A NAK FOR JEWELRY
EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT — AND WEARING — ANTHONY-NAK JEWELRY, INCLUDING LONE STAR STATE NATIVES SANDRA BULLOCK AND THE BUSH DAUGHTERS.
Byline: Marc Karimzadeh
When you mix a furniture designer with a dressmaker, few expect delicate feminine jewelry to be the result.
But that’s exactly what happened when Anthony Camargo was introduced to David Nakard Armstrong in the mid-Nineties in New York.
“Jewelry is a perfect collaboration between furniture and fashion designers,” said Armstrong, co-owner and designer of Austin, Tex.-based Anthony-Nak. “It developed because of our backgrounds. We use a weaving technology as a basis, and then let the jewelry do what it wants to do.”
Known for larger dramatic necklaces and earrings, Anthony-Nak recently added rings with faceted metals to mimic the stones. Also, the designers introduced 18-karat yellow gold to its sterling silver groups, which is typically woven with various precious and semiprecious stones such as white topaz, sapphire, ruby, tanzanite and garnet.
“Most jewelers always think you have to put precious stones with precious stones, and semiprecious stones with semiprecious stones,” said Armstrong. “Why not mix ruby, garnet and tourmaline? Anytime you combine different complimentary colors, it serves to make ruby or sapphire more prominent and obvious without being pretentious.”
While some would argue that New York would be the most suitable place to settle, from a business standpoint, Anthony-Nak is most comfortable in Austin. “David was telling me how progressive Austin was, so I said OK, let’s go,” said Camargo. “For the first two years, we let ourselves be immersed in the community, then we decided to start a textiles company. [Austin] helped us to really focus on ourselves and our business.”
However, the textiles business was not fulfilling, because it was “so intricate and involved, we couldn’t find people to help us,” Camargo noted.
The duo then delved into jewelry and started Anthony-Nak in 1998.
Anthony-Nak, which wholesales between $50 for sterling silver earrings to $12,000 for a diamond brillette necklace, is distributed to approximately 100 fashion specialty stores such as Fred Segal, Stanley Korshak and department stores including Neiman Marcus.
The company, which last year had a wholesale volume of more than $1 million, projects 50 percent increases this year, with plans to expand distribution to include fine jewelers. The line also is becoming more recognized with fashionistas and some celebrities. Those naughty Bush daughters favored pieces for their fathers inauguration, while actress Sandra Bullock was spotted at the Austin Music Festival with a white topaz and 18-karat yellow gold lariat and chandelier earrings. “[At the Austin Music Festival] we walked into the tent and saw her,” Armstrong said. “A friend of ours was wearing the lariat and earrings. Bullock put them on right there, and wore them with jeans and a T-shirt.”