On Pins And Needles

Enamel pins are fashionably on point

Young people are always looking for inexpensive ways to show their style, personality, and individuality, making enamel pins the perfect accessory. With a whole host of startups and brands offering their own clever executions, everyone can find a pin that speaks to their unique sensibilities. The brands below speak to hipsters, fashionistas, geeks, and trendsetters alike.


Cerulean Crew was founded by London-based creative powerhouse Sarah Mei, who has worked for fashion brands including Marc by Marc Jacobs and Calvin Klein, as well as in creative consultant and production roles. Cerulean Crew products all feature the brand’s trademark blue and are produced in limited runs: once they’re gone, they’re gone. The company’s current release is a set of two enamel pins: All In Hand features a slender hand with a Cerulean Crew logo, and Heart displays a hand holding a bright red heart. The set is titled Series One, possibly denoting future pin action from the brand.


Enamel pins are just the latest offering from Glasgow-based designer Sally McAdam. Her company, Hand Over Your Fairy Cakes, also makes brightly colored handmade jewelry, iron-on patches, stickers, and more. The brand has Millennials’ well-documented nostalgia covered with pins that reference classic 1990s toys (think Gameboys and Super Soakers) and now-retro pastimes (think making mixtapes and going roller skating). The brand also designs pins that nod to more modern interests, including such disparate trends as pastel colors, feminism, and Nutella, ensuring that nearly all young shoppers can find pins that reflects their personal passions.


Ohio-based artists Jen Adrion and Omar Noory founded These Are Things, a brand of accessories and paper goods, whose products include posters, cards, totes, and patches, as well as enamel pins. The company’s handmade pins make a statement, literally, as many include witty phrases and pop culture references. For example, a few read “Internet Famous,” “IDGAF,” and “Can’t Touch This.” Many designs offer tongue-in-cheek Millennialisms, such as the “I Quit” badge, the “No Likes” button, and the “No Coast” emblem. Most youth can find pins that best express their personalities, whether that be as an “Introvert” or an “Urban Legend.”