East LA’s cholo culture, science fiction, and rock n’ roll Americana may seem like strange bedfellows, but in the hands of designer Brandon Schoolhouse these influences are alloyed into a quintessential expression of Hollyweird: jewelry line Han Cholo.
Begun in 2002 – coincidentally, the same year the word “bling” was officially added to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary – Han Cholo has since amassed a following that reads like a Who’s Who of the music world (everyone from M.I.A. to Beck to Snoop Dogg to Rihanna have been pictured wearing designer Brandon Schoolhouse’s pieces).
But the handcrafted line of necklaces, rings, earrings and cuffs aren’t just for celebs. Schoolhouse also reproduces his precious metal pieces in brass at an affordable price point, for people who may not be ballin’ but still want to look baller.
We caught up with Schoolhouse in the Han Cholo HQ and former Beastie Boys studio, to learn more about his vision, his best sellers (hint: necklaces that double as hidden one-hitters), and how Los Angeles’ latin culture has influenced his outlook.