It's been 20 years since costume jewelry designer Alexis Bittar created his first piece for the now-signature Lucite collection—a milestone that falls coincidentally alongside the 75th anniversary of the plastic's invention by Dupont.
Bittar told WWD, "I was kind of known as ‘The Lucite Guy,’ and of course, jewelry wasn’t at its zenith the way it is today when I was starting out ... People didn’t see a huge value in Lucite and what I was doing."
The designer changed all that by producing what's proved to be an enduring aesthetic that appeals to women from Lady Gaga to the First Lady. Of course, with that kind of popularity comes a plethora of knock-offs, but the apparent simplicity of a Bittar design is somewhat deceiving.
The designer revealed to the paper the highly controlled seven-step process by which each piece is produced, which includes cutting down, sanding, and hand-paiting the lucite pieces. The designer, however, was careful not to reveal the full process: a confidential fifth step that remains a company secret.