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Alicia Keys is dipping her toe into the fashion pool.
On Monday, the 12-time Grammy Award-winning songstress will introduce a jewelry collection called The Barber’s Daughters at a temporary shop at Collette Blanchard Gallery at 26 Clinton Street in Lower Manhattan. The store will be open on Monday and Tuesday only to help generate buzz among the public and retailers for the brand’s fall 2010 launch.
This story first appeared in the November 19, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Founded with jewelry designer Gisèle Theriault, the collection is comprised of sterling silver and gemstone pieces, each inscribed with poetry and prayers of Masaru Emoto, the author of “The Hidden Messages in Water.”
Keys met Theriault through her bandmates, who were buying her jewelry backstage at her shows. Having always been interested in designing accessories, Keys was intrigued by what she saw.
“I fell in love with the individuality of the pieces, but more than that, the words that were written on them really resonated with the songwriter in me,” said Keys. “I knew at that moment, for the first time, that through a whole other medium I would be able to spread inspiration and that’s what got me started.”
Keys said her mission is “to give people beautiful, unique pieces with messages that ignite them to find the best within” and that she has long wanted to get involved in accessories.
“Jewelry is a great first step,” said Keys, who recently started AK Worldwide, a company that will focus on her nonmusical endeavors. “I think accessories are exceptional, because it is a simple way for people to express their own style.”
On the docket for Keys, fashion aside, is her new album “The Element of Freedom,” which debuts on Dec. 15, followed by a tour in March. She is also producing a TV show, a film with Miramax and “Fela,” a Broadway show, which opens on Monday.
“The inspiration of The Barber’s Daughters is to provide tools for people to connect to their intangible beauty and strength,” said Theriault.
The line of necklaces retail from $85 to $2,500 and is also sold on thebarbersdaughters.com Web site.
Theriault said the name of the line emanates from growing up in the small coastal town of Cape Breton in Canada, where “a name meant nothing. Whose child you were was everything.”
As for her partnership with Keys, Theriault said, “When it comes to creating, whatever the medium, around issues of the heart and living a life that aims to give back, we found a beautiful harmony with each other.”