After initially studying fashion design in Los Angeles, Rabun moved to London and self-taught herself metalwork before launching her studio in 1990. Her inaugural jewellery collection was quickly picked up by Barneys New York and it wasn’t long before others caught wind of her unique pieces. Fast-forward to 2019 and Rabun is beloved by celebrities – Madonna chose to wear one of her pieces for her 50th birthday – and companies, such as American luxury brand Halston and Zaha Hadid Architects. But it’s her collaboration with Georg Jensen that really stands out. After working together for 18 years, Rabun launched her Offspring collection with the iconic Scandinavian design company in 2018 and this year released her Mercy collection, which has been developed and refined for the past 15 years, in the same way. In a sliding doors-esque tale, Rabun actually had Georg Jensen in mind in 2003, when she first created the range, but after presenting them the collection, ultimately both parties decided the timing wasn’t right.
“It was interesting because I never let it go since I first presented it 15 years ago,” Rabun says, noting that the collaboration coming together after so many years has taught her the art of patience. “I always kept coming back to Mercy, unconsciously or not. There’s a very sacred symbol in Zen Buddhism called ensõ. You draw an open circle in one brush stroke as a meditative act and to perfect the circle in your mind. Unconsciously, I’ve been drawing this open circle for 15 years and I continued to perfect it for this collection. I feel that Mercy was destined to be a part of the Georg Jensen family from the very beginning.”
Everything Rabun makes comes from a place of mindfulness and emotion and her final creations are therefore imbued with rich symbolism, beyond just being beautiful and timeless. This unique approach has become eponymous to her designs. “My work is always focused on the emotional experience of life and the beauty of the human form,” she says. “I love working with the natural shapes and curves of the body, as I want to honour it and create pieces that tell a story and become an extension of the wearer.” As reflected in the name, the Mercy collection is a reminder to show compassion to others. “I feel it’s more important than ever that we practise mercy in our daily lives,” Rabun notes.
Rabun’s Mercy collection – extended with 12 new designs conceived in close collaboration with Georg Jensen – is available in Georg Jensen flagship stores now. Her favourite piece? “The neck ring. The graceful lines rest gently when worn around the neck and it becomes a delicate sculpture when resting on a surface. I love the completely ageless and timeless quality of the design.”