This holiday season, SEPHORA COLLECTION teams up with famed jeweler Alexis Bittar to present Liquid Gold: a decadent three-piece lineup of gilded keepsakes, featuring the Beauty Brush Set + Stand, Beauty Brush + Travel Wrap, and Compact Mirror. “I am personally a huge fan of Alexis Bittar—his designs are beautiful, unique, and often unexpected,” says Elizabeth Hayes, SEPHORA COLLECTION Vice President and Divisional Merchandise Manager. “This is one of the most elevated product offerings we have ever launched and it was an opportunity to surprise and delight our client with something exciting.” The Sephora Glossy caught up with the Brooklyn-born Bittar to learn more his love of jewelry and the Sephora-exclusive precious pieces. RENEE TRILIVAS
How did you get started in the jewelry industry?
My parents were antique fanatics, they started the ball rolling, but then they didn’t know how to stop the ball. They were like ‘Okay, we’ve created a monster.’ On my birthday they bought me $300 worth of vintage jewelry, which I sold on St. Marks Place in New York City, and that’s how that got going. Then I started designing jewelry when I was 22. I remember I did two pins: One was a Victorian woman’s face with smeared makeup, then the other pin was a big carrot with a stalk. It was the ‘90s, so you’ve got to put it into perspective, but I fell in love with the sculpting behind it.
How would you describe design aesthetic?
It really depends—each of my four lines have such different personalities—each one demands different attentions. It’s like having four children: Fine, Lucite, Elements, and Miss Havisham. I begin a collection with sketching really rough drawings on napkins and papers and we put them all together, and then we start the fine-tuning with computer-aided design.
How did you come to collaborate with SEPHORA COLLECTION?
Sephora approached me to design a capsule collection of brushes. I was intrigued because it’s been 15 years since I designed any home products or furniture, and this seemed the closest to that category. I loved that this collaboration pushed me into a new area, both personally and functionally.
What was your inspiration for the collection with Sephora?
I got the idea of fusing glamorous disco-era nightclubs, New Wave, and liquid gold. Liquid gold is one of my signature aesthetics—I love the idea of mobility, fluidity and reflection of light. The liquid gold and my signature Lucite were a natural fit for these pieces: I love the gold with clear and high shine black—it’s so sexy. I wanted to do more than brushes and came up with a compact mirror with a black tassel, because it’s an essential when dancing into the late night.
Did crafting beauty products create any challenges compared to jewelry?
I asked for some advice from some of my dear girlfriends, I don’t wear makeup, so I needed a little help there.