Well… Ben-Amun is one of our favorite bridal jewelry designers and friends of Thomas Laine Jewelry.
Eimear Thomas, founder of Thomas Laine, sat down with Isaac Manevitz, designer of Ben-Amun, for a little tea and conversation and to learn more about how Ben-Amun Bridal Jewelry came to be.
While she is always popping into the Ben-Amun showroom to see new pieces, this conversation was her opportunity to get inside the creative mind of Isaac Manevitz and admire his design genius.
Isaac Manevitz, an Egyptian immigrant and son of generations of jewelers, is the creative force behind Ben-Amun. With his wife Regina, they have created the extraordinary jewelry empire that is Ben-Amun and achieved distinction as a jewelry design powerhouse for celebrities and the fashion runways.
How long have you been in the jewelry business and how did you get started in the industry?
I’ve been working with jewelry my entire life. My father was a jeweler in Egypt so I grew up watching him and learning the craft. It was always something I was drawn to. After studying art in college, I started working for costume jewelers like Trifari, before I started Ben-Amun in the early 80s.
Who were your early influences?
My father was certainly a great influence on me since I learned so much about jewelry making from him. I’m also largely influenced by art. The Memphis Group movement of the 80s is one example that inspired my work.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I often refer to my jewelry as “wearable art.” Since the beginning of Ben-Amun, I’ve always incorporated shapes and colors from the art that I admire, so those influences are evident throughout my designs.
We know you were one of the early Fashion jewelry designers –can you tell us about how that market evolved?
Costume jewelry used to be restricted to costumes and more theatrical looks.
What inspired you to design for the Bridal Market?
I enjoy creating jewelry for such a special moment in a woman’s life. Bridal jewelry is a very special thing and there weren’t always a lot of options outside of fine jewelry, so it’s been gratifying to design for this niche market.
Whom are your jewelry muses?
Joan Crawford and Rita Hayworth.
What are the major trends you see today?
The Art Deco trend definitely had a resurgence since The Great Gatsby. It’s such a beautiful aesthetic so I think it’s a classic, ever-popular trend. Statement pieces are also a big part of Ben-Amun’s business and they’re certainly on trend. People are looking for accessories that can transform an outfit- whether it’s a chunky gold chain or a bold, colorful statement necklace.
Being the jewelry design icon that you are, do you ever get Star Struck? Anyone Lately?
Yes, I do. I recently heard that Deborah Messing was a fan of my brand, and it’s still very exciting to hear that and learn of stylish stars wearing Ben-Amun. I would love to design a piece for Michelle Obama.
What is next for Ben-Amun?
We’re always designing new collections and pieces on a daily basis at our headquarters in the heart of the New York Fashion District. So you’ll have to stay tuned to see what’s coming up!
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