Wednesday, August 17, 2011 -- Half a Person

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On Our Radar: Black Sheep &Amp; Prodigal Sons “Half A Person” Candle

August 17, 2011  2:01 pm

I have—and in this I’m not too unusual—an affinity bordering on reverence for Morrissey. (I know, I know—call me morbid, call me pale.) The quiffed Smiths front man (and current solo act) serenaded me through the moodiest years of adolescence and beyond, and as misery’s troubadours go, I think few have a better way with a turn of phrase and a sneer. But as I said, I’m not unusual in that. The man inspires, maybe even demands, a kind of idolatry. So of all the Moz memorabilia out there, the new bust candle from New York’s Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons, who specialize in jewelry and straight razors, feels to me among the most apropos. It’d make a fine centerpiece for a Smiths-centric religious rite, the kind of secular service still enacted in dorm rooms around the world—if you dared to burn it, of course. (If you do, there surely can’t be a better soundtrack suggestion than Morrissey’s “Hairdresser on Fire.”) It’d look just as good, though, displayed entire, far from the lick of flame. I’m not much of a candle guy, myself, but I have a weakness for a good bust in wax. This one deserves mantel-space alongside the wax heads of Napoleon and Marie Antoinette offered at the centuries-old French candlemakers Cire Trudon. Although at 9.1″, Morrissey towers over the 20-odd centimeter tall royals and world-beaters. You have to think he’d like that.

Half a Person Morrissey wax bust by Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons, $185, available for preorder now at

Monday, August 15, 2011

Clear Magazine -- Half a Person

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Rolling Stone Magazine -- Half a Person

Read Full Article Here:

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

New York Times T Style Blog -- Tuan Bui

Tuan Bui from An Choi wearing Monolith Necklace by Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons

Monday, August 01, 2011

Inked Magazine -- Megan Massacre

Wearing The Splinter Ring by Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons

Wearing the Aikea Guinea Ring by Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons

Thursday, March 31, 2011

French GQ

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Horsehair necklace by Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons, coat and pants Yohji Yamamoto

Photographer Takahiro Ogawa
Art direction Kazuya Goan
Stylist Aki Maesato
Make-up Asami Taguchi @ L’Atelier NYC
Hair Masa Honda
Model Evelina @ New York Model Management

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

ArtForum February 2011 -- Occulter in Top 10

Honeycomb necklaces made of gold, scrimshaw pendants fashioned from salvaged piano keys, a rare book collection installed to seemingly defy gravity—the things that Derrick Cruz creates look like they come from some magical old-world place. But in discussing his newly opened store at 83 1/2 Orchard Street, the artist and jewelry designer explained thatocculter is in fact the term for “an instrument used to block the view of a bright celestial object, allowing the careful observation of a fainter one.” Such a description could just as easily describe Cruz himself, his vision always clearing space for others to expand theirs.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Schön February 2011 -- Witchcraft

Friday, December 31, 2010

Forbes Life December 2010 -- The Mammoth Razor

Friday, December 10, 2010

JC Report December 2010 -- Occulter Fashion Feature

In the days before before online sample sales and big box retailers, shopping was an event—a way to discover new things and to forge a sense of community. But with skyrocketing square-footage costs and compulsory markdowns on excess inventory, the independent brick-and-mortar store has become somewhat of an endangered species. Fortunately, fashion’s cutting edge contingent is reviving the lost art of big city shopping in entirely new ways.
With a fraction of the square footage and a temporary, devil-may-care air that’s otherwise missing in organized, premeditated retailing, these recession-minded shops are the anti-department stores. In line with the raved-about Monocle pop-up shops in New York, London and LA, fashion’s curatorial retailers—”curetailers,” if we may—are trailblazing a new retail experience with tiny shops that pack a big punch. “The idea is one of behemoth commercialism versus artful independent design,” Black Sheep & Prodigal Son’s Derrick R. Cruz explains of this new retail attitude.

At Cruz’s brainchild shop Occulter, for instance, shoppers will find record albums, used books and black honey right alongside avant-garde fashion labels. This Lower East Side goth jewelbox of a shop is a way to show off the designer’s darkly romantic jewelry with the added interest and credibility of a lifestyle’s worth of goodies—all showcased in a space the size of a punk rock shoebox studio. “For brands with a strong message, curated boutiques are imperative,” explains Cruz. “Creating a small world where individuals can be enveloped by your ideas and ideals is priceless for branding…You’ll make more profit online, [but] they go hand-in-hand.”

