In a Los Angeles garage in 1988, Richard Stark and John Bowman laid the groundwork for what would become Chrome Hearts. Stark was in the business of trading high-end leather skins at the time, and Bowman was in the clothing business working with leather. Both of them rode motorcycles, and since they were unable to locate clothing and accessories that they loved wearing on the market at the time, they came to the conclusion that they should produce their own leather jackets and accessories. Leonard Kamhout, a great jeweler who worked only with sterling silver, joined them not long after that. He became the third member of the group. They started making leather jackets with sterling silver zippers and snap buttons, among other silver embellishments, as one of their first projects. However, one of the working names for the program was really “Chrome Hearts,” which of course Stark ended up utilizing for the brand. The company’s first “project” was styling a television show called “Biker Chicks in Zombie Town.” The decision to go their own ways was made by Stark and his co-founders in the year 1994. Soon after that, Stark established a connection with Laurie Lynn, a devoted client who was well-known for placing orders for Chrome Hearts leather bathing suits. Shortly after that, Stark married Laurie Lynn (Chrome Hearts leather bikinis = wifey material), and finally made her a brand partner. Chrome Hearts launched their first store in New York City in 1996 at 159 East 64th Street, in the Manhattan neighborhood of Manhattan. Now operating in 28 countries throughout the globe, the brand is well-known for the comprehensive interior design of all of its locations. Richard Stark says that [Chrome Hearts] intends to make everything in the film that can be seen above, which is from a special that aired on VH1 in 1993. Their retail locations and the range of products they provide are living proof of this claim. At the moment, consumers may buy jewelry, eyewear, apparel, accessories, home products, personalized Rolex clocks, and furniture under the brand’s umbrella. The company takes great satisfaction in the fact that it can virtually make whatever you can think of. They have created their own unique universe, which is immediately noticeable the moment you step into any one of the Chrome Hearts boutiques. For instance, the Miami location is the only one that carries candies for the company, while the New York City flagship is the only one that sells furniture everywhere in the globe. Every shop has its own own qualities, and many of them sell items that are special to their establishment. Beginning in 2002 with The Rolling Stones, Chrome Hearts started working with other companies and artists on special projects, producing one-of-a-kind pieces of clothing and jewelry (some of which they still sell to this day). Chrome Hearts has worked together with a variety of artists and brands, including the Rolling Stones, Guns n’ Roses, Comme des Garcons, Rick Owens, Off-White, Louis Vuitton (furniture), Matty Boy, Baccarat, and most recently, Bella Hadid.
The brand, which had its origins in the lifestyle of bikers, eventually became associated with rock and roll, drawing in customers such as Guns N’ Roses, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, and Elton John, amongst a great many more. Clientele from every region and subculture were eventually drawn to the brand little by little. Soon, Chrome Hearts could be seen on a large variety of celebrities and significant persons; in fact, Karl Lagerfeld, the former Creative Director of Chanel, wore Chrome Hearts exclusively. Chrome Hearts maintains its position as one of the most popular modern jewelry and lifestyle businesses because to the breadth of its customer base and the variety of products it sells.