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She might have started out creating dainty, fine jewelry, but Jennifer Fisher’s new contemporary offerings are anything but.
This story first appeared in the February 6, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Fisher illustrated this by taking a massive skeleton-head cuff and placing it on her wrist in her SoHo showroom in New York last week — alongside the seven brass gold and rose gold bracelets she was already wearing. Among them were a textured bone cuff, a skinny bangle with skulls on each end, a perforated “Band-Aid” bracelet and various geometric-shaped bangles — or an “arm party,” a term coined and trademarked by blogger-of-the-moment Leandra Medine, also known as the Man Repeller.
“I always said I’d never do costume jewelry,” Fisher said. “But I started to do brass because editorials wanted larger, gold pieces. This directly led to creating brass pieces that weren’t plated. I always hated looking at costume pieces and seeing that they were chipping — which is why I never wanted to do it.”
The energetic designer, wearing one of her 17 pairs of leather pants, buzzed around the downtown space, pulling out her latest brass bones, spines, skeletons, chains, wings, cones, handcuffs, bullets, words, beating hearts, vertebrae, snakes and Gothic letter charms. She calls the showroom a “cool cave” — a mix of warm gray python walls and nickel fixtures that give off a rose-tinted light.
“I started to do full brass [jewelry] — and not silver because everyone did silver. I always pair pieces that are clean and minimal with pieces that have texture. I like to mix the clean, flat metals with ones that have an edgier, gritty feel. That’s how I like to mix the brass, so you don’t have this one-dimensional arm of flat, polished, pretty jewelry.”
Fisher’s brass range starts at $65 for a simple ring and goes to $2,000 for a 14-karat rose gold-plated quadruple buckle cuff — a new addition to her contemporary range for spring. The bulk of the pieces are around $500, but she said the “sweet spot” is definitely in the $300 to $400 range.
The brass range was picked up by Barneys New York last year — and come spring, the retailer will carry the collection in all of its Co-op locations and on barneys.com.
As a whole, the company saw 60 percent growth in 2011, especially due to international e-commerce sales on the brand’s site, jenniferfisherjewelry.com, which is the source of 90 percent of the company’s revenue.
“I wanted [the showroom] to feel like an underground store. People don’t realize that you can come in and shop — I always felt a storefront was so expected,” Fisher said — but added that she might have to take the plunge next year and open her first freestanding boutique.