Triangle, Standard, & Mini Friendship Safety Pin Earrings | Jumbo Safety Pin pictured with a Petite Havana ChainXXL Safety Pin Mixed Chain

 

An American invention turned unlikely accessory. Safety Pins have been an LS signature since our start, but the history that inspired our designs goes back even farther.

This the safety pin's style origin story– from everyday fastener, then anti-fashion statement piece, to finally becoming the iconic embellishment it is today.

Humble beginnings. Inventor Walter Hunt’s original 1849 patents for the Safety Pin, which was created in order to pay off a $15 debt to a friend. It was later mass-produced and marketed as a “miracle fastener”– becoming a practical staple in American households.

For starlets & soldiers. The multi-purpose sewing tool was used to fasten clothing, pin diapers, and were even issued by the military as regulation laundry markers. As the resident style rule-breakers of the 1920’s, a few flappers embraced the widespread use of safety pins in clothing. Actress Josephine Dunn was definitely onto something when she fashioned her own safety pin jewelry. 

Functional, fashionable fasteners. By 1947, safety pins had gained widespread use as a standard, no-fuss war time coat fastener. Their prevalence in clothing was eventually embraced as an embellishment by high-end brands. Pierre Balmain incorporates a safety pin closure in the 1960’s design on the right.

Dapper dudes in collar pins. Elevated pins still served a purpose, even in formalwear. 1950's men's style icons Frank Sinatra and Steve McQueen both sported safety pin-style collar pins.

Photo by Val Hennessy (1978) | The Clash fan in Stockholm (1977)

Johnny Rotten with Steve Jones | Vivienne Westwood shirt featuring Jamie Reid's artwork for "God Save the Queen"

Punks (Karen Knorr and Olivier Richon, 1976) | Sex Pistols fans | Soo Catwoman (Ray Stevenson, 1976) | The Roxy (Derek Ridgers, 1977)

 

Style anarchy in the UK. The birth of punk in 1970’s London led to a whole new aesthetic, with safety pins at its core. The look was ironically defined by an anti-fashion ethos to defy materialism and mainstream beauty standards. Practical household safety pins were used for DIY piercings, to hold together tattered tees, and as embellishments to customize clothes. 

DIY-inspired designers. Safety pins soon became a symbol of rebellion, creative experimentation, and freedom of expression. They inspired designer Judy Blame to create Boy George’s iconic 1980's look. They reappear on the right in his recent collaboration with Moschino.

Runway & red carpet showstoppers. Versace’s wave-making 1993 collection was, quite literally, held together by safety pins. Luxe safety pin embellishments drew attention to provocative details, giving Elizabeth Hurley a highly sensationalized red carpet moment that made her a household name. 

Balmain SS11 | Alexander Wang AW16 | Rodarte SS17

 

An enduring style symbol. The safety pin has become a well-established symbol of inventive, defiant, forward-thinking style. It’s an ever-evolving staple that’s sure to be referenced, remixed, and reborn for years to come.

Pearl Bracelet with Safety Pin Closure | Shapeshifter Chain

 

New classics. Loren Stewart started celebrating this small-but-mighty accessory with our first pair of signature 14Kt gold Safety Pin Earrings, and we’ve been elevating and reimagining it into fine jewelry without rules ever since.

 

Shop our signature Safety Pins here.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Back to The Studio