I've always wanted to meet the man behind my favorite Alexis Bittar jewels — I finally had the pleasure to do so at his recent Neiman Marcus trunk show. Alexis filled us in on what's going on in his world right now. He's one busy bee; his San Francisco stay was for a mere 10 hours because he had to fly to Vancouver for an appearance at Holt Renfrew. He revealed his jewelry philosophy and discussed the dope spiked bracelet Alicia Keys wore recently . . .
What’s the latest and greatest goings on?
I just finished Spring, we showed at Paris Fashion Week. We showed at Tranoi, which is a show there. I designed three collections under Alexis Bittar, and three other collections for other designers. I did Alexis Bittar for Michael Kors, we did glass, it’s all clear. And I did Michael Angel, he’s kind of a younger designer. I met him through the girls at Vogue. In a week, doing Victoria’s Secret.
Hear more from Alexis Bittar.
It's interesting how you have three different collections.
It started with Lucite and Elements, I always had the two. Elements is more precious stones. And I always designed both because I think, from the beginning, I didn’t want to get locked in to one vision. And the Lucite’s really specific, and it was a hard sell at first. People really didn’t get it, it took two years to have the everyday person be like, “Wow, this is cool!” And then Miss Havishem started about three or four years ago. Miss Havishem is starting to trump on an editorial level, she’s getting more press.
It's like multiple personalities.
They’re totally different they each have their own personalities, and I nurture each one. Each line is, if it is a personality, then it’s constantly changing and growing. It keeps me on my toes, and I’m very manic in the way I’m designing — I’ll jump from one thing to another, it’s hard to settle down. I also think in terms of fashion, it’s important to be multifaceted in terms of an aesthetic. It gives you the opportunity to be more creative. If the business has built a strong enough foundation, I felt like, why not? And why wouldn’t you do as much as you can do, especially as a creator? If you want to do a shirt collar made out of metal — it gives a lot of freedom to it.
What’s your jewelry philosophy — less is more or more is more?
I’m a big jewelry fan. I never push anyone to get anything because I feel like they need to be comfortable with what they’re wearing; they should never feel overpowered by anything they’re wearing. That being said, though, it is interesting to see how jewelry has changed in terms of what women are more comfortable wearing, like your generation as opposed to previous generations. There was a long time where people were afraid of wearing anything in jewelry, there’s a fear around there. If you feel comfortable wearing a lot of jewelry, and it feels right, do it, if it doesn’t feel right, you shouldn’t be doing it.
Recently I bought a hat, and I was like, "Oh, I’m feelin’ it," it's a Cuban kinda hat, and then when I got on the street, I was like "Oh, I feel like a bit of a schmuck." I was like, "Do I look like a schmuck?" You need to feel comfortable in it. There’s so many different ways to wear it, and the thing about jewelry is it’s so personal and it can draw attention to you in a really powerful way. If it’s a really nice piece of jewelry, it makes a statement. I mean it can be a powerful jewel, I was gonna say weapon, but, not.
It could be. If you’re wearing like a really big bow maybe it could be a weapon!
Recently Alicia Keys was wearing a spike bracelet, it’s like a weapon.