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The Designer Who Made Everyone Obsessed with French Jewelry

Aurelie Bidermann's designs makes us feel *that* much more Parisian.

By: Emily Ramshaw
Photography: Erik Tanner

We've know for a long time that that "secret" to French style is essentially uniform dressing—knowing what you like (and what's flattering) and sticking to it. It's pretty much the reason why Jane Birkin, Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve are still modern style icons: that timeless thing that the rest of us (but TRENDS!) find so difficult to grasp. Of course, it's to be expected that timelessness is a concept Aurelie Bidermann, who is possibly the most Parisian Parisian we've ever met (see our first encounter with the designer at her Paris home a few years ago), is well acquainted with. When we met up with her, this time at her Manhattan office, she told us that for her jewelry and fragrance (which she's getting into now with her first candle) is about nostalgia and emotional significance—probably an explanation for why we haven't taken off any of her pieces (like, ever) since we bought them. Oh, and did you catch that candle thing? Yeah, now we our homes can smell quintessentially;y Parisian, too.

 

What started it all:

“Jewelry has always been a part of my blood. My grandmother was a collector of fine jewelry, and my mother of costume and fine jewelry, so the women in my early life showed me how personal and meaningful jewelry can be.”

 

First piece of jewelry she ever owned:

“A lucky charm that my grandmother gave to me when I was six years old. It’s still something that I treasure."

 

Her first design: 

“The first jewelry I designed was when I was a child! I used to raid my mother’s closet and borrow her fine and costume jewelry and glue stuff on it. She wasn’t too pleased about it, to say the least!”

 

The one piece she will never be without:

“My gold bangles, which are engraved with different symbols that are important to me. I literally never take them off.”

 

Where she finds inspiration:

“Inspiration can come from anywhere. Part of my spring collection, for example, was inspired by these amazing Calder mobiles I had seen. But I find that my travels around the world serve as my greatest source of inspiration. The '60s and '70s are periods that always inspire me too, and you can often find touches of them in my jewelry and reflected in the store décor.”

 

A typical day in the life: 

“My days often vary, as I’m lucky enough to travel very frequently. When I’m in Paris, where my office is, my day always starts with music, which I find energizes and centers me. I usually read the news while I eat breakfast, and then walk across the Seine to my office, where I meet with my team. For dinner, it’s usually with friends, preferably at someone’s house. I prefer intimate home dinners with friends, although there’s of course times when I want to go out!”

 

The point in her career that left her awestruck:

“Opening my first store.”

 

Why she transitioned into scented candles:

“Fragrance is a bit like jewelry to me. I find it very nostalgic since scent can take you back to a specific time in your history, the way that wearing a piece of jewelry might remind you of someone or the place where you bought it. So creating a candle was a very organic process for me.”

 

The process of creating her first candle:

“I have always been obsessed with the scent of orange blossoms. Since I was a teen, whenever I wore perfume, it always had to be really fresh.  Fragrance Noses always say that a person’s favorite fragrance is based on what they used to smell as a kid, which I find very true for me. When I was creating the candle, I had that very specific smell in mind and wanted something that felt uncluttered and just really, really fresh.

Finding the perfect scent and packaging was a long process. It took six months of going back and forth with the Nose I was working with—each time trying to get the fragrance as clean and purely orange-blossom scented as possible. I knew I had that specific scent in mind and I had moodboards to further describe the mood I wanted to set. It took at least three or four times sending the samples back and forth, changing the different notes within the candle, before it was perfect. The packaging was a process as well. I knew that I wanted the color to reflect the DNA of the brand, so we tried different colors like coral and white before hitting upon the perfect blue. But once we put the final scent and packaging together, I knew immediately that this was exactly what I had wanted. I’m so glad that we went through that process to really perfect the final product, and now I know exactly what I’m looking for in the next candle!  I already have ideas for the fragrance and packaging brewing…”

 

The best piece of advice she ever received:

“You learn from your mistakes. And do not compromise on your vision.”

 

The piece of advice she would give:

“Don’t be afraid to be creative, and follow your vision.”

 

What's next for the brand:

“Opening new stores, and I’m currently exploring some new categories that make sense for the brand. Stay tuned!”

 

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