In the Meatpacking District, meanwhile, BLACK Commes Des Garçons is a guerilla pop-up shop that showcases the label’s limited-edition, mid-priced BLACK collection. Think of it as a one-stop shop for cool kids on a bartender’s budget. Besides, who needs a bougie boutique when you can pass the savings right along to your core contingent in a bare bones setting? Fashion’s true fanatics will not miss velvet-upholstered dressing rooms in this to-the-point setting.

Cruz analogizes the current shopping model to the music business: “The big music monsters fell and supposedly the music business died,” he observes. “Funny thing happened though: a thousand little independent bands came out of nowhere and made a thousand little movements and new genres. We can thank their use of the internet for that. So, one could argue that, creatively, music is more successful than ever, regardless of whether or not Capitol Records is making a profit. With some good curatorial skills and some internet, I think small independent retailers and designers can do the same for fashion and design.”

Friday, November 26, 2010

New York Magazine Gift Guide

50 Stores You've Never Shopped

Coolhunting Gift Guide 2010

View Details

Thursday, September 02, 2010

BSPS @ Eastern Market

We are excited to announce the arrival of Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons at the Eastern Market chapel in Melbourne, Australia. Thank you for the incredible display.

Learn more about Eastern Market:

NETWORK T2402 (top above form)
rubberized leather and cording with bronze infinity clasp 

CHOGAN (on form)
vintage ebony and leather harness w/ dustbag

horsehair bracelets

horsehair and sterling cross necklace

ebony and leather harness w/ dustbag

Monday, August 16, 2010

Paper Magazine: Occulter Opening

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Occulter Talk about a head trip: Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons jewelry designer Derrick R. Cruz’s pint-size shop of curiosities is divided into two areas that symbolize each hemisphere of the brain. To the left, you’ll find his sources of inspiration for sale, including rubber-dipped moleskin notebooks ($11) and vinyl records by experimental Spanish punk bands ($9–$70). On the right lie his creations, such as asymmetrical wooden earrings cast in silver ($140) and a key-charm necklace ($90). While you may not be able to afford quirky gems like a Navajo-inspired breastplate fashioned from piano-ivory veneers and leather harnesses ($3,200) or a medallion necklace made from miniature magnifying lenses and bee parts found on a Brooklyn rooftop ($3,027), they’re certainly worth gawking over. 83 1/2 Orchard St at Broome St (917-769-2220, Daily noon–8pm.

Read more:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Nick from Bblessing wearing Saturn Pin from The 7 Sacred Planets



Vintage piano ivory and black harness.
Photo By Courtesy Photo

A Novel Needle

Posted MONDAY JULY 26, 2010

NEW YORK — Walk along Orchard Street in Manhattan too quickly and one could miss Occulter, a sliver of a store at No. 83 1/2.

That would be a shame because the 100-square-foot shop, which bowed this month on the Lower East Side, features highly unusual jewelry and objects.

Derrick Cruz, who has a degree in painting from East Carolina University, shapes rare natural or repurposed materials such as vintage ivory piano keys, mammoth fossil ivory and horse hair into necklaces and bracelets for the company he founded, Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons. Occulter sells Black Sheep merchandise and items specially designed for the store.

Cruz, who uses endangered technologies and traditions to craft his work, won the 2007 Gen Art Styles Design Vision Award for Accessories and was a semifinalist for the 2009 Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award. 

As for the name Occulter, Cruz said its a bit misleading. “Occulter sounds like the occult,” he said. "An occulter is an instrument used to block the view of a bright celestial object allowing the careful observation of a fainter one."

The store holds plenty of mystery, nonetheless. Cruz is obsessed with the potential beauty found in darkness and also finds inspiration in funerary crafts, alchemical studies and Native American mythology.

“One thing that led me to take the route I did was the idea of making very personal objects and things that are hard to replicate by a machine,” he said. “We want to make things that prove that the human hand is more capable than a machine. We find materials that are scarce and salvaged and would make no sense for mass production because the irregularity of everything. When you create things with unusual materials there’s this childlike moment that occurs. When you present someone with something like this, the recipient has a sense of wonder.” 

