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Worn Out Wednesday – Aaron Ruff

Today we speak to Digby & Iona founder Aaron Ruff.

Aaron Ruff grew up in Maine always working with his hands, across construction, carpentry, woodworking, and welding. Moving to New York after being accepted into Parsons for furniture design, Aaron set up his own wood shop doing high end custom renovation and furniture. As a side project, Aaron began designing and making jewelry, and the stores that carried his furniture started ordering the jewelry too. Giving up his dusty wood working pants, Aaron decided to make the switch to designing and making jewelry as a full time project.

Digby & Iona emerged in 2006 after Aaron took a trip to Nova Scotia, where he visited two quiet seaside towns named Digby and Iona. Apart from liking the names, Aaron wanted some anonymity for his project.

Instead of using other jewelry as a reference, Aaron uses historical and literary reference. All of the Digby & Iona signet rings have literary reference – a main icon or symbol is surrounded by a quote that relates to it, and decoration from that period to complete the design. The main mission of Digby & Iona is to create heirloom quality work that is stylish today, and will also appeal to future generations.

Aaron currently works in a studio above The Invisible Dog Gallery building in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, with his two dogs Nuki and Finn. The studio is filled with curiosities collected from years of antiquing. Aaron always welcomes visitors to check out the space and his work in person.

Aaron hopes to open a retail space for Digby & Iona so his customers can interface with the jewelry.

As for his personal style:

Jeans: mostly Wallace and Barnes and Levis 501, patched and repaired within an inch of their lives

Shirts: 50s chambray work shirts, old white tees

Pants: Canton

Suits: Brioni for black tie, JCrew Ludlow for casual

Shoes: Vans, WW2 Boondockers, LLBean duck boots

Accessories: 45RPM leather belt and a Digby & Iona signet ring on each hand, Rachel Hauer Tattoos.

Outerwear: Mister Freedom N-1 jacket all winter long, French chore coats the rest of the year.

Favorite Cologne: gold and silver dust

Your favorite App: Instagam, common I know but it’s been pivotal in getting my work out to a larger audience.

Favorite piece of technology: 3D wax printer

Next tech purchase: Shop Fox Combo Mini Lathe / Milling Machine

Cator Sparks
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Cator Sparks was the Editor-in-Chief of The Manual from its launch in 2012 until 2018. Previously, Cator was covering…
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