MASTER OF WEARABLE ART: Alexis Bittar pointed to the current intersection jewelry is facing — the battle between delicate and bold.
“Jewelry is interesting because we’re coming off a period where people were wearing much more delicate jewelry. We’re in it. At the same time, on the runway, it’s swung back and it’s bigger than ever. The worlds are colliding,” said Bittar, while promoting his holiday and resort collection at Saks Fifth Avenue in Chicago on Friday. “You’re always forced to constantly rethink it as an art to wear. What people are going to find exciting. There’s a real creativity with jewelry. People expect that and they want to be excited. You’re always defining this collection that’s going to trigger this feeling of being unique and new but wearable. I like that feeling of wearable art, sometimes it has that negative connotation of the Eighties. I like that it’s something that’s collectible and it’s a little bit thought-provoking.”
Bittar said his customers also inspire him. “There is a disconnect between the perception of fashion and editorial versus the consumer and it’s so important to be in touch with reality,” said the designer, who does about ten store appearances a year. “You get to understand who is your customer. It’s sometimes the customers who will have suggestions — even just things about technical, about weight and how things should sit on the ear. I listen.”
The designer is currently putting the finishing touches on his resort 2016 collection — which will be “superbold. I went for retro 1940s. There’s a way they would set stones in the 1940s that I fell in love with so I focused on that, mixed rose gold with yellow gold. There’s an amazing mosaic color palette.”
Going forward, Bittar said a natural extension of the brand would be watches and handbags.
“Accessories in general is such an easy extension,” said Bittar, who’s known for his designer collaborations, such as the recent one with Jeremy Scott. “I think if we’d do it, it would be our line. I love the idea of a clutch with metal hardware. It would look like a jewel, really it’s the hardware.”