We first encountered Alicia Shulman while waiting in line for a fashion show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim in Miami. We could not stop looking at her eye catching over sized beaded necklace (pictured below). It was that moment we knew our jewelry collection would be changed forever.
(BIO below from Alicia Shulman, www.aliciashulman.com)
One might say Alicia’s designs began with cardboard and ribbon, telephone wire and a vigorous creative spirit as shoes, rings and party clothes came to life by the age of five. Embraced by a family of artists and dancers it was not surprising that Alicia’s young life matured with evocative and fanciful ideas.
Combining a degree in graphics design and love for fashion, Lecia was founded in the early eighties. The company, a pioneer of the handpainted and jeweled artwear era, was showcased nationwide in stores including Henri Bendel and seen on such icons as Cher, Olivia Newton John, and Lionel Ritchie.
Recently known for her work in sports photojournalism, Alicia’s images enjoyed worldwide exposure on magazine and book covers … until while on assignment in Mexico and Puerto Rico documenting the lifestyle of the fighter and immersed in the rich Latin culture, a new inspiration took hold. Taking its cue from the lush countrysides to the sea, combining semi precious stones and pearls with her instincts for color, composition, and texture … the first pieces were created.
WHO – WHAT – WEAR
With a press list & clients that astonished us (Lucky, Kate Spade stores nationwide, Fred Segal, Oprah, Elle, Hamptons,Ocean Drive, Life + Style, Travel + Leisure) and the list goes on to the runways (Luli Fama just last week) and celebs like Kelly RIpa, Sharon Stone, Tyra Banks, Vivica A Fox and Rachel Ray - we are amazed she hasn't been caught on the front pages of WWD but we know that will be in the future.
“What began as innocent flirtation with stones quickly escalated to a full blown love affair and business” says the designer. “The saying ‘all roads have led to this’ absolutely applies to me at this juncture”, she says, “and I have no intention of looking back!” – which we are so happy to hear as we have so much to look forward too.
We were lucky enough to be graced with a gift from the designer herself and choose a long necklace that can go from season to season and is somewhat a classic piece. The “Clovers” hand knotted necklace with a crisp sterling toggle is 36” long. The amazonite clovers is what drew our eye in along with riverstone, shell pearl and Swarovski crystal – we could sleep in it we love it so much. It retails at $225 and is worth every penny.
THE CLOVER NECKLACE
Take a peek at the designers website, www.aliciashulman.com, to learn more about her and what made out MUST HAVE list.
Cupcake Mag’s MUST HAVE List
It is hard to just pick a few, but these are the ones we just can’t go on without!
SCALLOP Bangle $105: The gold plated and enable bangle that opens comes in six colors.
CLEOPATRA Earring $135: The brushed gold earrings show off Czech crustals in vibrant eye popping colors making you feel just like Cleopatra.
ST.TROPEZ Cuff in Mint $195: The topaz Czech crystal and pink cabochon cuff opens with hinge and is gold plated with mint green enamel.
LINX Bracelet $195: The oxidized silver finish with black enamel and pave Czech cystal is a classic for anyone.
TINKERBELL Necklace $225: The faceted rock crystal necklace is hand knotted and strung along string with a crisp sterling toggle. It is 36” long and is a delicate one of a kind piece.
The collection, retailing from $90-$600 consist of bold vibrant pieces – earrings, cuffs and necklaces which include the signature mini lariat which all incorporate semi precious stones like fluorite, blue opal, aquamarine and chrysoprase. The pieces are available online as well as a handful of stores which you can view on her website. Make sure you don’t just buy one!
CUPCAKE MAG Q & A with Alicia Shulman
CM: What is your inspiration for the latest collection? What inspires you?
AS: I'm always seeking a state of relaxation and equate that with being by the water. My mind wanders back summers spent on lake in Maine until age 18, lobster dinners on our picnic table with bibs and red and white checked placemats. The ease, the simplicity, the beauty of it all.In adulthood I gravitate to and love the ocean be it Mexico, Caribbean, The Hamptons.I must have found a clever way to visit these places I crave more often by developing a resort jewelry line! So what inspires me in large part? Water,water, water, color color color. In this and every collection I always incorporate something(s) that are sea inspired. Collections always reflects both sides of my personality: glitzy meets down to earth, like St. Tropez meets the Riviera Maya with its jungle atmosphere and unspoiled beaches.
CM:On your path to starting, were there many major challenges in the beginning?
AS:The business has been a challenge and tremendous learning curve from the get and continues to be. You find that everything that can go wrong does. Now I am aware of most of the possible glitches and can only do my best to not assume things will go as planned and do everything possible to fight that before it has a chance of happening. I've had huge stone orders come in from china for Kate Spade the wrong color, the wrong size etc. Growing to the next level is my current focus and challenge. The groundwork has been laid, the PR is there, the brand has been defined and accepted within its market and now I'm ready to take it further but its a very tricky and common dilemma for a small business...especially because I choose to not work with the department stores.
CM:Do you have a favorite stone or material to work with?
AS: I gravitate towards the luscious stones that are usually blues and greens incl: chalcedony, chrysoprase, blue opal, larimar, also different shades of coral and turquoise of course.
CM:What is your vision for your brand and collection?
AS:I have a vision for my brand of growing slowly and carefully, always keeping my flavor, and perhaps expanding into caftans with a removable jeweled broach centerpiece, sarongs, beach bags. I am open to future license deals, collaboration with a swimwear designer, anything that feels right and won't dilute the brand.
CM: What elements from your surroundings do you interpret and use in your designs?
AS: WATER WATER - Anything I happen to see that has an interesting graphic or coloring can spark something in my head. At the Raleigh pool this week I was obsessed with the base of a palm tree right by me, a very woven graphic, trying to figure out how to translate this very organic and gorgeous thing so that it can work. It’s very hard to get nature and its subtle colors just right!
CM: Describe your own personal style:
AS: I think I'm most comfortable pared down - slacks or jeans and a long cardigan. A great simple solid dress, great heels or sandals, and a statement accessory, usually an Alicia piece...
CM: What’s your favorite item in your closet?
AS: Right now I have a favorite dress – a deep midnight navy heavy silk BCBG cocktail dress that can go anywhere. I'm petite and curvy and this piece drapes so beautifully and ties tight with sash at the waist with a little bit of subtle ruffling all down the front. I wore it to Gotham magazines Christmas party in NY.