Irene Neuwirth

When you see Irene Neuwirth’s jewellery, a few things come to mind: timelessness, bold, sophistication and colour. Neuwirth’s collections are so successful, she’s ranked as one of the top sellers at Barneys, New York. We caught up with the Los Angeles native at Vancouver’s Holt Renfrew during her Fall 2011 collection trunk show and talked about her upcoming collaboration with TheVeryMany and LA><ART. Continue…

Can talk about your collection, the Fall 2011 line?

Irene Neuwirth: This is for fall; I come out with two collections a year. Everything’s from 18 karat gold: yellow and rose gold mostly, and a little bit of white. I have all the stones cut in India and in Germany. I buy the rocks and they’re sent overseas to Los Angeles to where I live.

I started 10 years ago; Barneys was my first account. We started selling at Holts for about two, three years I think. And it’s been really successful. We’re really excited to be here and we have a great celebrity following. We have the best cliental ever, we have strong women who buy it for themselves.

You mentioned you have a wide celebrity following. Like…

Neuwirth: Reese Witherspoon.

Yes. And Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Rashida Jones…

Neuwirth: They’re both friends. And Busy Phillips, who wears the line all the time, she’s one of my closest friends – she’s great. I think it’s great for them to wear, because I feel like no matter what you wear, when you walk out, you’ll grab attention in a certain way. It’s feminine, but it’s bold, and the colours are very strong and it brightens everything.

Would you start a men’s line?

Neuwirth: I’ve made a couple of cuff links and that’s about it.

I noticed you have Iman wearing your collection, while flanked by David Bowie.

Neuwirth: I know! That would be amazing if he was wearing cuff links! I should actually make him a pair.

Your collections are inspired by earth tones and colours.

Neuwirth: Yeah, everything is strong in colours. For me I grew up right by the ocean. So the colours that I use are very watery looking. But it’s a hard question to answer, ‘cause all the inspirations are in my brain. My mom’s an artist, you know, so we’re all very creative. I’d have crayons and paper at every single dinner as a child. And I think this was just my way of working with colour.

You’re based in LA, what’s your favourite or secret spot you love going to?

Neuwirth: There’s a great restaurant called, The Old Place, which no one knows about. It’s the best! So I’m not going to tell you where it is!

And what do you have coming up?

Neuwirth: I’m doing a popup shop with a non-profit called BOFFO, which is building fashion. They pick five designers and five architects and we do a popup store for two weeks. It’ll be in New York, in Tribeca. And another project with LA><ART, I’m really good friends with Lauri Firstenberg who started that. They do free art shows.

Neuwirth will be paired with architect TheVeryMany. Their popup shop will run from September 29 to October 12, 2011, in Tribeca, New York. Her collaboration with Jean de Merry cabinet can be bid on here, proceeds benefit LA><ART.

Full BOFFO lineup and dates include:
1. Nicola Formichetti + Gage/Clemenceau Architects: September 8 – 21, 2011
2. Irene Neuwirth + TheVeryMany: September 29 – October 12, 2011
3. Patrik Ervell + Graham Hudson: October 20 – November 2, 2011
4. The Lake &  Stars + SOFTlab: November 10 – 23, 2011
5. Ohne Titel + EASTON+COMBS: Dec. 1 – Dec. 14, 2011

All images courtesy of Irene Neuwirth online.