In my last post, I featured a pair of earrings by Alexis Bittar, and also featured one of his cuffs in an earlier post. Looking at his entire line, I was utterly smitten, and so wanted to bring you more information about this talented individual.
Bittar was born in Brooklyn, NY to Bob and Helen Bittar, both university professors and antique collectors. At age ten, Bittar began selling flowers from a hand-painted cart near his home in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn. On his 13th birthday, his parents gave him a tangled lot of antique jewelry.
It was an odd gift, but it sparked a life-long fascination with the craftsmanship of jewelry.
He continued his entrepreneurial career throughout his teen years, selling antique jewelry and vintage clothing on the streets. While in high school at The Bronx School of Science, he discovered the New York club scene, where he developed an interest in fashion and design.
In 1990, using Lucite and semi-precious stones and metals, Bittar created two different collections, selling his one-of-a-kind pieces on the corner Prince and Green Streets in Soho. In 1992, Dawn Mello, the fashion director of Bergdorf-Goodman discovered Bittar’s work. A year later, began a relationship with Saks Fifth Avenue. In the following years, Bittar began to sell his collection in stores across the United States, as well as Harrod’s in London and Isetan in Japan.
In 1996, Bittar designs a collection of Lucite and steel furniture for The Cooper Hewitt Museum. The same year, Bittar designed a limited edition set of home wares for Barneys New York and Takashimaya.
Bittar opened his first eponymous boutique on Broome Street in New York City in 2004. The same year, his designs were featured in a worldwide Estee Lauder campaign.
Bittar opened his second store in New York in 2008. Later that year, his designs were featured on the cover of French Vogue, styled by Carine Roitfeld. In 2010, Bittar opened his third boutique on Madison Avenue. Actress Joan Collins was named the face of his 2010 national ad campaign. In 2010, Bittar was nominated for the CFDA “Accessories Designer of the Year Award” alongside Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler. Bittar was presented the award by actress Dakota Fanning during the June 2010 ceremony.
Below are a few examples of Bittar’s work. I urge you to go look at his entire collection. Bring a bib, however, because you may drool.