“A Jewel doesn’t need to be anything other than itself… It doesn’t bother with the superfluous, and, alone, imposes its presence, its character, and its charisma.” Had Aurélie Bidermann chosen not to design jewelry, she might have had some success at writing poetry about it. Instead, she uses her poet’s soul to create gold necklaces crafted to resemble lace, or ruby-and-diamond-encrusted apple core earrings (a favorite of the also-accented Beyoncé Knowles).
After high school, the jet-set Bidermann was splitting her time between Paris and New York, getting a degree in art history and working for Sotheby’s contemporary art department. But suddenly, she decided to pursue her passion for jewelry—a passion she attributes to her mother and grandmother, both avid collectors who would come to jewelers with their own designs. Bidermann threw herself into gemology studies. In Antwerp, the center of the diamond trade, she received a thorough education, then created her first collection at the Gem Palace, the oldest jeweler in Jaipur (the woman’s passport has more ink than Ray Bradbury’s illustrated man). Upon her return to Paris, she showed her friends what she’d made, and they promptly bought the lot. Flattered, she found herself with nothing left to show the stores, and had to begin anew.
More than 10 years later, the wrists, knuckles, lobes, and collarbones of women who like a little whimsy in their style have been decorated with Bidermann’s pieces. Thanks to a new store in SoHo, her work is branching out in the U.S. and more readily recognized. Case in point: I’ve had a ring of hers (three gold strands of wheat, the grain that was also inspirational to Van Gogh) for years, and people used to ask me about the designer; recently, when accessories maven Alison Minton took a picture of it for New York Social Diary, she knew immediately whose it was. The discreet elegance and sophisticated fantasy of Bidermann’s jewelry made her the darling of Parisians, and she has now landed in New York—though, knowing her, she probably has another flight to catch tomorrow.