Last week Anndra Neen, a jewelry label founded in 2009 by New York-based sisters Phoebe and Annette Stephens, scooped the 2011 Dorchester Collection Prize in LA. Michelle Obama, Jessica Alba and Drew Barrymore are fans of their pieces, which are made from mixed metals and inspired by their childhood in Mexico.
Creativity is in their DNA; father Luis is an artist while their late grandmother, Annette Nancarrow was an artist, sculptor and jewelry designer, who counted Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Anais Nin as close friends. Kahlo, Peggy Guggenheim, Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein were amongst those who collected her work.
(Left) Phoebe and Annette Stephens
Can you explain the name; Anndra Neen?
It is a combination of both our middle names Annette and Alejandra.
What’s your design philosophy?
We aim to create timeless jewelry. We also work hard at creating pieces that work
well on the body and have a balanced composition. We believe your eye should
always be entertained.
How would you describe your personal style?
Eclectic, feminine with an edge. We also play with the twin thing.
What is currently inspiring you?
Ernst Haeckel’s book Art Forms in Nature.
You’ve amassed an impressive celebrity following, is there anyone in particular you would love to see wearing your designs?
We would love to see Daphne Guinness wear our pieces.
Your grandmother sounded like a fascinating character. Can you share your favourite anecdotes from her extraordinary life?
One of our favorites is when she and our grandfather together with Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera dressed up in costume and made a movie. When our grandfather sent it from Mexico to New York it was lost in the mail. What we would give to have it now! Also, as an 18-year-old our grandmother had a propensity for spending her weekly allowance all in one go. Her father decided it would be best to give her a month’s worth all at once so she could budget herself. The next day she came home and announced with pride that she had used all the money to buy a painting. Her father was outraged. It turned out it was a work by Pablo Picasso!
Who are your style icons?
Peggy Guggenheim, Diana Vreeland, Annette Nancarrow, Madonna, Bianca Jagger and Tilda Swinton.
The designers pick Anndra Neen (www.anndraneen.com) pieces to go with rag & bone’s cashmere Putney dress…