Very few designers can claim to have dressed both the First Lady and Lady Gaga, but even fewer share the imagination of jewelers Erickson Beamon.
Welcome to their universe, where glittering snowflakes freeze into delicate drop earrings, black roses bloom on bangles, a "Brave New World" is being charted out with the yards of pearls and the "Duchess of Fabulous" rules the roost. Prepare to "Be…dazzled," warned the late Alexander McQueen, a frequent collaborator.
Founded and designed by Detroit natives Karen & Eric Erickson and Vicki Beamon, Erickson Beamon was born out of the same spontaneous spirit that carries the brand forward today. As the trio was working with a local designer on the premiere runway show in the early '80s, they knew jewelry was necessary. But little did they know that by merely stringing crystals and beads onto suede, they were launching a company that would soon be featured in Vogue, and credited with creating the chandelier earring. In 1985 Vicki Beamon moved to London to spearhead the brand's European division, and the opening of a flagship boutique in London's Belgravia soon followed. Erickson Beamon is now sold in over 600 stores in 75 nations worldwide.
Though the collection has grown exponentially in the past 27 years, the same handcrafted aesthetic is still Erickson Beamon's trademark. Walk into their design studios in Manhattan's West Chelsea or Belgravia, London and visitors will find artisans stilling before trays laden with crystals and semi-precious stones, meticulously assembling each piece by hand. Laying nearby on a table will be the results of some new experiment Karen and Vicki are conducting pushing the possibilities of pearls, crystals and chains – including mirrors, masks, and a chandelier collection that was launched in 2004.
With a fount of creative energy to tap into, it's little wonder that Erickson Beamon is an in-demand collaborator for fashion houses like Donna Karan, John Galliano, Zac Posen, Givenchy, Anna Sui and Emanuel Ungaro, "Erickson Beamon is really an overdoes of beauty and creativity," says Dries Van Noten.
"The jewelry from Erickson Beamon is original and has such variety that every woman, from romantics to the hard core, can fall in love," says Olivier Theyskens, explaining an endless list of private clients like Madonna, Kate Moss, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Beyonce, Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicole Kidman. Daphne Guinness regularly arrives at photo shoots with suitcases full of her own favorite pieces. And while the jewelers have created magnificently insane looks for Gaga ranging from a diamante cage mask to a Spanish jet-encrusted lace mantilla, Michelle Obama favors the more demure floral brooches and pearl necklaces.
Such inspired artistry has been immortalized in the collections of London's Victoria & Albert Museum and the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum, where the "Dollhouse" chandelier earrings are permanently housed. Erickson Beamon has also been honored with a retrospective exhibition, first curated in 2003 by Simon Doonan for the windows of Barneys in honor of the brand's 20th anniversary. The retrospective has since traveled as far afield as Hong Kong's Lane Crawford.
The house now boasts a fine jewelry collection, offering the brands signature style in diamonds and 18 karat gold. An eyewear license was added in 2007, and the designers launched a limited edition capsule collection Erickson Beamon for Target in February 2009.
Heritage and handcraftsmanship is the Erickson Beamon hallmark for nearly 30 years. Karen and Eric work side by side with their two daughters, Mandie and Monique. Plans for the next generation: a global luxury brand that will encompass handbags, shoes, and a retail world. In 2010, Erickson Beamon will debut 'House Jewels', a collection of frames, mirrors, candelabra, jewelry boxes, pillows and more, to bring the iconic look home.
- Hamish Bowles, Vogue (America)
- Paul Cavaco, Allure
- Emanuel Ungaro, designer
- Alexander McQueen, designer
- Jefferson Hack, Dazed and Confused
- Kate Moss, model
- Antonio Berardi, designer
- Julien Macdonald, designer
- Alex White, W
- Matthew Williamson, designer
- Robin Givhan, The Washington Post
- Elizabeth Saltzman Walker
- Dries Van Noten, designer
- Alexandra Shulman, Vogue UK
- Victoria Bartlett, stylist
- Oliver Theyskens, designer
- Amy Spindler, The New York Times
- Kate Phelan, Vogue UK
- Donna Karan, designer
- Sandra Bernhard, entertainer
- Lori Goldstein, stylist
- Anna Sui, designer
- Patti Wilson
|AF Vandevorst||Donna Karan||John Galliano||Pollini|
|Akiko Ogawa||Dries Van Noten||Julian McDonald||Richard Nichol|
|Anna Molinari||Elspeth Gibson||Katayone Adeli||Roberto Cavalli|
|Anna Sui||Emanuel Ungaro||Kitty Boots||Roland Mouret|
|Antonio Berardi||Etro||Marc Jacobs||Temperley|
|Benjamin Cho||Ghost||Matthew Williamson||Thakon|
|Bella Freud||Givenchy||Moschino||Tory Burch|
|Boyd||Issa London||Nanette Lepore||Trovata|
|Calvin Klein||Jaeger||Nicole Miller||Victor Alfaro|
|Catherine Malandrino||Jennifer Nicholson||Olivier Theyskens||Vivienne Tam|
|Chanel||Jenny Packham||Oscar de la Renta||Zac Posen|
|Alicia Keys||Dita Von Teese||Iman||Lindsay Lohan||Patti LaBelle|
|Ali Larter||Drew Barrymore||Jacquetta Wheeler||Liv Tyler||Penelope Cruz|
|America Ferrera||Eartha Kitt||Jennifer Garner||Lucy Liu||Raquel Welch|
|Amy Sacco||Edie Falco||Jennifer Love Hewitt||Madonna||Reese Witherspoon|
|Annette Bening||Elizabeth Taylor||Jennifer Lopez||Mariah Carey||Rihanna|
|Angelina Jolie||Elettra Wiedemann||Jessica Simpson||Mary J. Blige||Sandra Bernhard|
|Barbra Streisand||Emily Blunt||Jessica Szohr||Meg Ryan||Sarah Jessica Parker|
|Beyonce||Estelle||Julia Roberts||Melissa George||Sarah McLachlan|
|Blake Lively||Isabella Rossellini||Julianne Moore||Mischa Barton||Scarlett Johansson|
|Bridget Fonda||Fergie||Elettra Wiedemann||Michelle Monaghan||Serena Williams|
|Bridgette Wilson||Eve||Julia Stiles||Michelle Obama||Sienna Miller|
|Carmen Electra||Eva Longoria||Kate Beckinsale||Michelle Trachtenberg||Shakira|
|Cher||Fairuza Balk||Kate Hudson||M.I.A.||Thandie Newton|
|China Chow||Frances McDormand||Kate Moss||Milla Jovovich||Tinsley Mortimer|
|Chloe Sevigny||Gillian Anderson||Keri Hilson||Molly Sims||Whitney Houston|
|Courtney Love||Gwyneth Paltrow||Kirsten Dunst||Mya||Winona Ryder|
|Cynthia Nixon||Hayden Panettiere||Lady Gaga||Naomi Campbell|
|Daphne Guinness||Helen Mirren||Lauren Holly||Nelly Furtado|
|Debbie Harry||Hilary Duff||Leighton Meester||Nicole Richie|
|Debra Messing||Hillary Swank||Lil' Kim||Nicole Kidman|