Reppin' H-Town

Meet Kam Franklin's Favorite Houston Jewelry Designer

Jessie Dugan has NYFW cred, an artistic vision and at least one famous fan.

By Sarah Rufca Nielsen February 22, 2017

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Kam Franklin, photographed for Jessie Dugan Designs.

Image: Mark Armes

For accessories designer Jessie Dugan, seeing The Suffers lead singer Kam Franklin in her jewelry is like coming full circle.

"Kam Franklin has been an inspiration to me since my early Montrose days,” says Dugan, who started Jessie Dugan Designs in 2016. "To me, Kam is the contemporary vision of rockstar royalty in a world where women reign."

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Image: Mark Armes

Dugan spent several years in New York designing ready-to-wear clothing at Rag & Bone before transitioning to accessories for Henri Bendel and designing runway jewelry for Tory Burch. Returning to her hometown of Houston, she now creates one-of-a-kind- jewelry inspired by her runway fashion experience, contemporary painters (Dugan has a BFA from Southwestern University, where she majored in painting and printmaking) and Houston's diversity and culture.

After Franklin was spotted in several pieces of Dugan's jewelry during the Day For Night festival in December—Nylon, for one, noted approvingly of the singer's festival style—the two artists were ready to make their mutual admiration official with a one-of-a-kind shoot. 

"I kept having these visions of her draped in rich materials with cascading brooches and pearls... much like Louis XVI, but this time a woman reigns," says Dugan. They scheduled a shoot when Franklin was in town for several performances around the Super Bowl, infusing the Post HTX recording studio with a Marie-Antoinette-meets-Texas-rockabilly-chic vibe. 

Says Franklin: "[Fashion] is doable here—you know, it might be a little harder to find sometimes but when you find it, it’s like finding a pot of gold. I love how people here are eager to share how proud they are of Houston.”

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Image: Mark Armes

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