maison Miru is an independent direct-to-consumer brand creating genderless everyday jewelry for everyday wear. Designed by a (former) Stanford University engineer and made with performance metals, Maison Miru’s system of sustainable jewelry is intended to be waterproof and sweat-proof. In 2016, Trisha launched Maison Miru to celebrate her love of design and engineering. Each piece is designed as a building block to unlock self-expression and creativity.

Pictured here is the Poet Bracelet ($70) and the  Infinite Stacking Ring Trio ($175). Designed for 24/7 wear, this necklace is made of recycled stainless steel – a durable metal that is waterproof and tarnish-free. Courtesy of Caroline Cramer

Maison Miru aims to simplify. The brand designed a genderless jewelry system so you can get ready without compromising your style. Trisha Okubo founded Maison Miru, an independent direct-to-consumer brand creating genderless everyday jewelry for everyday wear.

When there is something you like and you can do it, do it.” says Trisha Okubo, Stanford Engineer and Maison Miru Founder. 

Okubo studied engineering by day at Stanford University and fashion design by night at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising – and has been inspired to combine the two disciplines ever since.

Having spent the first part of her career working as an engineer in Silicon Valley, all the while dreaming of a new kind of design brand focused on systems and the idea of co-creation with the consumer. While on a gap year in London, she expanded on these ideas, as she learned to craft jewelry by hand

Sizing is a critical trend that is making the jewelry world more inclusive. Where once you might have only been able to purchase certain ring styles, for example, in smaller women’s sizes, now those sizes are often available in men’s ring sizes as well. The options, in good taste, have never been more wide open.

On the flip side, many women seek to find more minimalist options and styles that represent a cleaner, more geometric style – dare I say, less feminine. The texture plays a significant role as well- Mixed metal pieces add interest to your outfit and allow your style to shine.

So, what has prompted this widespread hankering for unisex designs right now? Some would attribute its rise to Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, or Timothée Chalamet. Now, it can evolve in its era as a means of self-expression.

Fashion editors Mariela Suaya and Megan Tischhauser recently had the privilege to speak with Trisha Okubo, Founder and Creative Director of Maison Miru about why she’s always been drawn to aesthetics, how jewelry makes people feel good and how Maison Miru jewelry is inclusive and environmentally friendly.

Founder Trisha Okubo. Courtesy of Caroline Cramer

Mariela Suaya/ Megan Tischhauser:  As a Stanford engineer passionate about fashion, sculpture, and engineering, could you tell our viewers when was the moment that inspired you to mix your passions with what you have studied?

Trisha Okubo: I have always been drawn to aesthetics: fashion, sculpture, and architecture. I like to create things; as a child, my favorite game was Legos because I loved the idea of creating something new with such simple pieces. While working at Tech, a job that I liked but didn’t love, I started to feel that I had to search for something else. I started feeling that glass ceiling and that my aspirations were much greater than the possibilities I had in front of me. As I loved fashion, I took many courses until I finally realized that creating jewelry is like making small pieces of art that you can wear with you. Jewelry expresses who you are and is more inclusive than fashion since you don’t have to be a specific size to feel beautiful. I wanted to create something to make people feel good. When you look good, you feel good, but also, when you feel good, you look good.

Pictured here are a few of Maison Miru’s recycled stainless steel pieces: the ID Bracelet ($160), Floating Sphere Stacking Ring II ($65), Floating Sphere Stacking Ring IV ($75), and the Infinite Stacking Ring Trio ($175). Designed for 24/7 wear, this durable metal is waterproof and tarnish-free. Courtesy of Caroline Cramer

MS/MT: Could you briefly overview Maison Miru’s mission and the brand’s values? What do you think sets you apart in the industry?

TO: Our slogan is Made for play and durable for life. Jewelry is also about self-expression. Who cares about durability if it’s ugly or doesn’t bring you joy?  At Maison Miru, we make jewelry for everyone, regardless of gender, age, or personal architecture, and that’s where the beauty of playing sets us apart from the competition. We want people to feel good and express themselves and style with jewelry. But at the same time, we want these jewels to be comfortable and durable so you can wear them across all your activities in life without taking them off.

MS/MT: Where do you mainly produce your pieces? What materials do you primarily use in your jewelry designs? How do you ensure the quality?

TO: We have two leading factories in China. These factories have quality certifications and receive frequent audits. They must test the products and follow quality manuals, ensuring we maintain our quality standards. With my partner, who is also an engineer, we tested different materials and techniques until we arrived at the current one. Today, we use medical titanium, the same method used to produce gold jewelry.  As I mentioned, we wanted to produce jewelry that is beautiful but, at the same time, durable, without having to take it off before activities such as swimming or training. While no material is 100% durable, medical titanium is one of the most resistant. It does not tarnish quickly.

MS/MT: We loved the idea of this event where people can bring in a tarnished piece of jewelry to upcycle and exchange for the new North Star Nap Earrings. But apart from this, do you have sustainable practices in your supply chain?

TO: Yes! I hate waste! First, as mentioned above, we use Medical Titanium as the primary metal to produce Maison Miru jewelry. This is a metal that is not recycled because, in that case, it couldn’t be medical grade. However, because it is a metal that does not tarnish quickly, our jewelry is very durable, and therefore, waste is reduced. We use recycled materials in the production process as well. We also note that the Plating process is very polluting to the environment. Therefore, our jewelry is made using the PVD process, which is more durable, does not have as many chemicals, and is environmentally friendly. On the other hand, the packaging is made of recycled paper.

Pictured here is the Chill Pill Necklace ($95). Designed for 24/7 wear, this necklace is made of recycled stainless steel – a durable metal that is waterproof and tarnish-free. Courtesy of Caroline Cramer

MS/MT: Are you the only person who designs, or do you have a team for this?

TO: Honestly, I am a very exigent person, so I like to create designs. But Maison Miru would only be what it is with our whole team. In terms of design and selection of raw materials and processes, yes, I do that, but I always make the final decision with the design team.

MS/MT:What are your goals and aspirations for your jewelry brand shortly?

TO: It’s the vision: PERMISSION TO PLAY. When people look good and like what they wear, they feel good.  At Maison Miru, we want to create jewelry people can play with, express themselves, and look good!

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