The fine jewelry designer and CFDA Fashion Award nominee chats with WWD.

WWD: Congrats on your CFDA nomination for the Swarovski Award for Accessory Design. How did you find out about it?
Irene Neuwirth:
It is superexciting and such an incredible honor. I was on a plane, as usual, and just before I landed, my dear friend and colleague sent an e-mail that Steven Kolb from CFDA had phoned our office to say I was nominated. 
WWD: What do you plan to wear?
Oh, I wish I knew. I have a few options — something feminine and colorful and bohemian, for sure!
WWD: Do you have a favorite retail indulgence?
I would have to say Capitol in Charlotte, N.C., for my own sense of personal style. I love the bohemian yet luxurious vibe. The owner [Laura Vinroot-Poole] and I share a similar sensibility.
WWD: You are a native Californian. Could you ever live in New York?
Yes, if I had a lot of money! But I would find it hard to give up the simple pleasures of California life. I have a house on the Venice canals; I have a rowboat that my dog Teddy loves to ride in.
WWD: Is your dog your mascot?
Yes. I don’t advertise yet, but if I did, I would use Teddy as my model.
WWD: You are one of Barneys New York’s top sellers. How has business been lately?
It is kind of scary when you are at the top because you don’t know if you can grow from there. That said, my business is up 68 percent this year.
WWD: What can we expect to see at the upcoming Couture jewelry show?
For this show I have created 100 one-of-a-kind pieces. My sales agents are educated in my product and they know my core collection, so I wanted to show pieces for that “top 1 percent” client who collects my jewelry and wants a truly unique piece.

Click Here to See Last Week’s ‘Fashion Talks’ With Steven Alan >>

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