Industry / Retail

Âme Jewelry’s New York Boutique Wins International Design Award


A jeweler wants a display of their work not only to create desire but also to highlight the craft and care behind the design, and that is what Elinor Avni says she hoped her New York–based boutique could achieve.

Her collaboration with architectural firm Baranowitz + Kronenberg did exactly that and more. In December 2021, Prix Versailles announced that it had given Âme Jewelry its World Special Prize for the best interior in the Shops & Stores category. Prix Versailles announced the winning designs in a variety of categories on Dec. 15, and Avni says she was thrilled to be among those on its prestigious list.

Whether you see it in person or through pictures, it is immediately clear why Avni’s vision for her retail store stood out. “Rather than approaching the layout schematically, Âme is designed as a holistic journey involving all the senses,” Avni says.

The Âme boutique at 132 Spring Street in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood does indeed engage all of the senses. Imagine a monochromatic room filled with steel curtain walls, polished dark concrete, and sleek glass cloches. Each of these cloches hold one of Anvi’s designs and collection of lab-grown diamonds, allowing each piece its own space in a refined way.

Âme displays
Âme Jewelry sought to blend the historic architecture of New York with its sleek, modern-day sensibilities to reflect the boutique’s location as well as the attention to detail in creative director Elinor Avni’s jewelry designs.

It all reflects upon the store’s precise location. For example, the boutique’s steel walls are supposed to represent the shadows created from the facades around lower Manhattan, a place that perfectly blends historic architecture and cutting-edge modern design ideas.

The idea is that the client walks along the cloches and throughout the boutique to see each individual piece. This exploration leads the client to view everything slowly and carefully, pondering its beauty as well as how they could wear it.

Anvi says she wants people to wear diamonds every day, not just for special occasions, so having jewelry presented in a way that makes you feel like you can immediately see how you’d wear it and why was appealing to her in designing the boutique.

“While using conventional material in an unconventional way, the space maintains a warm, inviting atmosphere even though it breaks all convention of your typical fine jewelry boutique,” Avni says. “The jewelry and interior are equally important in creating this total experience.”

If it feels like you’ve gone into a place that bends time and space, you’re right. The Âme boutique concept is abstract in the best kind of way and serves as “the consolidation of the past, present, and future,” according to the jeweler’s website.

An architect by trade, Avni established Âme Fine Jewelry House in 2019. Her inspirations include architectural geometry and shapes found in nature, something she tries to achieve through Âme or lab-grown diamonds, which the brand said are ethically produced and environmentally conscious.

“The Âme vision is to transform the fundamentals of the jewelry industry by fusing contemporary design with state-of-the-art technology. Our New York boutique design is a tangible expression of this endeavor,” Âme CEO Alex Popov said in a statement. “We, therefore, appreciate that the jury of the Prix Versailles recognized our vision and honored us with this prestigious award.”

(Photos courtesy of Âme Jewelry)

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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