Last month I had the absolute pleasure of visiting designer Ann Dexter-Jones at her cozy and eclectic West Village townhouse and studio.
We spent two days discussing her brand, fashion, life, love, art and exchanging laughs over a cup of delicious tea while she showed me around her design studio. It was wonderful connecting on a more personal level by sharing our stories of life experiences, values, family history, likes and dis-likes; realizing how much we had common with one-another. Like Ann, her home was very welcoming with the spirit of love, life and family all throughout. This made for an even better visit that I will forever remember!
ABOUT THE DESIGNER
Ann Dexter-Jones is a women to definitely keep on your radar! Not only is she the very proud mother of five very successful and renown children (fashion designer Charlotte Ronson, DJ & music producer Mark Ronson, DJ Samantha Ronson, musician Alexander Dexter-Jones and actress/model Annabelle Dexter-Jones) but she herself is an accomplished philanthropist, journalist, socialite, fashion enthusiast and last but certainly not least an innovative jewelry designer. Having designed jewelry for the likes of Kate Moss, Mick Jagger, and Rhianna her jewels are the perfect addition for those who want to stand out of the crowd in a smart and stylish manor. Some would say her jewelry is for the rock-star gone chic. Another may say she designs for an uptown sophisticate who loves wearing bold and eclectic statement pieces. With that said, Ann designs her collection for “sophisticated, eclectic, rock-and-roll, chic women and secure men“. No matter which personal style category you manifest, finding an Ann Dexter-Jones design to incorporate into your everyday wardrobe can be effortlessly done. Ann’s understanding of what makes a woman feel effortlessly chic is unlike any other. When asking her what her person style motto is she replied, “I don’t like to follow the rules. To me, the most stylish women make their own rules on dressing. It makes life more exciting when you wake up and decide to pile on several necklaces in different textures and materials making your own unique look and the same with bracelets, too! I live stacking as many I can on one wrist. Its just so fun! However, I like to think of my style of dress as a classic with an edge.”
Her unique and keen eye for design, bold background in world travel, her love for art, exotic materials, vibrant colors and music is what has inspired all she creates. With a collection that was found on the idea of reinventing the classic ID bracelet with a modern and luxurious spin has blossomed into other unique and stylish jewels that fall under collection categories which are inspired by art and music, too. For example her “The Midnight Hour” bracelet made of 18kt gold and jewels (which just happens to be my favorite) that resembles a watch was created while Ann was listening to the titled song by classic rock band Wilson Pickett. Although each “The Midnight Hour” bracelet does not function as time piece, the socialite in Ann decided to keep the hand positioned at twelve o’clock in the morning representing how young the night still is – the party will go on forever. Other collections include “The Starry Night“, “Give Peace A Chance“, “The Fairy Collection“, and “The Pearl Collection“. What makes Ann Dexter-Jones’ jewelry special is how hands on she is with each detail of her designs which are handcrafted by trained artisans in New York City. Ann personally chooses each and every stone that goes into each piece such as lapis, sapphire, turquoise, onyx, jade, sand stone, and diamonds to name a few. She prefers her stones to have imperfect perfection adoring how it makes each each piece of jewelry one of a kind in its own right. Every link is individually cast out of solid special sterling silver, gold or rose gold, polished and then assembled by hand which allows for a classic and traditional look and weight.
A Q&A WITH ADJ
DS— What first interested you in becoming a jewelry designer?
ADJ— I love tradition and the ID bracelet has beautiful history. It all started with my being inspired to create an ID bracelet for myself, Mine I knew had to have integrity. I wanted to learn myself by only working with finest artisans and craftsmen in the world. Weight had to have heft! I knew designing with solid sterling silver, gold, precious and semi precious stones that were both chic, glamorous and could transition from day to night was a must.
DS— Do you have any specific inspirations that you turn to when designing?
ADJ— Music and lyrics have been a big inspiration for my designs. So my collection pieces naturally possess a kind of rock-n-roll sensibility. There is a little cross over rock-n-roll roll but attractive for those too with a more classic eye. Most importantly I wanted the pieces to appeal to both men and women.
DS— What materials do you work with?
ADJ— Solid Sterling special silver ( less likely to tarnish) solid gold Precious and semi precious stones.
DS— Who do you design for? Who is the ADJ customer?
ADJ— As a new take on classic ideas. It appeals to someone with that sensibility and those with an appeal for rock-n-roll!
DS— Do you have a favorite item from your collection?
ADJ— hey are my ‘babies’ I adore them all! Daily, I wear my oval drop earrings Because they are so classic easy. I also wear my silver with gold overlay ID bracelet with second inlaid stone, ID bracelet in Silver and ID necklace overlaid with beaten sheet of gold.
DS— Who has been your favorite/most exciting celebrity ADJ jewelry spotting?
ADJ— Mick Jagger, Jimmy Jagger, Jerry Hall, Rihanna, Kate Moss, Ellen Degeneres.
DS— In three words Who is the ADJ woman?
ADJ— Timeless, confident, and curious
DS— Where is your jewelry made?
ADJ— I moved from England to New York City 30 years ago. I live in America am proud to make and produce and keep my art and design here in America! I am so very fortunate to work with some of the finest artisans whom have workshops in nyc. They have and do work with the finest jewel houses in the world.
At moment ‘Listen up Philip’ with Jason Schwartzman. Josephine Delabaume and
Elizabeth Moss — Favorite old movie is ‘The Pawnbroker’ With Donald Pleasance
Favorite Food: Chinese
Favorite Color: Lapis Blue
New York City & London
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in England. Then at 13 years until 18 years of age my father took us to live in many countries around the world.
Favorite genre of art:
Contemporary art & Old masters
Favorite genre of Music/band/singer:
Rock-n-Roll!! Rolling Stones & Cat Stevens
Favorite Season in NYC:
HOW WE MET:
I have been an admirer of Ann Dexter-Jones’ jewelry line for the past two years so it was only natural to take to social media and follow her brands account. To my happiness and surprise she had followed me back allowing for us to mildly communicate on how we admire each-others’ work. During Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in September of 2014 at Charlotte Ronson’s presentation, I went over to Ann and personally introduced myself. After big hugs were exchanged and a very friendly/loving welcome, we spoke for a while about each others’ work and decided that it was a must to make a date to sit down and learn more about each others involvement within the fashion industry. And the rest is history written on this page… (giggles)
DESIGN AND MUSIC:
Being that we both outwardly posses a great passion for music I asked Ann why she likes to incorporate it into her designs. She began to tell me how as a child she always had a love for different genres in music being that she traveled all over the world for many years as a child with her father, so she was introduced to different cultures and music styles. When she wed her former husband Mick Jones of the rock band Foreigner, she again traveled the world on tour with Foreigner and her family constantly being surrounded by creative types and music industry heavyweights. Music is a sense of comfort for her and when she is designing while listening to her favorite tunes she will get lost in the melody. This allows her creative energies to flow. I can relate to this very much myself for I do the same when writing & designing.
So, If you did not know about ADJ before you definitely know a little more the woman behind the label now! I hope you all were inspired by her story, design aesthetic and will follow Ann along her journey through her fabulous jewelry!
Ann Dexter-Jones – the woman and the brand are both truly sensational! Thank you so much for welcoming me into your life and sharing your stories and collection with me! I can’t wait to seeing more of your work, creative ideas and I look forward to seeing you again, soon!
WHERE TO FIND ADJ?
TO SHOP: anndexterjones.com
xoxo Dara Senders – The Style Senders