BEVERLY HILLS, Calif .– On a quiet residential street in Beverly Hills, a spacious cream-colored house is occupied only on weekdays, mostly by women in casual T-shirts or summer dresses, with multiple ear piercings and chains in gold around the neck.
Scattered around the house are what one might describe as bohemian tchotchkes: crystal bowls from various holidays, large boulders, feathers, small statues picked up from flea markets, and a packed shrine, among others, of vintage dollhouse teepees. Frequently, a well-known actress or model will stop, stay a few hours and leave with a shopping bag in hand. The overall aesthetic – relaxed, free-spirited, upscale but not gaudy – parallels what is designed and sold here.
The unmarked house is the headquarters of Jacquie Aiche, a jeweler whose luxurious and hippie pieces are stocked in stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, the Parisian store which this month unveiled an ephemeral department highlighting featured Ms. Aiche’s work and included her in a store-wide initiative showcasing Los Angeles-based brands.
His collection is also posted on sites like Mytheresa, Shopbop and, since July, Net-a-Porter.
The pieces created by Ms. Aiche (pronounced eye-EESH) and her team are designed to be worn informally – and layered, as Ms. Aiche did on a recent hot morning, pairing the pieces she has worn. described as her “second skin” (including several dainty anklets and a thin gold chain with diamonds extending around her neck, down her torso and around her waist) with loose Levi’s shorts and a t-shirt with spaghetti straps.
While Ms. Aiche is definitely at the helm, she works closely with 15 design, marketing and sales staff, whom she calls her tribe JA. “There are so many people coming together,” she said. “Yes, I am Oz or Geppetto; I orchestrate it all, but there is so much passion that comes from everyone who works here. That’s why I called it the JA tribe – we’re a family here. The label has become, perhaps inevitably, a frequent hashtag on the brand’s Instagram account.
“Everything she surrounds herself with is totally true to the brand itself,” said Patti Green, jewelry buyer for Matchesfashion.com, which has offered Ms. Aiche’s pieces for several years. “This laid back and cool Californian girl is in everything she does: jewelry, her Instagram, the office. You buy a piece of jewelry and then you want to be part of that tribe.
Ms. Aiche’s bestsellers include several styles of finger bracelets – thin gold chains, often adorned with diamonds, that connect a finger to the wrist – and so-called shaker earrings, with several diamonds. or golden discs suspended from a hoop. Some objects resemble talismans, notably earrings adorned with diamond-set eyes and a large turquoise scarab ring; others, like a halter top bra in gold and diamonds and a wide selection of items with a marijuana leaf motif, dubbed the Sweet Leaf collection, have a deliberately sleazy and provocative side.
The pieces are in the high jewelry range: this bra, which is part of the brand’s permanent collection, is over $ 5,000, and a thin bracelet with just over a carat of pave diamonds is at $ 7,500. Simple earrings start at around $ 300 and have a thin textured gold band with seven tiny black or ruby diamonds at $ 500. (A broadcast line, called JA by Jacquie Aiche, has a similar feel but lower prices because, as the designer said, “I want to be able to give it to everyone.”)
The main collection, in 14k gold, is mainly made by artisans in Los Angeles working from sketches and notes by Ms. Aiche, and using precious stones such as amethyst, green-gray opal, Indian ruby. , labradorite and watermelon tourmaline.
“What she does really well is balancing that kind of feminine-chic boho moment with color,” said Erica Foland, vice president who oversees designer jewelry at Neiman Marcus, who wears the brand in several. places since November 2017. “We really haven’t been able to find someone who can deliver this really beautiful look with sex appeal, but at the same time, there is an almost relaxed aesthetic.
Ms Aiche, 42, grew up a few miles from her seat, in a house in the Hollywood Hills where her neighbors included comedian Sam Kinison and Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles. Creative and enterprising child, at the age of 8, she painted drawings on small rocks and sold them to her neighbors. She eventually enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles to study fashion design, but was distracted by other courses she was taking, including jewelry making. “Basically, I was dropping out and taking other classes at other schools because I wasn’t in school,” she recalls.
She gave up after a few semesters and ended up running her family’s Sunset Boulevard fashion boutique, Dimani, gradually adding her own jewelry designs to the store mix. “Seeing the reaction from the women who came to the store every day, I thought to myself, ‘Wait, I have to do more jewelry,” she said. “And then slowly but surely the jewelry took over the store.”
In 2008, she closed the store to focus on her collection, which was quickly picked up by designer taste stores like Curve in West Hollywood, which still sells the line. At the time, she lived in what is today the brand’s headquarters and worked in the garage. As the business grew, she moved to another house a short walk away with her husband Ygal, who works for the brand, and their children Luca, 12, and Zoe, 9.
Los Angeles-based jewelry designers, whose ranks include Irene Neuwirth and Jennifer Meyer, have had something of a while lately, with their wearable styles grabbing the attention of customers, retailers and jewelry editors. Ms Aiche said she frequently meets with local designers, including Anita Ko and Yves Spinelli of Spinelli Kilcollin, to, as she put it, “pick each other’s brains”. “It’s a California community of jewelers,” she said. “We all support each other. “
There is a similar feeling to Ms. Aiche’s seat. The predominantly female team have lunch together every day in what Ms. Aiche has called “the conference room,” but it’s actually the backyard, furnished with a large brass table from Rose’s flea market. Bowl and comfy chairs – a spot also used for vegan snacks, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies from Erin McKenna’s Bakery, a short drive away, or a glass of rosé or tequila at the end of the day.
Although the majority of the brand’s sales are generated by retailers, up to 20 customers per day come to the house by invitation. (The business is privately held; Ms. Aiche will not disclose sales figures.) And besides jewelry, there is something to attract them. Sean Roth, who periodically stops by to pierce ears, nipples and other parts of the body, has a waiting list. In an upstairs bedroom, a beautician, Cynthia Marie Franco, does facials; yoga classes and meditative sound baths are offered regularly in another room. A few times a year a shaman, Jon Rasmussen, comes from Big Sur.
And almost every day of the week, a spiritual advisor, Sylvain Sellam, receives clients; Ms. Aiche offers the Blesslev collection of amulet necklaces that she and Mr. Sellam have developed, each accompanied by a mantra and a blessing.
“I have always felt connected to the spiritual world,” Ms. Aiche said. “These people are kind of helping me harness that. I guess having all these people around me makes me feel grounded.
Ms Aiche admits she has a celebrity clientele, although she won’t name them. “They don’t like it when I speak,” she said. “They are like all of us here. Some of them experience a lot here, they have moments of emotion, especially with Sylvain. And they can come back here and hide and not have to worry because nobody really cares.
Nonetheless, in a low-key spot on her website, there are images of admirers like Rihanna, Emily Ratajkowski, and Gigi Hadid. And on Instagram, the #JacquieAiche tag appears next to images of Blake Lively and Kendall Jenner.
Ms Aiche, sitting in the sun outside her eclectic head office, recognized that the company was the perfect fit for her job. “I didn’t want to park in a parking lot,” she said. “I didn’t want to take the elevator to work, it was never my mood. I made it my own kind of path.