Marriage proposals are horrifying, even if you know the answer is going to be yes. Where exactly do you do it? What exactly do you say? And . . . is there any way to hide this giant ring bulge in my pants? Seriously. A ring box makes a man into a 13-year-old boy standing at the chalkboard all over again.
Clifton ($90), designed by Andrew Zo, is a slimline engagement ring box that slides into your pocket with less resistance than a wallet. And as an added trick, when you open the Clifton, the ring doesn’t just appear. It pirouettes into position thanks to a pop-up mechanism intended to present the ring like a blooming flower.
Zo, a packaging designer by trade, started early with crafting concepts out of paper. As a child, he constructed 100 newspaper-origami boxes, a paper rose for his mother, and what he calls a “mighty strong corrugated cardboard fortress.” He began development on the Clifton as a student at Emily Carr University in 2011, building a paper-based proof of concept which garnered him quite a bit of press. But it wasn’t refined enough to be a product yet. So for the past three years, he’s been polishing the concept to become the understated, leather-bound product you see today.
Now, $90 might seem like a lot for a ring box, since most jewelers will just toss in that cheap, fake-velvet-covered cube for free. But given that the average engagement ring goes for $2,300, the Clifton adds just 4% onto the expense. To anyone spending $5,000, $10,000, or more, the added cost is completely negligible for a significant, once-in-a-lifetime event.
As for Zo, while his design is certainly enchanting, he has yet to prove its merits in the field.
“I am hoping to use one for my proposal,” Zo tells Co.Design. “I have yet to find that special girl.”