Life by Design

These Twin Citians all share a love of fine craftmanship.

Life by Design
Photographs by Jake Armour
Built for 2 Twin Cities collectors John Oliva and Nancy Krant have this Tom Oliphant-designed chair at their beach house in Connecticut.

Style as a Way of Life
Yin Simpson spends her days custom-designing couture dresses, jewelry, and accessories for her many upscale clients. She makes some of her own clothes too, but she enjoys shopping just about anywhere quality clothes are sold—consignment stores, estate sales, boutiques, art fairs, even Target. “I collect all kinds of jewelry, shoes, and other accessories to go with my clothes, because a different scarf and earrings can make a whole new outfit,” she says. “My favorite jewelry is made of jade—not just green jade, but blue, pink, red, and purple jade as well.” She also loves pearls, both black and white. Simpson is Chinese, so she likes fashions that mix Eastern and Western influences. The necklace she models in is made by Korean jewelry designer Seung-Hea Lee, whose creations are known for their lively color, elegance, and classy playfulness. The gemstones are large, beautiful, and expensive—$25,000, to be precise.

Color Play
The stones in Seung-Hea Lee’s necklace: turquoise, garnet, peridot, coral, aquamarine, and crystal.