On putting her own spin on haute couture
Alexandra Mor designs haute couture jewelry: marvelously elegant made-to-order pieces that practically scream heirloom. She also designs demi-couture jewelry. And don’t let the “demi” fool you: Those limited-edition gems are as elegant as any of her custom works. “It can be defined as an extension of haute couture,” she says. “It provides me the opportunity to create more artfully crafted pieces for a bigger number of connoisseur consumers.” She derived the term, she says, from the fashion world—which she knows pretty well. Her mother worked at a clothing atelier in Israel. When she married a man in the diamond biz, well…is it any wonder Mor became the luxury jeweler she is today?
© Russell Starr
Mor’s Gemfields cabochon emerald and diamond ring
Number of years in the biz: I first announced the launch of my collection at Phillips de Pury in 2010.
Number of employees you oversee: I employ Selina. She’s one of a kind.
Family and pets: Alon, my beloved husband and my business partner; my children, Ariana, Adam, and Michaella. (We also just got a gerbil for Ariana. She considers him part of the family.)
Describe your personal style: Uncompromising. Unapologetically bold.
© Thaddeus Harden
Mor and Alon with Adam, Michaella, and Ariana
First piece you ever designed: My signature scissor-cut EC green tourmaline and diamond ring
The single piece of jewelry you’re most proud of: I created a sugarloaf cabochon emerald and diamond ring in collaboration with Gemfields. It was worn by their ambassador, Mila Kunis, as part of the launch campaign.
Best piece of advice you ever received: “Stay in your business.”
Worst piece of advice: Must have been really bad because I can’t remember. I don’t take bad advice to heart.
© Russell Starr
Diamond stud and jacket earrings
First job ever: A clothing designer at an atelier in Israel. It’s where I helped my mother, a seamstress, cut the threads from the finished clothes she was working on.
How did you get started designing jewelry? I was exposed to the diamonds through my husband’s family business, Abe Mor. Diamonds really allowed the creativity to flow out of me. After Alon proposed, I decided to redesign the ring, and the rest, as they say, is history.
If you weren’t designing jewelry, what would you be doing? Designing haute couture clothing
Favorite gemstone: Every day I fall completely in love with a new one. I do find myself going back to emeralds and diamonds, Asscher-cut, and cabochons.
Jewelry you’re wearing right now: My diamond stud and jacket earrings; my new Asscher-cut diamond necklace that I redesigned from my first engagement ring; my new 5 ct. yellow cushion diamond ring that my husband gave me for my birthday—just waiting for a redesign; and my wide Asscher-cut diamond eternity band.
Five items on your desk right now: My iPhone, jewelry sketchbook, pencil, gold pen, photo of my family
Five songs on your playlist: “You Can Do Magic,” America; “Daughters,” John Mayer; “Don’t Know Why,” Norah Jones; “Urgent,” Foreigner; “Comment Te Dire Adieu,” Françoise Hardy
Exercise regimen: I rode horses for years…an exercise of the body and mind. After a riding injury, I found hot yoga. But one day I hope to heal and get back to riding.
What did you have for breakfast? Homemade coffee. Toast with egg whites, tomatoes. Yogurt cheese with granola topped with my mother-in-law’s special homemade fig jam from her garden in Israel.
Guilty pleasure: Homemade organic Vera’s cheese crumb cake by Oogaleh
Drink (daytime/evening): Morning homemade coffee with foamy milk and Starbucks Passion Fruit Iced Tea
First website you check every day (not your own!): 1stdibs, JCKonline, and Instagram
Scent: Mademoiselle by Coco Chanel
How do you unwind? Maybe you can tell me how to?
Superstitious? I’m not superstitious. We create what we want to believe in.
Book you’re reading: The Hare With the Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal
Preferred news source: WWD morning daily paper and The New York Times on the weekend
Main means of transportation: My small black Benz
Favorite movie: I can’t just choose one! We All Loved Each Other So Much, Ettore Scola, Il Postino, Persona, Three Colors—but especially Blue. And Magnolia.
Who would play you in your life story? Coco Chanel