While we were busy bees at our desks, jewelry designer Alexis Bittar was at Saks Fifth Avenue for a special in-store visit yesterday afternoon. But just our luck, he took a break to give us a ring (not a literal one, just a phone call. Bummer, we know.)
What brings you to Boston today?
We're showing Resort 2012 at Saks. Visits like these give me the opportunity to meet with the customers and connect and understand what they want. I only do six personal appearances a year across the country.
So Boston was the chosen one?
Boston was a lucky chosen one -- but to be honest I had nothing to do with picking it.
That's extremely honest.
I'm a very honest interviewer! I had nothing to do with it.
Since we're not there, can you paint a picture of the scene for us?
There's an overall excitement and a lot of people bring their archive pieces to have my sign. I also think there's an overall excitement because we usually only have six cases in the store but I design over 300 pieces each season so we brought a much wider assortment.
So... much... jewelry...
People are like ADD [ADHD] and freaking out over the amount of it. It's the mix of the inability to be focused and people being very, very excited.
What was the inspiration for Resort 2012?
Over the influence is the turn of the last century and an Etruscan interpretation of color and Victorian gold work in the 1880s, but much more of a wild garden, not as confined.
Did you take a fabulous inspiration trip?
I was in Italy for the summer in Ischia, this amazing island. I was drawn literally to the antique jewelry of that time there so I guess in some level I think that last trip to Italy was Resort.
Do you have any holiday blow-out party plans for your team?
I have about 315 employees so it's gotten kind of big. I rented out a ferry one year and we went around Manhattan but this time we rented out a massive restaurant venue and will do karaoke. We're multilingual in the office so it'll be kind of incredible. We'll have karaoke in English, Chinese, or just pick different languages.
What's your go-to karaoke song?
I like The Human League's "Don't You Want Me." I like doing both accents, both the boy and the girl. I do a really good British accent.