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Anndra Neen is at it again—and this time, they’re back from Kashmir, and ready to share some unexpected treasures. The co-founding sisters, Phoebe and Annette Stephens, are most notably known for their hometown inspiration from, and their regular travels to, Mexico City. Caged accessories and bold jewelry are some of their signature pieces, and each one is brought to life by local artisans, and the mixed-metals, woods, and stones that the design sketches call for.
For their spring/summer 2016 collection, the Stephens sisters traveled to South Asia, and explored its culturally-rich northwestern region of Kashmir. After voyaging to lush mountainous landscapes, and after seeing such culture and tradition that is so similar to Mexico, they had a great deal of inspiration to sift through. The intricate woodcarvings found along houseboats on the Dal Lake, Srinagar’s functional and profound architecture, and the intricate labor it takes to create pashmina shawls were all influential drives for the new collection.
What came back from their excursion was a mere sample of their surroundings—now in much different form. Large, drifting lily pads on the Dal Lake inspired a hammered choker and cuff topped with a round-cut agate stone. And this time around, for their classic caged clutch, evil eyes filled the bottom of its compartment. To represent the sacredness of the valley’s water and landscape—like the Jhelum River or the Siachen Glacier—Anndra Neen uses aquamarine quartz and agate stones in many of the collection’s cage or wire structured pieces.
Last week, we caught up with the Stephens sisters at their showroom to discuss the new Anndra Neen collection, their stay in Kasmir, and the perfect “Anndra Neen woman.”
WHITEWALL: What part of Kasmir was most important to be seen in your new collection?
AS & PS: We were so inspired by the tones in the Dal Lake and the Himalayas. The green agate reminded us of the waterlilies on the lake. The quartz had the coloring of the glacier we saw while hiking through the mountains.
WW: About how long did it take to create all of these pieces?
AS & PS: Around four months.
WW: What were some of the similarities between Kasmir and Mexico?
AS & PS: The long standing heritage of artisanal craftsmanship and culture rooted in ancient traditions.
WW: Have you thought about your next trip? If so, whereabouts are you thinking to travel to?
AS & PS: We are dying to go to Israel.
WW: Who is an “Anndra Neen woman?”
AS & PS: We design for many different types of women. What they might have in common is that they are not conventional. They are pioneers, they have character, they are individuals.