The fine jewelry label James Banks is a 50-50 collaboration between actor-designer Adam Shulman and goldsmith Heidi Nahser Fink, but Shulman attributes almost all of the inspiration to his wife, Anne Hathaway.
“You give me too much credit,” the actress demurred gently during a recent visit to Forty Five Ten in Dallas.
But she couldn’t stop Shulman from describing how she introduced him to his business partner, persuaded him to start the label about three years ago and suggested he name it for his grandfather, who also created custom jewelry for his wife.
“She designed a piece for me with Heidi for our first Christmas together, which was amazing, and then I wanted to design something for her,” Shulman explained. “So I collaborated with Heidi, and then people were saying to Annie, ‘You should sell these; I want to buy them,’ so she convinced me to start a line.”
Hathaway met Nahser Fink on the set of “Alice in Wonderland.”
“She designed a lot of the pieces for Helena [Bonham Carter’s] character, like the crowns that we would wear,” she explained.
Hathaway also kindled the idea for the line’s signature piece, the Lightkeeper, a borosilicate glass and 18-karat gold bulb pendant that encapsulates tiny diamonds, rubies and charms. It sparked when Hathaway was headed off to a movie set after a period of vacation and nesting with Shulman.
“I said, ‘I’m just scared to go because I feel like I found my light, and I’m afraid that if I’m away from all this, I’m going to lose it,’” Hathaway said.
Shulman became obsessed with Edison bulbs, studying them in every place he saw them before designing the elongated lamp with a removable cap. Some feature pavé diamond or thin gold filaments.
“The idea is you add stones or charms, and each stone is meant to represent a light in your life — a moment or a person, so you can look at it and it’s close to your heart,” he explained. “I like building narratives around it and for the person who wears it to be able to build their own narrative.”
The tender tale and Shulman’s unassuming persona have spurred sales of the necklace at Forty Five Ten, where the designer met clients over lunch in September, noted Brian Bolke, co-owner of Forty Five Ten.
“He is the cutest, nicest person, and the women loved him, and they loved that [the Lightkeeper] could be customized,” Bolke said. “We’ve been selling it consistently since then. It has a very artisan-craft feeling to it that people really respond to. Whenever people are wearing it, they tell the story and that person says, ‘I want to get one for my daughter’ or whomever, so it’s been great word of mouth.”
James Banks also features monocles that encase tiny faceted jewels and charms, one of which Hathaway wore to the party at Forty Five Ten, plus star motifs and articulated butterflies based on real insects.
Most James Banks pieces retail for $1,500 to $3,000, but the range is $300 to $6,000, depending on the materials.
“My partner Heidi makes everything,” Shulman noted. “The butterflies are mixed metals, and each is cut out and inlaid, so it takes a long time to make. We use a 15th-century technique that they use in Japanese sword making where they use alloys and different chemicals to change the color. We’re working on blue.”
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty