Described As “One Of The Greatest Jewelry Designers Of The 21st Century”, Alexis Bittar Went From Hawking His Wares On The Streets Of New York, To Selling His Eponymous Jewelry Collections In More Than 34 Countries Around The Globe. Alexis Bittar is the CEO and Creative Designer of the eponymous jewelry company, best known for his signature Lucite bangles and high fashion runway collaborations. In 2004, Bittar was named the “Rising Star of the Year” by the prestigious Accessories Council of Excellence (ACE). In 2010, he won the CFDA Accessory Designer of the Year award. In November 2014, Bittar received the ACE Award for Brand of the Year.
At age ten, Bittar began selling flowers from a hand-painted cart near his home in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn. As a teenager, he sold antique jewelry and vintage clothing on St. Mark’s Street in New York City. Once, as a birthday present, Bittar’s parents purchased him $300 worth of vintage jewelry that he then used as the seedlings of his nascent commercial operation. Bittar discovered the New York club scene while attending the Bronx High School of Science, which fueled his interest in fashion and design.
Bittar briefly attended State University of New York at Albany, but dropped out during his second semester. When he returned to New York, Bittar continued to party and supported himself selling antique jewelry and vintage clothing on the streets of lower Manhattan.
Using Lucite and semi-precious stones and metals, Bittar began selling handmade pieces on the streets of Soho. In 1992, Dawn Mello, the fashion director of Bergdorf Goodman agreed to carry his designs, followed by Saks Fifth Avenue, the Museum of Modern Art and Harrods.
In 1998, Bittar launched the first of what would become many designer collaborations, working with Burberry, the British luxury fashion house. Bittar designed Burberry’s first ready-to-wear jewelry collection, interpreting their trademark plaid onto Lucite. Subsequent collaborations include legendary stylist and costume designer Patricia Field for Sex and the City, the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, Estee Lauder Michael Kors, Jason Wu, Jeremy Scott, Michael Angel and Phillip Lim.
In 2004, the first Alexis Bittar boutique opened on Broome Street in New York City. A second Manhattan location was opened in 2008, soon followed by two more. Today, there are a total of ten Alexis Bittar boutiques throughout the United States.
Michelle Obama regularly chooses to wear Alexis Bittar pieces.