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By Sarah Yates www.gemmab.ca

Twin City resident Wm Dean has always been known as a natty dresser. But until his grandfather gave him that first pair of cufflinks, there was always something missing. That memorable gift linked him for life! Cufflinks became his obsession.

From that moment on, Wm Dean began to collect that one singular item of men’s jewelry. Inspired by art, he visited galleries and learned that surrealist Salvador Dali shared his quest. “I remember the first time I saw his ruby-studded pin; up close the jewel that looked like a rose revealed itself as a model of a lady’s lips – surprising and sensual.”

French artist Marcel Duchamp opened Wm Dean eyes to the beauty of found objects as art. It wasn’t long before he began to make his own line of cufflinks: from gemstones and found objects, from old coins and cabochon glass beads, from platinum, silver and stainless steel.

A man of his time, Wm Dean first offered his creations on eBay. He developed a growing following: men and women like himself who have a yen to express themselves in haberdashery. Wm Dean’s cufflink crowd was born.

The purpose of the perfect cufflink extends beyond closing the cuff with style; whether the pair is one-of-a-kind, funky, artful or simply classic it tells us that here is a man who knows himself and is not afraid to show it. Here is a woman with a mind of her own. But who wears cufflinks these days? Who buys them?

Grooms were the first to seize the opportunity. “In a wedding party, the man conforms to his lady’s plans; he just goes along and shows up. Enter the man who wants something a little offbeat to show appreciation to those friends supporting him as groomsmen. Enter the man who buys my cufflinks: one for each of his groomsmen and a matching set for the best man.

“With the color focus chosen by his bride-to-be as a clear bright blue and mounted on a small black oval background, the slightly raised blue skull produced the results this groom wanted. He loved these links and his bride got on board. For this Seattle school principal, it was the perfect way to release his inner bad boy.

“As I see it, cufflinks are the perfect way for a real gentleman to express himself in dress as a distinct individual: they’re expressive and discreet

A tailor with his own high-end designer clothing wanted a line of cufflinks to brand his store. He commissioned Wm Dean to develop a line found nowhere else: a prototype one-piece dumbbell with the store logo engraved onto the back.

At wmdean every cuff is creatively linked. Everything pair of cufflinks is touched by Wm Dean himself. This is not an offshore factory operation. It’s small and it’s hands-on. Every pair of cufflinks is crafted with care and precision. “It’s important for me to get it right,” he says about the way he works.

From that first cufflink that inspired Wm Dean to the small special package that buyers receive in the mail, wmdean cufflinks provide the regal touch. To own a pair of his handmade originals is to be knighted personally by Wm Dean, the king of handmade cufflinks.

Totus genus flectus dementis Regis salutant qui sibi artifex dixit!