Gabor Nagy (1953-1999) established one of the great legends of the Silver Jewelery world, one that deserved more respect than it received in the 10 years since his passing.  His brand Gaboratory brought together the modern kings of the biker fashion world – Bill Wall, Travis Walker, Logan Riese, Steve Gerlach, I could go on – who have all gone on to establish their own brands that have kept the aesthetics, quality and values that Gabor stood for very much alive.  Needless to say all of these brands and especially Gabor have been staples of the Japanese fashion scene since the early 90s.  Throughout the first Silver Boom Gaboratory joined Chrome Hearts as the ultimate male jewelery brand and after his death his original work has become ludicrously collectible and well out of my reach.

Now comes word that the disputes over rights to his name might well be over and handed back to his widow Maria, who quite rightly wants to keep the brand alive and more importantly produce new designs that are respectful to the originals.  We can only look forward to what she can bring to the brand and it is worth noting that the whole of the Gabor back-catalog can be re-created with the old moldings (albeit with different silver markings).  So all in all I think at last we can look forward to a proper re-launch for the brand, one that frankly cannot fail.

The jacket in the picture above means a lot to me, I remember when I was growing up and I first saw Shaq wearing his.  It was just in a different league to anything I had ever seen before – the epic amounts of silver work from the the giant snake and bones to the hundreds of skulls on the arms, the exotic leathers I had never seen used before like elephant and of course the classic biker tribal artwork.  The one above is a new version from the modern Gaboratory and I think Nagy would approve.  The use of the different grains of alligator for the sake of tailoring is fantastic and there is not an inch of the jacket that has not been paid the greatest of attention.

For once I am not going to bang on and on and on about the price and value of the brand.  It is exactly as expensive as you would expect, but this is the kind of thing you only buy once in a lifetime.  I have one bracelet from Gabor and it is the only item of jewelery I wear without fail every single day.  Everything else can change, but not that.


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  1. […] of the reasons that Gabor Nagy of Gaboratory always stood out in mind as the greatest silver-smith of his generation was his ability to capture […]

  2. Ryk says:

    Logan Reise? Steve Gerlach? First off Logan never worked with us and Steve Gerlach is a mercenary
    not an artist. To Say G would have been proud?? Come on man….. Do a bit more research before you write this stuff… Thanks.

  3. Samuel says:

    Hi Ryk, Thanks for getting in touch. Sorry if there was any misunderstanding. I didn’t mean to say that Logan worked with Gabor, just that he was part of the scene at the time and shared influences.

    As for Steve Gerlach I personally like his solo work that he has produced recently and just like Logan I doubt his work would look like it does now if it hadn’t have been for Gabor.

    As for being proud – I just meant that I think he would prefer his legacy to continue in some way over ending entirely.

    That is all I was trying to say and I am sorry to offend anyone over this (especially someone whose work I respect as much as yours).

    So I hope you can see that I am coming at this from a really positive perspective and if you want to get in contact by email I would really like to write something about your work in the future.


  4. Logan Riese says:

    I think you wrote a great piece Samuel. I really don’t think it’s even possible to put my name in a story
    with Gabors name. I agree with you in that he is the greatest most timeless jewelry/ leather designer ever.
    I am very Close with Maria and Peter these days and the original Gabor silver they are making is as great as it always was. I like what Gabor stood for simple honest design that has meaning and is as powerful today as it was when he created it. take his Skull for example is there a better skull link or ring anywhere ? I respect the fact that he produced less than the demand and stayed true his core by not chasing money first. He was a generous guy that would give those around him gifts that are treasured for a lifetime. Maria and Peter are the same they are amazing people that still stand for those values. We all create art every day your story is art
    “it’s all art ” that’s my motto. and yes you are right my work is influenced by many greats, Gabor Naggy
    being one of them.
    Take care

  5. Samuel says:

    Thanks for getting in touch Logan and I am glad you can hopefully see that my heart was in the right place.