Among the most novel objects are an 18-karat gold honeycomb pendant on a fine gold chain at $2,000 is both a conversation piece and political statement inspired by the alarming disappearance of honeybees, a horse hair bangle bracelet with leather at $385 and a golden jaw that is a replica of a large human jaw that’s made of 24-karat gold over solid brass with a natural black diamond at $2,400 and can be used as an ashtray or to hold small objects. Cruz also creates scrimshaw on vintage piano ivory for pendants that start at $685, and commissions in the same format starting at $1,000. 

Cruz plans to introduce new collections and collaborations with other eclectic New York talents, starting with Bryan Collins, who created the album cover design for School of Seven Bells.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

New York Magazine: The Cut "Shopping"

Read Article

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Thursday, July 08, 2010

Opening July 14th: OCCULTER by Black Sheep & Prodial Sons


DATE: July 8, 2010
CITY: New York, NY

Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons opens retail shop on Orchard St., NYC

Accessories and object makers Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons proudly announce the opening of OCCULTER, their first street-side retail destination. Inspired by a pantheon of fringe thinkers and risk-takers under the influence of the celestial spheres, designers Derrick R. Cruz and newcomer Christine Samar aim to create a material experience that will fan the spark of one basic human necessity: a personal sense of wonder.

OCCULTER opens to the public on July 14, 2010, and is located at the center of New York’s burgeoning Lower East Side shopping and restaurant neighborhood (83 Orchard Street, 10002). Literally attached to the popular Vietnamese eatery An Choi, it's minimalist interior was designed in collaboration with architect and restaurant co-owner Huy Bui.

OCCULTER will house selected works from the Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons archive as well as pieces designed exclusively for the shop. The location will also host the unveiling of new collections and debut collaborations with other eclectic New York talents, starting with Bryan Collins (album cover designer for School of Seven Bells). Further enhancing the experience, patrons will have an opportunity to take part in the designers’ inspiration via a curated selection of esoteric books (exclusive NYC retailer of Ouroboros Press)and music from labels the likes of TypeTaigaImportant and Sibling Sex Records (all for sale).

83 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002
Tel: 917-769-2220

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Dark Miracle Box II, No. 3 of 3

Exclusively available at The List by Revolve

Keep your secrets safe. Handcrafted in New York, the limited-edition piece is the last in a set of three and is available exclusively to REVOLVE. The book-inspired box is made from ebonized American maple and features vintage piano ivory detail, a solid brass Spanish lock with custom "sun" key pendant, and a secret compartment finished with 22k gold gilding. The cover art depicts the origins of light and darkness, as inspired by the title of the book: Every Moment of Light is a Dark Miracle.

1 of 3 limited edition boxes
Measures approximately 12.5" x 9" x 3.5"
Ebonized American Maple with hand-oiled finish
Spine engraving filled with Weathered brass powder
Brass inlay on cover, as well as vintage piano ivory inlay and triangle keyhole
Interior tray comes with linen bags for each of the 6 compartments
Secret drawer underneath tray slides out. Drawer is 1" deep with a hinged top and 22k gold gilding
Comes with key pendant on waxed cord
Handcrafted in New York City

Photos courtesy of Revolve Clothing.

Technical drawings by Augustus Moore

Monday, May 24, 2010

Now available at

"O'ha" braided horsehair bracelet now available at

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sleeping Leviathon

Sleeping Leviathon (front), one-of-a-kind scrimshaw on carved fossilized woolly mammoth horn.

Sleeping Leviathon (back)

Exclusively available at S.O.S. FP Japan

Friday, April 23, 2010

"The Seven Sacred Planets" Now Available

Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons is proud to present it’s most recent collaboration with Bblessing of New York — The Seven Sacred Planets.

This Ptolemaic model of the “planets” [which includes the Sun and the Moon] is represented symbolically via seven handcrafted multipurpose pins. Namely, they are: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury and the Moon.

Individual Pin Dimensions: +- ten centimeters

Material Choice: bronze or sterling silver

Limited Edition Packaging: A handcrafted and engraved leather-lined wood case is available.

Purchase at our online store or at Bblessing

"Just as the sun shines through a glass, the sun and the moon and all planets, as well as all the stars and the whole chaos, are in man." Paracelsus, Alchemist and Visionary (1493-1541)

via LadyLavona

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Happy Spring!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Inked Magazine April 2010: The Lost Boy

Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons"Nascha" Bib

Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons"Chogan" Harness