Editors

Alison Lou’s New Collection Is So Gen Z Appropriate

EditorsOct 13, 2021

Alison Lou’s New Collection Is So Gen Z Appropriate

“Groovy” finds inspiration in the 1960s and ‘70s, but it’s equally of the moment.

You’ve probably seen large, amorphous cocktail rings made from resin and plastic all over Instagram. This is the fine jewelry antidote, featuring an on-trend kitschy shape courtesy of the heart-shaped, lab-created citrine, plus wavy enamel over 14-karat yellow gold. Part of Alison Lou’s new “Groovy” collection, it sells for $2,575.
New York—Alison Lou’s brand-new fine jewelry collection, “Groovy,” is inspired by tropes of the 1960s and 1970s, but it somehow feels most at home with the current Y2K resurgence.

Fashion’s current obsession with the 1990s and early 2000s is at its peak, with the spring/summer 2022 runways feeling like a blast from the very recent past.

Brands like Versace and Chanel need only reference their playbooks from the first time around, while newer tastemakers like Jacquemus and Kim Shui have been leading the era’s resurgence, making it their own.

SEE: Fashion’s Y2K Obsession
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Gen Z is easily the consumer demographic most enamored with these decades, having not experienced them as adults, or even at all. In terms of jewelry, we’ve seen lots of symbols like yin yangs and butterflies re-emerge from the early 2000s archives, mostly in costume form.


But Gen Z is digitally native, so the symbols the demographic group favors have dovetailed with emojis, with smiley faces ubiquitous across not just jewelry but all manner of clothing and accessories. Add in unisex pearls—we’ll call it the Harry Styles effect—and that’s Gen Z jewelry in a nutshell.

Alison Lou is more tapped into these trends than any brand in fine jewelry.

Designer Alison Chemla successfully launched her brand on the novelty of emoji jewelry, and expanded into lots of happy, easy-to-understand color and more tongue-in-cheek items like studs and pendants depicting pasta.   

This playful luxury epitomizes today’s young, fashionable consumer, and in the “Groovy” collection, Chemla again taps into her innate sense of what’s culturally relevant, rather than relevant in the fine jewelry niche (though her interpretation of the former guides the latter among her contemporaries). 

That means winding, wiggly-shaped stacking rings and hoop earrings, as well as winding rivers of pop-of-color enamel on wide bands and huggie hoops, called the “Trippy” pattern. (To me it feels right at home with the undulating curves and soft arches so relevant now in interiors.) 

The psychedelic mood continues with 1960s-inspired florals with gorgeous ombre enamel, a peace sign pendant hero piece, and exquisite hand-painted “tie-dye” ombre. There is also a new range of initial jewelry in a delightful 1960s-esque font. 

Yin yangs, peace signs, mushrooms, and simple florals—essentially, today’s biggest nail art trends—abound, as stud earrings, pendants, bracelets, and repeated motifs across wide band rings.

The enamel technicolor palette is totally in line with Alison Lou, which has massively embraced enamel from its inception. 


Rounding out the collection are pearl necklaces and bracelets interspersed with enamel beads highlighting the aforementioned motifs. 

“Groovy” couldn’t get any more on-trend, so expect to see pop stars and influencers donning these pieces in lots of magazine editorials soon. 

It’s about time Gen Z had some real jewelry to aspire to buy. 
Ashley Davisis the senior editor, fashion at National Jeweler, covering all things related to design, style and trends.

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