You’d think that, as an eyewear designer, the first thing I would notice is someone’s glasses. Ironically, I gave up paying much attention to what people are wearing on their faces a long time ago. Eyewear choices are often uninspired or, sadly, just wrong.

Instead, I look at people’s hands. Rings in particular can tell you a lot about a person: their perceived wealth, travels, where they shop, their marital status and, in some cases, even their religion. Try getting that from a pair of glasses.

Hands also are an instant reminder of my past – of those hands that held me, scolded me, protected me. My dad’s hands have always seemed large. They still do. They’re strong and confident. My mom’s hands were always perfectly manicured. I could never figure out how she was able to type so fast or grab us so quickly without breaking a nail. That pretty much sums her up to this day.
But it’s my grandmother’s hands that tell a deeper tale. She’s defiantly practical so only naturally rounded nails for her. As a painter, there occasionally were remnants of a day in the studio. But it’s the jewelry she wore that spoke to her keen eye, her life lived abroad in Bolivia, Yemen, Saigon and Laos and her eclectic yet refined sense of style. Her choices were always unconventional, artisanal, and unexpected. Just like her. And, over the years, I’ve either wittingly or subconsciously picked up her passion for oversized baubles which I now wear in homage to her.

At nearly 103 years old, her hands are decidedly timeworn but still strong and adorned with the talismans of her past. They still comfort and hold me tight. And they still give me the occasional smack if I get out of line.

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