• UO Studio Visits: Brooklyn Beton

    On April 13 we're gathering in Soho to celebrate the 30th anniversary of our Soho UO store in NYC. Come by to celebrate with music, drinks, pop-up shops, and more (stay tuned for more info on the party!) We've also teamed up with some of our talented NYC employees to showcase the creativity and talent that we're lucky enough to call our UO fam. Leading up to it all, we're highlighting some of the amazing talent who will be part of the event: like the minimalist statement pieces by Oriahn & Doron Saban of Beton. Find out how they transform concrete, marble and brass into their own handmade line of jewelry and home goods.
    Photos by Natalie Fong

    Can you introduce yourself please — tell us a bit more about who you are, where you’re from, and what you do?
    OS: I moved to from LA to NY a little over 3 years ago. I began working for Urban Outfitters in 2012 and I'm currently working as a UO Store Merchandiser. I love that I get to be creative at work. I love the challenge and I love the payback knowing how much I
    can affect.
    DS: I'm Doron, I moved from Israel about 5 years ago. My background is in industrial design and most recently I've been working on designing and building recording studios.

    How did Beton start? And where does the name come from?
    Bèton began as an experimentation of materials. As long as we've known each other, we've always been creating something. We had a few designs in mind, at first using marble to create these architectural geometric shapes. Then we thought to developed a technique that would mimic all the organic qualities that we love about marble, just using concrete.

    Doron grew up in Israel where concrete was the main source of material used in architecture and he was extremely familiar with it. We loved using this extremely raw material and being able to elevate it to something super refined. We became obsessed with these bold
    silhouettes that we were creating and knew there was nothing else like it out there. As for the name, that was easy. We knew it to mean concrete in Hebrew. We also learned that it also means concrete in about every European language.

    How does a piece come together — walk us through the materials and process involved.
    After we come up with a design, we create a mold and cast the concrete using pigments for marbleizing. Then we begin to shape the piece and finish it using about 7 different grades of sandpaper so we can achieve a soft, seamless finish. The beauty in each piece really lies within the material itself as we open up the layers of concrete until we find a pattern that we like. We have our techniques but at the end of the day, the material will do what the material will do.

    How does living in NY influence the work you create?
    Living in a place that appreciates individuality really exposes you to so many different types of people, personality, style. Not only do the people we meet influence us, but it also allows us to be stronger individuals trusting ourselves along the processes.

    Who are some other artists you are into right now? Who are some of your influences
    as a creator?
    We started selling at Canal Street Market this past December and were fortunate enough to meet so many designers that continue to inspire and influence us. Alex Proba, Maggie Boyd, Fort Standard, Pat Kim, Chen and Kia, Ladies and Gentleman to name a few. Two jewelry designers that I'm currently obsessing over are Leigh Miller and Knobbley Studio.

    Tell us something we don’t know about what goes into creating one of your pieces.
    Some of our smaller pieces are actually designed with a metal based skeleton to keep them from shattering in a fall.

    What’s a new idea in your work you are looking forward to or curious about exploring in the near future?
    We just started using new colors for spring which we are really excited about. We also want to explore organic shapes in some of our metals.

    What’s next for you?
    We just finished up a order for the Guggenheim shop and I think the goal would be to get into more retail stores. We're thinking about NY Now in the summer.

    Shop Brooklyn Beton in person on April 13 at the UO Soho 30th Anniversary from 6-9pm at 628 Broadway