"SYMBOL RIGHT NOW"
Working for six years at Alex and Ani enabled me to touch many projects and create a wide variety of symbols (I like to think of these as personal power talismans). Many of these designs begin with ancient and well-known symbols that I re-imagined for the A&A brand, while others are completely original designs that have never been seen before. I have chosen four symbols that show some of my range as a designer. All four are promoted by A&A's "symbol right now" campaign, aimed at getting people in touch with the symbol they most need in the moment, and remain part of A&A's "core" symbol product line, offered to customers all year long.
client: ALEX AND ANI
This design was inspired by ancient mesopotamian artifacts and the blue city of Chefchaouen, Morocco. The concept of the evil eye dates back at least 3,000 years, so I wanted to capture a feeling of ancient beauty with this piece. The final design is highly decorative, reminiscent of an old tarnished coin, with worn textures you can feel. The edge is ornate, organic, and blackened for extra definition. I chose a special Swarovski crystal with a metallic outer edge and a muted, traditional blue center, reminiscent of a natural gemstone.
The evil eye was a sweeping success, and became a central inspiration to for Alex and Ani's Mystic Mobil team.
Mystic Mobile is Alex and Ani's "wellness mobile", a renovated Airstream trailer that debuted in NYC and kicked off the company's awareness campaign #SymbolRightNow. People who visited the pop-up were encouraged to sit with an associate to determine what symbol most represented them at that moment. The eye glowed inside the trailer window, a reminder that for guidance we've got to look both within and without. All participants left with a sachet containing the bangle with their symbol, so they could keep it with them wherever they went!
Before I pitched the Calavera to the Merch and Sales teams at Alex and Ani, there was no skull offering. I felt that because A&A was a symbol-driven company, it was a huge miss not to offer some type of skull, because skulls throughout history have held such significance. I researched several directions for the skull, but decided to focus on the iconic sugar skull from Day of the Dead celebrations because of the deeply positive meaning behind this symbol. The calavera, or sugar skull, is festive, beautifully decorative, and represents honoring ones family. This felt like a perfect fit to me, and it was - my calavera design was the top selling charm for months after it launched, and today it consistently remains one of Alex and Ani's top sellers!
I illustrated many versions of my calavera design for use on company meaning cards (packaged with the final product), and for use on social media and email blasts.
The crescent moon is another of my favorite designs, due to its simplicity (and because it's just...pretty). I worked with 3D designer Rosangel Somers to create a very tactile design with plenty of metallic facets, studded with Swarovski crystals. The statement neckace of this design, slated to launch in the 2017 holiday season, was very successful.
This symbol is one of my very first original designs for Alex and Ani, and I was also responsible for naming it and shaping its unique meaning. After much research I decided to combine the iconic face of a panther with the alchemical symbol of Antimony. The panther is a deeply powerful feminine symbol, associated with passion and surmounting your fears. Antimony is believed to be a protective, and encourages the meek-minded to be brave, and embrace their wild nature.