Local Focus: Lock and Key

February 15, 2016

Lock and Key designs are a combination of inspired international culture and cool bohemian. Fusing Native American beading with classic ball-and-chain ideas creates a beautiful design, hand-beaded and/or loomed with seamless interweaving. Founder Tony Perrin, a bright and kind soul, is always on the lookout for new and refreshing pendants to use in his pieces, and each design is finished with an iconic lock charm. Both men and women's pieces are available, and Lock and Key is already making a home within our local fashion community. Currently, you'll find Tony's designs available for sale at Two Old Hippies and Castilleja, with other boutiques quickly lining up to grab their pieces. If you can't make it to one of these locations, shop online on the Lock and Key website using code "CMS10" for 10% discount. Expires 3/15/2016. Enjoy a short Q&A with Lock and Key's Tony Perrin below.

John Branam Photography

CA: Tell me about your history as a designer and Lock and Key.

TP: My design career began as a small child while dancing. I taught myself how to hand sew my costumes as my mom, amazing, could not sew. Good with a glue gun, not needle and thread. While attending NYU's Tisch's Dance Conservatory, I expanded my knowledge by creating my own costumes and props for pieces I choreographed. A few years after graduation, I was forced to stop dancing due to chronic back strain. After interning with Betsy Johnson, I landed my first paying job with Helmut Lang. At that time, I went back to school attending FIT at night to develop the true craft of pattern making and draping. From there, I worked with some of the best and most interesting designers in the garment district both in New York and Los Angeles.

Lock and Key was also seeded when I was a child. A close family friend taught me how to weave on his handmade beading loom. Upon his passing twenty years later, his wife handed down his loom to me. I dabbled in custom work for almost twenty years, but upon moving to Nashville, I decided to really establish the roots of a company honoring him. I have spent the last year and a half honing my skills and developing new techniques on the loom. It has been amazing.

CA: What are some of the most important experiences you’ve had throughout your career in the fashion industry?

TP: Many of my most important experiences have been while on the job. As my Dad calls it "OJT" or "On The Job Training." I never put much weight in OJT until living it. As I was self-taught, learning the craft of design development from Helmut Lang was a true inspiration. His attention to the authenticity behind his collections was breathtaking. Both Ralph Lauren and Disney helped me to develop my story-telling skills and how to articulate a creative vision. My most memorable experience was at the beginning of my career. I landed an interview with Betsey Johnson. Not knowing who she was or having a design resume, I went to the interview with a bag full of tricks. Mary Poppins would have been proud. As the interview began, her head designer asked for a copy of my resume as she "misplaced" mine. Not having any true fashion experience I didn't/couldn't fax one ahead of time. I told her I had just ran out during my last interview but had work I had done with me. The rest is history.

CA: What is your hope for the success of Lock and Key?

TP: My hope for Lock and Key is to grow the brand into a respected lifestyle company while retaining its authenticity and hands on approach. Bringing a great product and story to my consumers is utmost important to me.

CA: Where do you find the wide variety of materials used to create Lock and Key designs?

TP: Discovering my materials is part of my the process I enjoy the most. The journey inspires each piece and collection. Many things are found on my travels, whether it's down the street or to India, there are always treasures to uncover. Others are from trusted vendors I have been working with that have unique pieces. Each time I sit down at the loom, my goal is to be incorporating something new I've never worked with before into the line. OJT all of the time.

CA: Any exciting upcoming plans for Lock and Key?

TP: I look forward to an exciting 2016. My goal is to expand my retail presence, and I have recently got picked up by Two Old Hippies and Castilleja with a champagne brunch event at Castilleja on March 20th. I have multiple events coming up that are listed at http://www.lockandkeydesign.com/pop-ups-and-events/.

I am very excited to announce a friend and I just landed on a date to host our third themed trunk show party. We do two parties a year, and in our second year, we will be hosting Havana Nights in April. There will be live music and burlesque. Everyone dresses up with great jewelry. Lastly, 2016 will see the launch of beaded clutches. Subscribe on the website to be first to know more.

JEWELRY c/o Lock and Key | DRESS Naked Wardrobe | BOOTS Catherine Malandrino | SWEATER Vintage Havana | LEGGINGS Naked Wardrobe | BAG Nasty Gal | SHOES Nordstrom