Collecting is about finding what’s rare, about acquiring things that have meaning. A collector has an obsessive mind, a bent toward the elusive—the diamond in the rough, the pearl in the repetition and kitsch.

Larry Kiss has spent a lifetime hunting and gathering. He bares his wares at Rock House Antiques on Mauldin Road. Now in Greenville by way of Queens, the New Yorker’s silver hair complements his bejeweled fingers. Kiss is a style warrior, searching for pieces that pop, zing, and dazzle—brooches, bracelets, earrings, and rings. A natural entertainer, he bursts into song while in conversation. He’s as singular as the jewelry he covets (“Bada Bling”).

Style is a feeling, an emotion, a vibe. Clothing, accessories, objects, and interior design are our aesthetic language, showing the world who we are, what we value, what fuels us. For artist Dorothy Shain, memories of her childhood garden inspired her new line of textiles and wallpaper (“Finding Roots”). Self-taught interior designer Whitney McGregor allows each client’s home to guide her vision (“Natural Design”). “Home is just super sacred to me,” she says. “It’s so personal.” Writer Lauren Maxwell describes her style evolution and the impact of place on her individual aesthetic. As she moves in and out of cities and discovers her personal style, each experience leads to a deeper sense of self-knowing—and of feeling more at ease in her own skin (“A Story of Style”).

Material things aren’t futile. They inspire us, move us, make us feel something. At heart, that’s what being alive is about. As we evolve, naturally our style does, too. Make it diverse, make it meaningful—and, like Larry Kiss, make it thoroughly your own.

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Blair Knobel
Editor-in-Chief
Twitter / Instagram: @LBKNOBEL

Self-portrait by Blair Knobel.