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NEW YORK — Ann Dexter-Jones quietly started making jewelry three-and-a-half years ago — and on Tuesday her fine jewelry line, Ann Dexter-Jones Design, will make its official launch at the Park Avenue Garage Sale.
This story first appeared in the June 7, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Dexter-Jones’ daughter, Samantha Ronson, will DJ at the event, to be held on West 56th Street here, and a percentage of proceeds will go to The Couture Council, the group dedicated to supporting the Fashion Institute of Technology’s The Museum at FIT. Dexter-Jones is also donating an additional percentage of proceeds to the school for scholarships for gifted students unable to afford tuition.
“Whilst touring for decades with my ex-husband’s [Mick Jones of Foreigner] rock ’n’ roll band, while they had sound check, I would love heading to flea markets,” said Dexter-Jones of discovering ID bracelets during her travels. “Every [region] — be it Europe, Asia, South America, Australasia — has its own shape [and] personality, but all had the same ID chain.”
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She observed that ID bracelets were round and concave in Japan, while in other parts of Asia they were convex or even oval. Throughout Europe, the bracelets looked much like they do in America — chain-linked with a rectangular bar.
“In Hong Kong, I said to myself, ‘Why doesn’t someone design a glam, rock ’n’ roll bracelet inlaid with lapis, with gold screws and yellow diamonds, instead of a thin, tin or silver one?’”
A solid silver ID bracelet with lapis inlay and yellow diamonds was the first one she created. From there, her collection expanded to include a range of Midnight Hour watches and Starry Nights necklaces, bracelets and rings inspired by Wilson Pickett’s song “In the Midnight Hour” and Don McLean’s song “Vincent” (widely known as “Starry Starry Nights”), respectively. Dexter-Jones also has a selection of enamel rings, as well as “Fairy Bracelets” fashioned from colored stones strung on 18-karat gold wire. Prices start in the few hundred dollars for certain Recession Pearls pieces and can go up to nearly $3,800 for a solid sterling silver bracelet with gold overlay on the ID plate.
All pieces are made by artisans in Manhattan’s Gem District.
Dexter-Jones cheekily described her collection, now sold at Barneys New York, Harrods and Colette, as “rock ’n’ roll chic jewels for women and secure men.”
The Park Avenue Garage Sale is a luxury pop-up sale of discounted luxury home and fashion merchandise drawn from personal collections, showrooms and designers, stylists and socialites. The sale starts Tuesday and runs through Friday and will take place at the former Felissimo space at 10 West 56th Street. Each night benefits a different charity, including The Couture Council, ACRIA and Partnership with Children. Designers taking part, in addition to Dexter-Jones, include Douglas Hannant, Prabal Gurung, Alexa Hampton, Jed Johnson, Philip Gorrivan and Bibhu Mohapatra.