When Irene Neuwirth opened her first and only jewelry boutique on Melrose Place in Los Angeles four years ago, it caused a sensation. Suddenly everyone could see in the 1,100-square foot loft-like space, the designer’s vision reflected in the context of a lifestyle. Colorful, cozy and luxurious, it’s filled with books, a pink couch and an open kitchen. Some of the occasional tables have hand mirrors painted by the artist Aaron Morse. The largest jewelry display case is a diorama designed by fantasist Clare Crespo of suede, leather and felt tropical birds, butterflies and a little mouse as well as long branches.
Now for her 15th Anniversary, Irene has miraculously transformed the vibe of her boutique into an new ecommerce website. In some ways it is actually more comprehensive of Irene’s vision than her flagship location because there are lots of areas to linger and explore not to mention shop.
The first thing you see when you land on the home page of IreneNeuwirth.com is an action scene of birds and polar bears in a bejeweled arctic created by Clare Crespo. It sets the “playful and fun tone” Irene wanted for the site. She launched with the winter landscape to reflect the holiday season that would begin shortly after going live on October 18, 2018. The animals and jewelry will change with the seasons.
On the About page there is information on how the wildly popular designer sets her own course. At the beginning, it reads more like a manifesto or a mission statement than a bio. A couple of my favorite lines are: “Our world is one of free-spirited beauty, where natural wonders come alive in kaleidoscopic color” and “An independent company free from the constraints of traditional jewelry houses, we are redefining luxury for ourselves.” In the Diary category personal pictures are intermingled among the press coverage. Irene’s beloved Labradoodles, Teddy and Miguel, are one of the most delightful parts of the section.
Then, of course, there is loads of jewelry on the website. As of now, there are over 600 pieces. All of them, every last one, was modeled by Cory Hillman from Irene’s sales team. “She is the perfect Irene Neuwirth woman,” explains the designer. “She has personality and is also a grown-up in the best way.
To make the site a special destination for the collection, several pieces are exclusive to the website. The ‘Little Filly’ necklace and earrings are a couple of examples. Part of the Flat Gold collection, the jewels reflect Irene’s life-long love of horses and renewed interest in riding. There are also lots of signatures in the exclusive category like Gumball link necklaces and one-of-a-kind Heart jewels.
For the High Jewelry pieces in the collection, Irene Neuwirth returned to her friend the artist Aaron Morse to collaborate on a new project. The candy color suede boxes for the special pieces feature silk lined interiors with prints of his animal paintings.
One of the best parts about the new site, well, besides everything I have already mentioned is that it’s going to be perpetually changing and organic. Irene and her talented team are running it sort of like a little magazine. There will be new additions and surprises added all over the site from jewelry to the Diary and partnerships with friends. In other words, it’s a dreamy jewelry fairy tale to visit again and again.