A little about the collection::
Bold. Strong. Beautiful. Aware.
Marrying aesthetics and environment, founder Melissa Kolbusz designs handmade, wearable artwork from reclaimed and surplus materials. Salvaging components, such as rubber, alternator wire, tubing and craft beer cans, WIRED fashions one-of-a-kind and limited edition works with designs on the future. With a sharp edge but a soft to the touch, these pieces are inspired by industrial wastelands, underwater creatures and the Chicago music scene.
In 1999, artist/designer Melissa Kolbusz started to develop the idea behind WIRED, officially launching in 2000. At the time, she was living in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood and found inspiration in its recycling centers, warehouses and junkyards. Salvaging, repurposing and reinventing the materials she discovered in the nearby industrial wasteland, she began to handcraft works of wearable art. At the forefront of sustainability, WIRED married aesthetics and environment before it was in fashion. Since then, her work has showcased, sold and been worn around the world.
In 2010, she was invited to Ecochic Geneva at the United Nations in Switzerland where her work was worn on the runway, and shortly after was presented at EcoChic Singapore. She was also commissioned to create distinct jewelry and accessories for the EFFEN By Design series, where she fashioned the vodka’s rubber labels into works of art. She has participated in the New York Now, Hong Kong’s Fashion Access, Chicago is Red Hot and The-One-Of-A-Kind shows. A bold proponent of sustainability and solution through design, she held a two-week entrepreneurship seminar at The Belvedere Community Center in St. Maarten, which introduced teenagers to sustainability, and how to incorporate it into product designs and business plans.
Kolbusz holds a BFA in Industrial Design from University of Illinois at Chicago, and has worked in the fields of furniture design, engineering and architecture. The press has taken notice as well: CNN highlighted her jewelry for a story on recycled jewelry, and NPR affiliate WBEZ has featured Kolbusz on-air. WIRED has also graced the covers of Caviar Magazine, Time Out Chicago and has been featured in the books Green Design, Recycle: The Essential Guide, and Style, Naturally.
“Ten years ago, hemp and hippies dominated the common perception of products made from recycled materials. Today, nothing is further from the truth. Just look at the ultra-industrial creations from Chicago designer Melissa Kolbusz. Using her hometown as a salvage yard rife with things most people would consider waste, Kolbusz uses recycled and surplus materials like metal and rubber washers and cords, alternator wire and stainless steel springs to create bracelets, necklaces, belly chains and hair accessories. This jewelry appeals to the punk in everyone.”
-excerpt from the book, Green Design
“Chicago designer Melissa Kolbusz gets our Sexiest (Re)use of Industrial Materials Award. (Re)using metal and rubber washers and cords, alternator wire, and steel cable to make bracelets, necklaces, belly chains, and hair accessories, like the bracelet seen here ($28), she’s created a collection of accessories that will please TreeHuggers, ravers, motorcycle mamas, and goth chicks alike. We dig her right-on aesthetic and her clever techniques. $25-100”
“Designer Melissa Kolbusz's line of jewelry, [wired], is made entirely from reclaimed and surplus industrial materials. Though old alternator wires and used transistors might sound like the antithesis of fashion, Kolbusz's pieces have a distinctiveness that comes from mixing shape, texture and material, like dangling earrings made of rubber washers linked with stainless steel. Each handcrafted piece ($20 to $400) is dictated by the found material, so you won't have to worry about your gift being anything less than one of a kind.”
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