Jewelry doesn’t always have to be polished and new to be considered a luxury. This is evident in the pieces from Steph Shiu, the 33-year-old model-turned-accessories designer who considers her creations more like ‘talispersons’ imbued with healing properties.
Her brand H(OUR) Objects is an earth-conscious, leather-alternative accessories label influenced by a wide range of subjects — from science fiction and esotericism to space-age futurism and anime. Much like her design philosophy, Vault by Vans has been celebrating the legacy of craft since 2003 by elevating its iconic silhouettes through choice materials and meticulous attention to detail. It’s precisely for these reasons that Vault has transcended skate culture and has become the de facto footwear for style-conscious folks looking for a cut above the rest.
Shiu’s custom jewelry pieces are a hugely collaborative endeavor and Vault by Vans has a history of experimentation — working with brands from Stüssy and The North Face to Undercover and WTAPS over the years. Vault’s diverse range of collaborators is a testament to the label’s broad appeal while still maintaining a dash of exclusivity due to its semi-limited nature.
To get a better understanding between them, we connected with Shiu to learn more about her vision for H(OUR) Objects, how she started creating jewelry, her personal style, and why the Vault by Vans OG Sk8-Hi LX is her footwear of choice. We peered inside her home studio and got an intimate look at her creative process, workspace, and more.
Read our interview below and learn more about her work.
Tell us about your work and what you do.
Everything I do is inspired by my spiritual practice of Kadampa Buddhism of being mindful and grounded in compassion and wisdom. Everything is about setting an intention, holding the intention throughout the activity, and dedicating the energy to the everlasting happiness of all living beings.
With H(OUR) Objects, my work is about connecting with people and being a catalyst in inviting the energies they would like to invite in their lives through healing crystal therapy and my practice of Kadampa Buddhism.
As a model, I am represented by Elite and work to represent brands in the luxury and beauty sector. A lot of times they expect you to play a part, but what always works best is to channel my own identity and creativity through their brand filters when it comes to the way I move, or the attitude I express. It makes me the happiest when I’m able to add to a client’s vision and they are happy.
How did you first start making jewelry?
I was going through a dark time in my life that took me back home after living in Europe. I reconnected with my mom through a Buddhist practice which, in many ways, saved my life and relationship with my family.
During that time my mom gifted me a fire opal piece that really helped me through a lot of what I was dealing with — that’s how I discovered the power of healing crystal therapy. When I wore certain gemstones I felt the qi shift through my body and I would feel significantly more aligned with my self and purpose.
With this discovery, I wanted to share my experiences and practices that helped me survive with others going through similar things. I’ve always been interested in design and accessories and I thought this would be a wonderful way to merge my love for design and alternative healing.
Talk to us about your creative process and inspiration for your brand Hour Objects.
For the ready-to-wear lines, I created pieces that are more general, such as business relationships and wealth, confidence and creativity, universal love and life purpose, inner peace and communication, inner child, and joy.
The bespoke process of H(OUR) Objects is designed with the wearer in mind: their intentions, their aspirations, their greatest loves, and their deepest wounds. Each piece is crafted by hand and imbued at every stage with empathic ritual, great care, and the highest standards of sustainability and ethical sourcing. For those who wish for further personalization, bespoke ceremonial services may be provided, including prayers to Green Tara, Je Tsongkhapa, and the Melodious Drum.
What are some of your favorite pieces and why?
I have a trusty piece just for creative tasks, it consists of crystals that enhance creativity, inspiration, inventiveness, storytelling, unblocking creativity, analysis, and problem-solving.
Tell us a little about your personal style and how you styled your Vans
My style is about comfort, subtle details, and creativity — looks that can work well together on a number of occasions, day and night, even if they don’t exactly fit in with what the crowd is usually wearing. For my wardrobe, I like to collect parts, mixing vintage Bottega Veneta, Jil Sander, Junya Watanabe, and Prada with younger brands like Peter Do, Kiko Kostadinov, and Gauntlett Cheng.
I styled the black OG Sk8-Hi LX with a vintage Prada shirt, [Issey Miyake] Pleats Please pants, and Uniqlo U. I styled my navy OG Sk8-Hi LX with Gauntlett Cheng double plaid trousers and shirt, and bootleg Jean Paul Gaultier (I got duped by a Vestiare seller).