Last month, L.A.-based fine jewelry designer, Ariel Gordon, unveiled an exclusive collaboration with Shopbop. The mini collection, composed of solid gold, pearls, and a subtle dose of diamonds for good measure, sold out in a flash. Now that the site has restocked these chic baubles, we talked to Gordon about her newest line, her approach to designing a collection, and how her most iconic design is holding up.
BY KATHLEEN HARPER
How did your Shopbop collection come about?
Elle Strauss, Shopbop’s fashion director, had been toying around with the idea of a capsule collection with me for a while. When we started discussing the direction it should take, she immediately said we should use pearls. I had never worked with pearls before, but of course Elle knows the Shopbop girl well, so that’s what we did!
How long have you known Elle before you embarked on this partnership?
I know Elle from her days at Lucky. We met around five years ago, when she sent over a same-day sample request on a Saturday morning for a shoot in L.A. she was styling. I delivered the jewels to set personally and we’ve been friends ever since.
How long does it take you to design a collection?
It usually takes me a few months. I always have a little sketch book with me where I jot down ideas. I use these rough sketches when it comes time to make my samples. Making the first samples takes me a few weeks then fine tuning the design takes another week or so. Once the collection is made, I’ve got to photograph it, price it, write descriptions, update line sheets, and add it to the website. That process takes about another month.
What are your favorite materials to use?
I only use real gold, real diamonds, and real stones. I want my jewelry to last and be wearable, so I don’t use imitation metals or stones in my designs. What’s the point in having an expiration date on your jewelry?
Agreed! So what’s your most successful piece to date?
My love knot ring. It’s one of the first pieces I ever made, and it’s my all-time bestseller.
Who’s in your celeb fan club?
I have been really lucky to have so many celebrities wear my collection: Jessica Alba, Charlize Theron, Heidi Klum, Olivia Wilde, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Hudson, Selena Gomez, Eva Longoria, Drew Barrymore, Jessica Biel, and Emily Blunt, to name a few. They have their choice of any jewelry in the world, and they chose mine.
How often do you shed your jewelry?
Practically never! I live in my jewelry; I sleep in it, shower in it, and workout in it. Since it’s all real gold and diamonds, I don’t have to worry about any of it tarnishing or turning my skin green.
Where is your happy place?
A warm beach somewhere with a good book in my hands and my husband by my side.
Would you ever open an Ariel Gordon Jewelry brick and mortar location?
Probably not. There are so many amazing boutiques out there that I would rather partner with them than try my hand at it.