When we play six degrees of Kevin Bacon separation in office, it usually leads to cool stories about how our uncle is best friends with Kurt Russell, or how we were pen pals with Kirsten Dunst through our mom’s childhood BFF. Rarely can we toss out a casual, “my grandma is Meryl Streep” or “Kate Middleton is my second cousin.” But designer Malyn Joplin, founder of Made for Pearl, has her own story to tell—as the niece of singer Janis Joplin. Creating a brand that is edgy, eclectic and downright groovy, Malyn Joplin channeled her aunt’s individualistic sense of style, freedom and expression into a line of accessories, jewelry and apparel that goes against modern conventions and connects fans and fashion lovers with the spirit of Janis.
Malyn Joplin was born long after her aunt’s tragic death, but it only left her looking for a way to connect with her famous aunt—the bright and brilliant woman that she heard about in her family’s stories. Starting her brand as a way to feel closer to Janis, Joplin found inspiration in family photos, letters and stories and began to recreate some of her favorite designs in detail. Taking the name Pearl from Janis’ stage nickname (and the name of her last and posthumously released album) she gave the brand the name Made for Pearl, in honor of her aunt. While looking to design authentic pieces that the singer herself would be eager to wear, she adds touches of modern detail and updated fabrics to allow the designs to speak to a whole new generation.
While many brands are looking oversees for manufacturers or inexpensive textiles, Joplin knows the only way to truly recreate her aunt’s style is from the ground up. With high-quality materials made in the U.S., everything is done stateside and made with the same quality and care of her aunt’s most beloved pieces. Bell bottom pants, tie-dye and paisley prints, lace and fringe leather run rampant in the collection, very hippie pieces, but with a modern touch—perfect for fashion lovers with a free spirit. Ladies who don’t feel bold enough for bell bottoms can still channel the sixties rocker with a jewelry collection that is perfectly Janis. Psychedelic bangles, tribal cuffs and chunky turquoise rings round out a jewelry line that looks like it came from the singer’s own boudoir.
Most of us try to connect with family members through stories or trinkets, maybe a photo album they left behind, rarely do we break out a needle and thread to create a collection in their honor, but that’s what makes this brand so unique. We could definitely see ourselves grabbing a fringe bag to wear to next year’s Coachella (how appropriate!) or even an appliqué leather jacket for some extra everyday sparkle. But we love the lace bell bottoms the best—because really—where else could you find something as fun and freeing as lace bell bottoms?
Made for Pearl is available online and at Dash boutiques nationwide. Priced from $60-$1,850.