JOHANNESBURG — She made Jennifer Lopez glitter in that leaf-print Versace dress, she put the glow in Gwen Stefani's retro-glam style and she upped the bling factor for the likes of Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams.
But now, stylist and design consultant Andrea Lieberman is taking a different tack, lessening the glitz a bit with her own line of African-inspired diamond jewelry, Andrea Lieberman for Mouawad. The new collection has been available since late 2005 at Bergdorf Goodman in New York, Maxfield and Stanley Korshak in Los Angeles, Harvey Nichols in London and Neiman Marcus.
An avowed fan of Africa, Lieberman was in South Africa last May at the invitation of De Beers to learn more about diamonds for the line.
"I love diamonds," she said. "I love stones in the rough, as I am very into the organic."
Lieberman, a New York native, studied fashion at Parsons School of Design and went on to work for Giorgio di Sant'Angelo and Romeo Gigli, before becoming a stylist, with clients such as Mary J. Blige, Faith Hill, Drew Barrymore and Sean Combs, in addition to Lopez, Stefani, Snoop Dogg and Williams.
"I think of my work as imaging — creating images for pop stars and musicians, as well as red-carpet events — with the ultimate aim of helping to market each client's album or music or the client himself," Lieberman said.
Her well-developed eye has also led to creative collaborations with Combs on the Sean Jean line, Lopez on Sweetface and, more recently, Stefani on her L.A.M.B. line. But jewelry, Lieberman said, "was always my secret dream."
She calls her first meeting with Pascal Mouawad, a fourth-generation member of the renowned Lebanese jewelry dynasty, fortuitous, and is at work on her third collection for Mouawad that will feature diamonds.
"I started to work with diamonds, and I appreciate the beauty of them," she said. "I love diamonds in all their forms, be that rough, half-polished or, in my favorite, rose-cut."
Lieberman admitted she is one of those women who feels naked without jewelry. She wears her own creations and even sleeps with gold bamboo-inspired bangles stacked on her wrist, a rose-cut diamond ring on her finger and gold chains around her neck. But jewelry for her is more than mere adornment. It's ceremonial, cultural and even talismanic.
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