The smile decor of the moment is pared-back metalwork, colorful stones, and a royal air — mingled with tradition. If Plein peddles in gold, Johnny Dang of Houston trades almost exclusively in diamonds — Dang met the rapper Paul Wall working in his family’s jewelry repair shop and the two went into the lucrative business of chandelier-style mouthpieces. In New York, Helen Harris, or @helenwiththegoldteeth, corners the model market, with sculptural, often understated caps and sets.
Ahead, three models with their own signature, bedazzled smiles share the stories behind their dental accessories.
Born in Queens, Véro moved to South Florida at 10 and yearned to return to her birthplace. She signed with a modeling agency in New York after contacting them through a submission portal. “I sent some pictures that I took on my MacBook. And this one fire selfie that I took in a dressing
room,” she recalls. An hour later, they replied, asking for a meeting. Lately, the 26-year-old has smiled for the camera wearing jewelry crafted by Harris: a trio of floating diamond, solid gold, and silhouetted gold caps (all are removable). “Especially being Caribbean, something about gold just fits,” Véro says.
Solange van Doorn
The model remembers when she knew she wanted grills — it was after she heard the song “Grillz” by Nelly, which had a video she used to play on a loop growing up in New York City. “I told myself when I was older and made my own money I’d invest in some,” she says. More than a few modeling paychecks later (thank you, Kim’s Skims, Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty, Victoria’s, well, Victoria’s Secret), the 23-year-old did just that. Helen Harris crafted her a set of open windows in gold for the bottom and dueling statement gems on top. They bring daily joy to van Doorn’s innermost preteen: “My grills make little Solange happy.”