Jewelry designer Randi Mates started out in academia, not fashion. After earning an M.A. in Material Culture from the Bard Graduate Center, she was hired as a historian for the Smithsonian Institution. While working toward a Ph.D., she enrolled in a Greek and Roman metalworking class at the Jewelry Arts Institute in NYC. She took to the classic craft, and in 2006 she started her own jewelry line. Naming her line Aesa, after a Greek personification of destiny, Mates drew from her museum experience, her training in classical Greek and Roman metalworking, and her work on scholastic publications to launch a collection of what she calls “antiques of the future world."
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