Blogger launches probably seem glamorous from the outside. And they probably are, for most people, but I seem to constantly embarrass myself at these things and shouldn't really be allowed outside on my own without an escort. At the launch of Alex & Ani's new Liberty Copper Collection in the Kilkenny Design Centre on Nassau Street last Thursday, I managed to, once again, make a tit of myself.
The launch was happening during a customer evening and there was lots going on; there was candyfloss, popcorn and retro glass bottles of Coke being passed around, the Bugle Babes (a trio of ladies in forties military garb) were singing ragtimey tunes, Dara Kenny was painting the New York skyline and totes were being screen printed with an image of the city by Damn Fine Print. Cue my arrival in the midst of this, a wave of social-awkwardness washing over me and my turning to the snacks in lieu of human interaction. Sadly, when I reached for some candyfloss, six sticks had melted together and after a flustered interaction with the girl handing them out, I was told to take the lot. Which is why I spent the rest of the launch walking around with a giant melted glob of candyfloss in my hand, trying to juggle my camera and be taken seriously...
Anyhoo, if we ignore my little bout of social disfunction, I'm sure a trend or theme has already become apparent. New York was brought to Nassau street to celebrate the launch of Alex & Ani's very limited line of jewellery that features recycled copper from one of the city's most famous landmarks; the Statue of Liberty.
And how, pray tell, did the brand end up with recycled copper from a world famous monument? They were on the ball, that's how. When the Statue of Liberty was recycled between 1984 and 1986, to celebrate its centennial, the original copper supports were replaced with stainless steel and the copper was removed. Alex & Ani were clever enough to seize the opportunity and bought up the copper.
Now, they have produced a limited line of 26 special pieces using the copper that they purchased.
As per the brand's usual ethos, this line has a deeper message; it is the Carry Light collection. The design of the charms on these pieces features a torch and flame that is an exact replica of Lady Liberty’s torch and is a powerful symbol of hope.
The line is super limited due to the nature of the material used and each stockist was only granted a certain number of pieces. Kilkenny were given the most in Ireland but there still aren't many knocking about, which is something to keep in mind if you are interested in the line.
To me, jewellery with a sentiment behind it is really meaningful and personal as a gift, in particular, and I think that this line is the ideal thing as a present to someone in need of a reminder that there is always hope or, maybe, someone with whom you share a fond memory of New York.