She’s nimble and full of ideas, that Alison Chemla, founder of the New York City–based brand Alison Lou (of emoji motif and lucite—make that Loucite—hoop fame). When JCK interviewed her nearly two years ago, she was just 30 years old and totally reveling in her uniquely playful aesthetic.
The latest: As of last week, she’s added a custom engagement ring arm to her business. It’s not a new direction so much as a more formal entrée into the bridal space, as Chemla has been quietly making custom engagement rings for private clients for a while (and not so quietly for the likes of Jennifer Lawrence and model-actress Emily Ratajkowski).
The I Do by Lou collection encompasses seven engagement ring setting styles that can be customized with a center diamond, often an heirloom stone provided by the client.
“After showcasing [our private client] work solely via Instagram, we received so many requests that I knew it was time to present a full collection that was accessible to all of our customers,” says Chemla. “The rings are named after the women who I initially designed [custom rings] for. Working with these clients throughout the years has helped me perfect this process, and I am so excited to work with more couples during this most special time.”
While the move into bridal points to a jewelry category that is perhaps more serious in nature, Chemla is not putting her trademark whimsy aside to do so.
“When creating our bridal collection, we took the approach that engagement rings do not need to be so serious, but rather a piece that caters to the client’s personality and ensures it is something that they want to wear every day,” says the designer. “The rings have features that are tried and true to Alison Lou—like utilizing enamel, [which is] a major part of our brand DNA, and playing with the scale of the classic settings to make them feel more modern.”
Even though the engagement ring styles offer a templated look, the collection is not a plug-and-play situation. Enamel colors can be customized, some of the settings can be adjusted to accommodate a center stone of a different shape, and colored stone accents can take the place of sprinkled diamonds.
“We are happy to source stones for our clients, or we can re-set an existing stone,” says Chemla, who is GIA-certified in diamond grading. “When clients come to us for bridal, they will be meeting with me and I will be handling all aspects of design and sourcing. I love getting to work one-on-one with our clients—getting to know them and to be a part of this special story is my favorite part of the process.”
Top: The Victoria ring, incorporating Alison Lou’s signature enamel details, takes the cake. Price on request.
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