Presley Oldham is one of the freshest faces on the New York fashion scene, but you could also say he was born into the industry.
The 24-year-old jewelry designer, who launched his namesake brand this spring, is the nephew of the CFDA Perry Ellis Award-winning fashion designer Todd Oldham (and even modeled for Vogue as a toddler, NBD). His upward trajectory continued with a digital presentation at New York Fashion Week this afternoon.
The brand's ethos? Jewelry is for everyone. Oldham doesn't label his brand as genderless, but he doesn't need to. His freshwater pearl pieces — which would look equally elegant on style icons like Harry Styles or Tracee Ellis Ross — speak for themselves regardless of who wears them, or how.
The point was honed further during Oldham's debut Fashion Week presentation. Shown as a digital film, a diverse array of the designer's friends — including dancer Austin Goodwin, nutritionist Bianca Valle, and artists Elliott Skinner, Astrid Terrazas and Mahlet Traore — swayed, posed and blew kisses while donning his pieces. Having expanded from his original collection of necklaces, Oldham's Spring 2021 lineup includes baroque, coin and seed pearl anklets, and keychains.
A wide range of colors were used outside of the standard pearly whites — green, black, peach, blue, silver and multicolored stones all made appearances. Set to Liv.e and C.S. Armstrong's "She's My Brand New Crush" against natural backdrops, the presentation evoked a soft, relaxed mood.
Photo courtesy of Maxwell Turner
By creating his pieces by hand with upcycled pearls and silver — mostly found at flea markets or sourced from vendors in Santa Fe (where he's been quarantining since COVID-19 began) — Oldham's collection is a sustainable ode to traditional jewelry making. Coupled with the digital presentation, the line is a lesson in resourcefulness (after all, it was born during the pandemic).
Where his uncle's craft lies in making bold, vibrant pieces, Oldham's are subtle and soft. If today's presentation symbolizes anything, it's that designers must be adaptable in the face of uncertainty — and, if they're anything like Oldham, thrive within a league of their own. See the full video, below.