Anna Sheffield x Kyp Malone

Jo Rosenthal
Samantha Casolari

What happens when two cool people come together for a collaboration that helps them become introspective towards their life and the lives they will live in the future? This year, Anna Sheffield teamed together with everyone she loves to collaborate on a collection that’s everything you didn’t know you’d been missing in your life. Alongside many muses, Sheffield’s collection is an ode to the melting pot of New York and the fabulous people who make up the magical essence of the city. Photographed by Samantha Casolari, the images, inspired by Warhol’s Polaroids, celebrate community, individuality, and everything in between.

The collection, which took months to come together, involved a lot of calling up and reconnecting with old friends she hadn’t seen before the pandemic. The collection by Anna brings together the feelings of closeness we might have lost over the past three years. Who’s to say we can’t mend every ailment we’ve ever had, and who’s to say we can’t do it through love and a little sparkle.
Puss Puss had the honour of sitting down with Anna Sheffield and Kyp Malone (TV on The Radio) to pick their brains about everything from fashion, art, culture, music, and all things fabulous in NYC and San Francisco since the 90s. The collection, which consists of rings, necklaces, earrings, and thoughtfulness, is available on her website now.
Jo: How did this collaboration come together? 
Anna: I had been back in NYC for several weeks over the summer and was just revelling in all the beautiful and inspiring people I saw on the streets. And taking in these blessed feelings, being refilled, through so many deep heart-to-hearts with old friends I hadn’t seen – like Kyp, whom I ran into at my friend Ryan’s bday. It felt so poignant and palpable, the way these creative souls end up here, like the timeless magnetism of it…And the contrast of those here from birth or for decades next to this younger set, it’s just all so beautiful, with the commonality and the contrasts. I wanted to capture that—the NYC of it all.
Kyp: A text from an old friend.
J: What does a muse / being a muse mean to you?
A: I gather inspiration in many forms- I can fall in love with a song, shed a tear over a raindrop perched on a petal, or take 300 pictures of architectural details in Barcelona… All feel equally powerful. As for design, I think archetypal of people I know or can envision as muses when designing jewellery. All in all, I have many muses!
K: It’s a denigrated concept lately because of its gendered use/misuse as regards agency. I won’t pretend that its old-school use doesn’t resonate with me, but at heart, whatever inspires, be that place, person, community, ideals, or anything, can work as a muse. If I can be that for someone else, then that’s fantastic.
J: Can you describe what it was like in San Francisco in the ’90s in 3 words or a sentence? 
Anna: Beautiful. Dark. Innocence.
Kyp: SF in the ’90s was a collective fantasy manifestation mechanism.
J: What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about New York?
A: I could do with more flowers and fewer trash piles.
K: By degrees, it’s a place where people, regardless of their race, class, or gender, have to contend with one another. This isn’t a breeze, but it’s more the reality I’d choose than a place organized in other ways I’ve seen it laid down. My least favorite thing about NYC is the power real estate developers hold, gentrification, and immoral housing costs.
J: What would you be doing if you weren’t a jewelry designer and a musician?
A: honestly, the runner-up was something academic like cultural anthropology or comparative religion. I’m secretly nerdy.
K: It’s impossible to know. If the question is what other passions were sidelined in pursuing a career in music, then I’d likely be a photographer or filmmaker.
J: How did the pandemic change you creatively?
A: The saying ‘YOLO’ never really did it for me before, but after about 6 months of anxiety and isolation, I started to hone in on the list of things I absolutely have to do in this life. That was a gift, albeit one that came with more than a few sleepless nights.
K: It has been humbling, like so much of what is encountered in life. It also has been a gift of perspective.
J: What other projects are you currently working on? 
A: Aside from jewelry and trying to connect more and make space and time for people, I love to commune and share our stories, hopes, and dreams. I’m a big fan of the dinner party for that. Hoping someday I’ll get asked to make a cookbook with some recipes and stories.
K: Besides producing records, I’m currently in the middle of an illustration commission. A deck of cards that apply both to a friend’s tabletop r.p.g and tarot.
J: What do you think about the indie sleaze moment making a comeback?
A: I love how things cycle back in fashion, music, and ideologically. It’s a bit soon, but I’m sure I subconsciously participate. This version feels like a remix of subcultures and styles that would not have mingled then- which is amazing, but also, that’s how it should be. I always wondered if the punks of the 70s / 80s looked on the 90s with some feelings of ‘oh no’ and a dash of pride. I mean, we wore black and jewelry from the hardware store with Victorian lace. Youth culture sees the world as ripe for reinvention. And that’s a good thing.
K: Are we talking about aesthetics or more associated with a scene? I’m all for rock and roll and ugly glasses, but I could do with less casual misogyny, “tongue in cheek” xenophobia, and coke and booze addictions in the next go-round.
J: What are your favorite parallels between music and fashion? Are there any designers or artists that helped bridge this gap for you?
A: I mean, two words – David Bowie. Creativity is boundless when you put your mind to it.
K: Bowie, Bootsy, Bjork.
J: I’m a big fan of both of you (as you probably know, Anna) and Kyp; your music helped me get through high school; what can you say to young people who want to be you and do what you do? 
A: It’s definitely normal to be afraid to be vulnerable and put yourself out there, to take risks. But do it anyway. What you gain is always more than what you’ll lose if you keep your commitment to your truest self. Also- those same fragile moments can lead to immeasurably deep life-long connections. Like the one, I was fortunate to develop with Kyp.
K: Please, for the love of god, be yourself. The most likely way towards creative innovation is in a system or a scene that encourages heterogeneity. Everything else is cosplay at best.