Alice Xie is making waves in the fine jewellery world with her eponymous designer brand that reflects the culture and heritage of her hometown, Chengdu. Xie infuses her jewellery pieces with an elegant simplicity that allow gems to shine in their organic form.
Chinese jewellery designer Alice Xie is renowned for the originality, artistic design and elegance of her creations. Subscribing to the philosophy that jewellery transcends definition, she dedicates herself to the production of high-end jewellery with pearls, diamonds and coloured gemstones.
The designer established her eponymous brand Alice Xie in 2010 and has since won over the world with her bespoke jewellery pieces. In an interview with JNA, Xie talked about her creative process and the outlook of her namesake brand.
JNA: What is your design aesthetic?
Alice Xie: To me, jewellery must be beautiful and practical. This is why I place a lot of emphasis on materials, composition and versatility. As much as possible, I try to maintain the original shape of natural gemstones because I think they are already exceptional the way they are. As jewellery designers, our role is to reveal the gem in its best possible version through design and craftsmanship.
I also believe in editing. My goal is to create pieces that are simple yet reflect the wearer’s personality. If it can be simple, there’s no need to make it complicated. After eliminating all the unnecessary elements, what remains is spectacular.
JNA: How do you strike a balance between craftsmanship and your desire to keep gems in their natural form?
Xie: Let’s take pearl jewellery as an example. I will participate in the whole process, from sourcing to manufacturing. This would allow me to get to know my material and discover its beauty. When you look at a pearl, especially a baroque pearl, you will find that the lustre from every angle is different. We would thus study the pearl and pick the best angle to highlight. If it has a flaw, we may obscure this by embellishing it with diamonds.
JNA: What are your sources of inspiration?
Xie: Nature and my everyday life are my inspiration. I am extremely observant of what’s happening around me, especially the little details. For instance, I would look at the plants in my garden and observe how the leaves are connected to the branch, and why some birds prefer a certain type of tree over another. In fact, anything can be my muse because there is beauty in everything.
JNA: What is your vision for your brand?
Xie: Mainland China is my main market. I established my brand in Chengdu, a city with more than 2,000 years’ history. There is plenty to learn from our heritage and it’s our duty to pass this on. My dream is for Alice Xie to be recognised as an iconic brand from Chengdu. Once we have firmly established ourselves on the mainland, we can then look at international expansion.