Elie Top to Introduce Signature Jewelry Line

The designer behind Lanvin’s bold costume jewelry is set to launch a brand next year that he’s touting as “high fantasy jewelry.”

PARIS — Elie Top, the designer behind Lanvin’s bold costume jewelry, is set to launch a signature brand next year that he’s touting as “high fantasy jewelry,” WWD has learned.

This story first appeared in the July 9, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Top said he plans to introduce his first collection in January during couture, using precious and semiprecious stones and pricing his designs from about 2,000 to 35,000 euros, or $2,700 to $47,500 at current exchange rates.

Prototypes are still in the works, but he said he would apply his penchant for “statement pieces” into the rarified fine-jewelry world, blending tastes that lean to the baroque with the latest production techniques. “Between futuristic and arts décoratifs,” he mused, switching between English and French.

He said he’s already lined up a string of specialty ateliers in France to realize his first range of about 20 to 25 pieces.

Top said a group of private investors is financing the launch, including establishing a showroom and salon where he can service private clients. He declined to name the investors, but intimated that one of them is a client.

He said he also hopes to wholesale the collection to perhaps a dozen top specialty stores.

The Frenchman, 37, plans to continue his collaboration with Lanvin, which stretches back to the arrival of creative director Alber Elbaz. He noted he is also doing a project for Baccarat’s 250th anniversary, having collaborated with the crystal maker since 2012.

A graduate of the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, Top started his career at Yves Saint Laurent, working alongside the late Loulou de la Falaise and meeting Elbaz when the designer took on YSL’s Rive Gauche women’s ready-to-wear.

A popular and dapper figure on the Parisian social scene, Top quipped that it’s about time he took advantage of his unusual surname. “Everyone thinks it’s fake, but it’s real: It’s Flemish actually,” he laughed.