    I totally agree with you about the man and his work, it is just a shame that right now all the conversations I seem to have about Gabor are about authenticity and value rather than the art that makes his work so desirable in the first place.

    Where I am in Japan it is so great to see new Gabor work still being sold in shops and people thinking of it as an “active” brand rather than one limited to Ebay. Maybe it is a difference in perspective over this side of the world, but most people who buy and wear Gabor that I know were really happy that Gabor kept going and the shop just down the road from me right now that has virtually every piece on order is proof of that.

    Anyway, thank you so much for your kind words and keep up the great work,


  6. Hey Samuel
    Shit just read your reply, I never see it unless i google my name which as you can see isn’t to often. The Actor Paul Dano Mentioned me in an interview with Esquire Magazine so I was looking it up.
    So are you near the Gabor in Yebisu? I was just there in December.
    Can You Send me an e-mail I have a question but not for the world to read.

  7. Samuel says:

    @ Logan

    Don’t worry about it, you are a busy guy afterall. I am a short train ride from Yebisu, and I head out there quite a bit for various events and I was there checking out some of the new/re-worked Gabor designs recently.

    Anyway I will send you an email shortly and you can ask away.


  8. J says:

    I guess the one thing we can all agree on is that Gabor Nagy inspired an evolutionary movement in the biker jewelry world 🙂 check out this deal on ebay of one of his original works! (type gabor nagy in search). I’m just saying, he was an amazing artist and it would be nice to have one of his original designs instead of blabbing away about his story!

  9. Andre says:

    Just read that headline about Gabor and Gaboratory. Just wanted to point out some facts. Logan never worked for Gabor I don’t think he even knew him. Steve was tumbler and never carved or designed anything to my knowledge. Bill was Gabor’s client but later started casting his own stuff. Travis was with Bill at the time as actual business partner at BWL. A lot of credit is given to Gabor but there are key guys like Greg Everett, Reid Roland, Val whom actually contributed to Gaboratory success not being talked about. Fact that Maria is probably the main reason Gaboratory even started no one knows and Maria carved most of those designs. Greg Everett brought almost entire leather line and it’s design to Gaboratory, Reid and Val contributed a lot when working for Gabor. Steve G didn’t do shit!

  10. Samuel says:

    @ Andre

    Thanks for information! As you can imagine I have now heard so many different versions of the Gabor story – but thanks to people like you I am starting to see who was really involved and who deserves the credit for what.

    Thanks and one day I will have to get the real story written down one day.


  11. Apple says:

    I have an ORIGINAL GABOR WALLET AND THAT WANKER OF A X-wife keeps booting it off of eBay. If anyone knows why or wants to purchase it then please rely to me personally at



    Apple Jack

  12. Bill Wall says:

    Wow I guess that is one way to talk about it I knew G fairly well
    but I kind of remember things differently
    and I cant believe I am leaving this Message on a blog
    I am still alive and doing my thing I have had so many maybe even thousands
    of questions about him even tonight it brought me to this website
    wish he was around to tell his real story as well as I thought I knew him
    he told me he was only one year older than me guess that was not true
    I really loved working him and it is true He was a very Generous Man
    so mysterious in his ways I don’t think any one will ever Truly know the real story
    Even though I was at his Funeral I still not sure he is dead
    I feel like he is still around somewhere

  13. Samuel says:

    @ Bill Wall

    An absolute honor that you would comment on my blog, needless to say you are a silver and leather hero of mine, and I will have to say hello to you the next time you are touring Japan.

    I wrote this brief post such a long time ago, amongst others on Gabor, and since then I have been lucky to meet so many people who met and worked with him, as well as many of those involved with the ongoing Japan side of things. I now feel like I know how things played out after he passed on, and I am probably never going to write them publicly. Not least because I think it is irrelevant to his work, and we would all do a lot better focusing on his work and legacy, and making sure the next generation know his name.

    Keep up the great work Bill, you are a true master of your craft.


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