Object of Affection: Lyrical Jewelry

I was gobsmacked when I first saw this bracelet online two years ago. Kate Spade jewelry, emblazoned with the song title from a Beastie Boys hit? Say whaaattt?

I bought two. Immediately. And to this day I’m still wondering: who were the downtown rebels that convinced this prepster, pretty, proper brand to manufacture an $80+ enameled bangle with a homage to an 80s punk-turned hip hop band that wrote lyrics like…”Going coast to coast, watching all the girlies shaking, while you’re at the job working nine to five, the Beastie Boys at the Garden cold kickin’ it live.”

If you’ve ever sat in any kind of a creative pitch meeting, you have to wonder, “How the hell did that go down?”

But that rebel streak at Kate Spade (whoever she/he/they is/are) keeps going. And the hits keep coming, via this arm candy.

The Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” appeared on their debut album in 1986, Licensed to Ill—the first hip hop album to top the Billboard charts btw. Of course, it now carries some poignancy with the recent death of Adam Yauch (“Born and bred in Brooklyn, the USA, they call me Adam Yauch, but I'm MCA…”). This 2009 video is from Bonnaroo.

The Clash’s “London Calling” was released in 1979. It’s a loud, angry protest song, pure and simple. With references to the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor accident, racial and economic strife in the UK, and all-around apocalyptic disaster, it’s an anti-establishment rant of the first order. Kate Spade’s London Calling bangle was, I think, released to coincide with the opening of the company’s flagship London store. Stamped inside it says: “Paint the Town Red.”

“Rock the Casbah” by the Clash came out in 1982 and was the band’s only top 10 hit in the U.S. It was the song Armed Forces Radio chose as its first broadcast over the airwaves to troops during Operation Desert Storm. It’s one of the best music videos of all time (imho), filmed in Austin, TX. The Rock the Casbah bracelet is new at Kate Spade—billed as part of their Morocco collection. You could pair it with some bejeweled camel ear studs, I suppose (or not).

Wonder what’s up next for Kate Spade? I think it’s time to give the girls some equal billing. My vote goes to Blondie—“Eat to the Beat.”


About Cindy Wall

Cindy’s a communications and marketing pro, a writer, a grammar snob, and a rapacious reader. In her own words, she knows “a little about a lot” — i.e., 19th century literature, Karl Lagerfeld’s latest adventures, professional bike racing, and when to use the Oxford comma. She’s a fan of indie film and music — and bullish on local eating and shopping.