As legacy jewelry maisons continue to dominate the world of haute joaillerie, a handful of newcomers bring a modern, wearable sensibility to fine jewelry. A thoughtful focus on new-world luxury concepts, with designs geared toward self-purchasing women or consumers with an appreciation for handcrafted understatedness, could help this new jewelry crew take on the old guard.ProunisJean Prounis’ namesake Prounis collection launched in late October, but her signature “Nona” earring design has already been reordered twice by the cult Brooklyn jewelry shop Catbird.Formerly the studio assistant to Jemima Kirke, Prounis is inspired by ancient goldsmithing techniques. The New York-based designer uses a unique 22-karat alloy to handcraft each piece. “The malleability of 22 karat allows the jewels to shape to the wearer. Each of our pieces begins with a matte finish but over time, the wearer’s skin oils polish the metal – creating a lustrous shine,” she said of the material.Prices start at $290 for a single stud, exceeding $13,000 for a handwoven gold chain. Additional designs include cabochon pendants, South Sea pearl necklaces, and a modern rendition of trade rings – a historical style that was once used as a form of wearable currency.“I appreciate longevity and I express that in the materials I use and the pieces I create. I design with the hope that a piece will exist for 1,000 years,” Prounis said.Alice CicoliniCicolini’s colorful and dynamic designs have earned her a clientele that she proudly describes as “women buying for themselves.”“It’s women who are confident of their aesthetic and interested in jewels that resonate culturally, materially or in terms of the techniques,” she said of her client base, which can range in age from 16 to 70.The designer, based in London, began her brand after graduating from Central St. Martins, and was attracted to the medium because “jewelry feels like the perfect environment for me, situated somewhere between fashion, art and craftsmanship.” With unconventional stone combinations, a delicate use of enamel and an attention to silhouette, Cicolini creates ethereal, whimsical designs.Her feminine, romantic pieces — sold at Dover Street Market, Rare Market in Seoul and Browns in London — are priced from 500 pounds to in excess of 20,000 pounds, or $657 to $26,300-plus at current exchange. “I’m focused working on the concept of slow luxury, celebrating the beauty of ancient master craft and privileging artisanship alongside fine materials,” said the designer.Raphaele CanotCanot’s brand has experienced a quick ascent. But her recent success follows an equally illustrious 18-year career designing for Cartier and De Beers. “Jumping from a creative director role in a prestigious maison to a creative entrepreneur role is liberating, scary and exciting…a wonderful cocktail for feeling inspired!” the London-based designer said.With prices ranging from $1,500 to $10,000 and the average hitting around $2,500, Canot’s bright and enameled jewelry have earned her a clientele that she describes as “free-spirited; she knows what suits her. She lives her life with a happy elegance.”Canot’s signature design — a bangle shaped like lips, enameled in red with a perimeter set in diamonds — has earned her a hefty stockist roster that includes Barneys New York, MatchesFashion.com, and Dover Street Market, among others. “They give me the scene my brand needs to grow and the confidence to do what I do best: effortless chic and spirited diamond jewelry for daily wear,” Canot said.Sarah HendlerHendler’s bauble-type approach to fine jewelry has earned her a whimsical reputation. Her signature Ethel ball ring is like a precious-set disco ball for the hand. Largely composed of 18k gold that is often enameled in bright tones, Hendler’s Los Angeles-based brand has grown to include a full range of pinky rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Her objective is to “make something people love to see, feel and wear. Beyond a trend, something that will withstand the test of time.” Prices range from approximately $650 to $15,000 with merchandise sold at stores including Bergdorf Goodman and Broken English.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast