By Ashley Davis
“It’s cool, fun fine jewelry that can be worn with a bathing suit and into the evening,” said Regine Basha, chief creative officer of Aaron Basha.
New York--Tellingly, the Morais x Basha collaboration was born from a chance encounter in Mykonos, Greece.

20160527 LV-countdownThe countdown to Las Vegas market week continues.
“We both go there every summer and happened to have some friends in common,” said Regine Basha, daughter of designer Aaron Basha and chief creative officer of his eponymous company. “We figured out that we’re both jewelry designers, and we totally hit it off.”

“We were instant friends,” echoed Morais.

Friendship turned to business in the form of a 60-plus piece collection fusing the ethos of both brands: think Luis Morais’ vintage-bead bracelets paired with Aaron Basha’s signature charms, featuring an abundance of the symbol both Greek-vacationing designers use often--the evil eye.

Morais and Regine Basha wanted to create jewelry appropriate for the world’s chicest beaches.

“It’s cool, fun fine jewelry that can be worn with a bathing suit and into the evening,” Regine Basha said.

She and her sister, Osi Basha Soffer, worked with Morais to develop the collection.

“We went through their history, their designs and what could complement it and update it,” Morais said. “What surprised me was how open they were to my ideas.”

“When something is meant to be, everything comes together easily,” explained Regine Basha. “Before we knew it, we were in Muse showroom and we were at Couture. The energy was really positive and smooth. When it happens that way, there’s really magic that results from it.”

Entry-level beaded bracelets and necklaces will retail for approximately $210 to $550. Larger, stone-heavy, 14-karat gold pieces will retail between approximately $3,300 and $9,800.

Though final samples of the collection were only finished a week ago, the Basha team has already been testing the waters for customers’ reactions.

“I put it in my store window on Madison for the day, just to see what kind of feedback I was going to get,” Regine Basha said. “People were coming in and wanting to try things on. One woman ordered a necklace; I was like, ‘I can’t give it to you, this is a sample.’ Her husband was like, ‘We’ll pay double if she can take it now.’ I was so excited that there was such a strong response.”

The aesthetic synergy between Morais and Basha is all the more singular for the brands’ disparate backgrounds.

Brazilian-born, Miami-based Morais fell into his trade in the late ‘90s after replicating a bracelet he saw in a magazine. Almost two decades later, his jewelry can be found in retail locations from Bergdorf Goodman to Colette and e-commerce sites such as Mr Porter and Stone & Strand.   

Aaron Basha hails from a line of Middle Eastern jewelers who bejeweled Babylonian royalty. After creating his own company in 1950, Basha went on to specialize in charms; he is particularly known for his popular baby shoe charms.

“It was a great honor to me to present the collection to Aaron Basha himself,” Morais said, “and we were able to have a wonderful conversation about jewelry.”

Today, maintaining family tradition, Basha’s four children work for him in New York where the company now is based.  

“This is the first time that my sister and I have really taken the reigns,” Regine Basha said, “and it’s great because we’re the younger generation and [Morais x Basha] has a cool, younger generation feel to it. We really are reflected in this collection.”

So far, signs for the partnership bode well.

“We’re already discussing the next collection and what that’s going to look like,” she said. “This is not the one and only.”  

Morais x Basha will debut to press and buyers at the Muse booth at Couture Las Vegas. The collection will be available online at once the website launches, which is slated for this summer.

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