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After opening her first boutique in September 2012 in Paris, Aurélie Bidermann quickly opened a few other locations, including her first New York location in SoHo in August 2014, and a her recently opened location on Madison Avenue, which opened this past March. We caught up with the jewelry designer to discuss her new neighborhood, its exclusive capsule collection, store design, and overall inspiration.
WHITEWALL: Why did you decide to open a boutique on Madison Avenue?
AURÉLIE BIDERMANN: I’ve noticed that the downtown clientele is very different than the uptown, similar to the downtown versus uptown art scenes. The uptown crowd is more likely to invest in a statement piece that they’ll have forever, whereas with the SoHo crowd, we’ll see someone stop-in and purchase the more playful Copacabana bracelets stacked with other pieces they’ve accumulated over years. With my fine jewelry business growing, I wanted to open a boutique that focuses more on these pieces in a neighborhood where I could envision it thriving.
WW: What about this street, this neighborhood, is different than the rest of New York City?
AB: I wanted to target a completely different neighborhood than my first boutique in SoHo. It was important to me that the space, itself, preserved the same vibe as my downtown location, while concentrating more heavily on fine jewelry. I couldn’t think of a better spot than the Upper East Side—I love its old-school charm.
WW: The store has a fine jewelry capsule collection exclusive to the Madison Avenue store, including delicate gold earrings with apples and cats. What else can be found in this collection?
AB: I created two capsule collections for the Madison boutique—one comprised of a new twist on my signature apple pieces, and another, more whimsical, collection that includes rings, charms, and earrings in mother-of-pearl with tsavorites, emeralds, and diamonds.
WW: Tell us about your signature Aurélie Bidermann pieces. What do you focus on creating consistently?
AB: I have many signature icons that I use quite often in both my costume and fine jewelry collections, but the apple, scarab, clover, and feather are the most prominent. They can stand alone or be added to a charm bracelet or necklace for a completely different look.
WW: Aesthetically, the store appears to be natural and bright, while including artistic elements. The furniture shows off pops of color in yellow and pink, cactus plants are arranged between jewelry holders, and we see creative additions like an iron room separator instead of a wall, and up on the shelf, a book of paintings by David Hockney. Tell us about your decisions to present the store in this way.
AB: The Madison Avenue boutique maintains the same aesthetic as my two existing boutiques. A white-on-white color palette enriched with contrasting materials (painted wood, stucco, travertine, etc.) and accents of color seen in the furniture, art, and my jewelry designs. I’ve always been interested in art and displaying my designs in unconventional ways.
WW: Do you gain inspiration from anything in specific? Artists, artwork, or perhaps travel experiences?
AB: Inspiration can come from anywhere— art, travel, nature. I find travel to be the most inspiring for me. My newest collection for fall/winter 2016 is Greek inspired, with many styles named after Greek icons and goddesses. Art is also a huge source of inspiration for me, and something that I’ve always loved.
WW: What type of woman is an Aurélie Bidermann woman?
AB: There isn’t a specific woman I design for. I like to think that anyone can find a piece in my collection that fits their own personal style, whether it’s a casual braided bracelet for summer or something more dressy for a night out.