About a year and a half ago I was on Style.com 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: margaret@margaretsche.com

Alex & Lee photo from Style.com