Irene Neuwirth is an independent, fine jewelry company based in Los Angeles. Founded in 2003 by designer Irene Neuwirth and business partner Tracy Stoll, the company has emerged as a leading jewelry brand in the US, recognized by its uniquely modern and sophisticated designs. Irene’s collections are widely anticipated season to season by a fashion-forward and discriminating clientele, who have come to expect a line that delivers a precise balance between timeless, collectable jewelry and the ultimate statement in modern luxury.
The jewelry has generated tremendous editorial attention and is featured consistently in Vogue, InStyle, Town & Country, W, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar. The jewelry is worn by some of the most beautiful women in the world, including Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, and Reese Witherspoon.
In 2006, Irene was the recipient of the Town & Country Couture Design Editors’ Choice Award at the Couture Jewelry Collection & Conference. In 2008, Irene was a finalist for the coveted CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund, the pre-eminent honor for young American fashion designers. In 2009, she became a member of the CFDA.
A native of Southern California, Irene’s fundamental inspiration is the ocean. Its purity, power and colors are all key elements at the origin of her designs. Her fascination with intense colors and raw, un-manufactured gem cuts, have become signature trademarks of the line. From the moment she began designing jewelry in her early twenties, Irene was inundated with requests to purchase her one-of-a kind pieces.
In 2003, she brought a small collection to Barneys New York, where the buyer placed a significant order after their first meeting. One year after joining Barneys, Irene Neuwirth ranked among the store’s top selling jewelry lines, a position maintained to this day. In 2012 and again in 2013 Irene was nominated for a CFDA Award, the Swarovski award for Accessory Design.
“She’s clever about how she mixes shapes, stones and color,” says her friend of 10 years, fellow jewelry designer Nak Armstrong. “Before her, chrysoprase was a relatively unknown stone that you wouldn’t see so much in fine jewelry. She made that her own. And she’s done the same with opals.”
“She’s an artist, but she’s also an incredible business partner,” says Daniella Vitale, chief operating officer and senior vice president of Barneys New York, where Neuwirth will debut her first fragrance next spring as part of the store’s ongoing designer fragrance project.
Neuwirth’s success comes at a time when niche fine jewelry designers are finding an enthusiastic audience with women who prize individuality over in-your-face bling.
“Women want to wear jewelry that expresses their personal style and creativity,” Neuwirth, 37, says on a recent morning at her studio in Venice, where she’s dressed in a pale rose Vanessa Bruno dress, studded Prada sandals and one of her own necklaces. “Also, they are buying for themselves. When men spend $100,000, they want it to look like it cost $100,000 in diamonds. For women, it’s different. I want to create big, bold crazy pieces that they can wear dressy, casual or to bed. Like costume jewelry but ultra fine.”