True Gems

About a year and a half ago I was on reading the news and came across a short blog post about jewelry designers Alex & Lee and wondered why in the world I had never heard of them.  A photo of the designers who started their jewelry business in the early ’70s piqued my interest with their gypsy bohemian aesthetic and insanely gorgeous oversized necklaces, one of a giant scarab and the other of a huge pendant with gemstones and a diorama in the center.  I had never seen anything like these jewels before and I couldn’t help but think how ahead of time they were.  I filed the image away in my inspiration folder.  Flash forward to nearly a year later where I’m hanging with a friend who introduced me to the amazing cult ’70s fashion and folk art book, Native Funk and Flash, and there’s that Alex & Lee photo again.  I learned that the designers caught the eye of a Bazaar editor in the ’70s, and that’s when their career took off.  They were hugely influential to many designers and were inspired by Egyptian, tribal, and Asian culture; creating custom pieces for  Giorgio di Sant’ Angelo, Oscar de la Renta and Geoffrey Beene.   Collage images, metal medallions, hand dyed cord and fringe, and painted scarabs were just a few of the unique materials they would use to create one-of-a-kind jewelry.  In the early ’90s, Alex passed away and Lee continued to create pieces with fiber designer Greg Franke, under the Alex & Lee name.  Each necklace, bracelet, and belt is handmade using mixed materials from all over the world, and no piece is complete without a signature “Alex & Lee – Love & Peace” logo which features an eye within an eye, referring to inner and transcendental vision.  2011 marks Alex & Lee’s re-introduction to the fashion market, and a special collaboration with Anthropologie where you can now purchase some of their truly unique necklaces and bracelets seen below.  For inquiries on Alex & Lee jewelry, please contact Margaret Sche:

Alex & Lee photo from


Filed under Art, Fashion

8 responses to “True Gems

  1. Oh wow…these are amazing! That last photo is also just hilarious..

  2. LOVE!!!!!! Thanks for sharing the specialness with all your people!

  3. cathy lightfoot

    they are gorgeous — both the men & the jewelry !

  4. so inspiring! retro but they feel very new and fresh! thanks for sharing!

  5. Womyn, this is PURE. GOLD.

    LOVE that the models are he-models. Like Devendra Banhart does Gram Parsons-meets-Robert Redford in Jeremiah Johnson (which by the way is SUCH a great movie.)


  6. Charlotte

    LOVE these.

  7. simone leblanc

    Amazing and all iterations of that word. Kudos to anthro for bringing them out, and btw – can we go have tea w/them?

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