August 27 2014

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23 posts tagged "Anndra Neen"

Natural Evolution


As sisters and design partners, Phoebe and Annette Stephens of Anndra Neen enjoy an especially symbiotic relationship based on their shared history growing up in Mexico City among an artistic family, a background which informed their decision to launch the brand in 2009. Since the beginning, the duo has focused on shapes “inspired by the imperfect geometry of nature” and a handcrafted aesthetic. The results are dramatic yet approachable pieces forged from mixed metals, with solid cuff bracelets encrusted with abstract renderings of sea creatures and cascading breastplates etched with wave formations.

During their latest presentation at Milk Studios, Phoebe explained this season’s evolution. “We’re still using a lot of texture, but we also have cleaner silhouettes with the geometric breastplates and the quilted clutch.” The pieces, displayed on sculpted formations evoking driftwood, achieved a careful balance of natural authenticity and a bold statement, much like how Annette describes the women of their rapidly expanding fan base. “She’s fashion-forward and has a strong personality, but is also open-minded. She truly dares to wear.”

Photo: Courtesy of Anndra Neen

Meet The Muses: Annette And Phoebe Stephens


Girl-about-town Natalie Joos spends her days casting for shows like Zac Posen and Karen Walker and editorials for the likes of Mario Sorrenti and Mariano Vivanco, but her passion is vintage clothing. Joos’ blog, Tales of Endearment spotlights her “Muses,” impeccably styled girls and guys who share her secondhand obsession. In a new partnership with, Tales of Endearment’s subjects discuss their shoots right here on Style File.

“Our grandmother had an incredible collection of clothing and jewelry that we loved going through,” Annette Stephens, one part of the design duo behind jewelry line Anndra Neen, tells “She had her own handmade jewelry creations, amazing dresses, embroidered blouses, and crazy hats,” adds her sister and design partner, Phoebe. And their grandma Annette Nancarrow certainly knew a thing or two about art and fashion—she counted both Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo as friends. It was there, digging through their grandma’s treasure chest, where their love of vintage clothing was born. “It is interesting to us to find how elements of design evolve during the years—an amazing coat that is timeless will have slightly altered details if it is made in one era versus another, all based on what was happening in the time it was made,” says Phoebe. “We attempt to design jewelry with the same concept—pieces that will always be relevant to the moment.” Here, the sister act behind those chic clutches tells about their vintage inspirations and what’s next for the girls, who recently won this year’s Dorchester Collection Prize.

What eras are you particularly interested in terms of getting inspiration for your design work?
Costume jewelry from the seventies, Japanese textiles from the twenties, antique Anatolian rugs, 20th-century furniture, and architecture by Santiago Calatrava, Le Corbusier, and Louis Kahn, to name a few.

Do you collect specific types of vintage pieces?
We have been collecting vintage embroidered Mexican blouses and rebozos, filigree jewelry from the thirties and forties, vintage Bakelite jewelry, and Thierry Mugler, Claude Montana, Issey Miyake, and Yves Saint Laurent from the seventies and eighties. We collect items that capture our attention and that tend to be modern and classic at the same time. Continue Reading “Meet The Muses: Annette And Phoebe Stephens” »

Exclusive: The Do-Good Fashions From Project Paz’s Gala and Benefit


Using hand-sewn Mexican fabrics supplied by Museo Textil De Oaxaca, the designers behind 12 different lines, including Eddie Borgo, Wes Gordon, Thakoon, and Michael Bastian, have each created limited-edition pieces for tonight’s Project Paz gala and silent auction in New York, which will raise money to promote peace in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. “It was important to me to get involved because the level of violence that occurs in Cuidad Juárez is truly inhuman,” Peter Som tells Of the design assignment, Som says, “There weren’t any guidelines —the fabric was a beautiful canvas for me to create with.” What he made was a dress using fabric from the town of Pinotepa de Don Luis, with touches of his spring rose print.

Of his design, Phillip Lim says, “I think all too often society is very dismissive of technique and artisanal history —they take what they want and discard things very quickly —so I wanted this piece to respect tradition. I tried to do this by having the biker jacket embrace the Rebozo —it almost has it in its arms.” Here, has the exclusive first look at the designs, photographed by Ruven Afanador. The pieces are available during and after the event on L-Atitude.

Photos: Ruven Afanador

A Showstopping Sister Act


“I’m sad because three designers didn’t win,” said Giovanna Battaglia on Saturday evening at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where the Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize Grand Final was taking place. She and her fellow judges, including Georgina Chapman, Keren Craig, Francisco Costa, Elizabeth Saltzman, and Derek Blasberg, evaluated four up-and-comers (Anndra Neen, Giulietta, Julian Louie, and Siki Im) based on one last fashion show, walked by America’s Next Top Model contestants.

As guests including Tracy Ross and Cameron Silver mingled in the Rodeo Ballroom, the panel deliberated for the mere 15 minutes allotted before announcing the winner, Anndra Neen, by the sister design duo Phoebe and Annette Stephens. The jewelry and accessories collection, inspired by their Mexican art world upbringing, is characterized by large, almost armor-evocative statement pieces in mixed metals, including skeletal corset belts. Sympathetic as Battaglia was to the designers of the other three lines, she voted for Anndra Neen. “I’ve loved them since the beginning,” she said. “I photographed their pieces years ago.” For Costa, the decision was a tricky one. “Ultimately, it was a question of longevity,” he said. “Anndra Neen seems to have a great business sense and of course, beautiful product.”

Photo: Michael Kovac / Getty Images

The Odyssey, By Anndra Neen


Sisters Phoebe and Annette Stephens, the design duo behind jewelry line Anndra Neen, have an artistic streak that spans generations. Their grandmother, Annette Nancarrow, was an artist who ran with Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo’s inner circle; their father, Luis Stephens, is a Mexico City-based painter. Given that lineage, it’s no surprise they’ve taken to the family “business.”

Inspired by the concepts of new beginnings and celebrating spring, they worked with silver, brass, and copper to create organic shapes that could easily be considered wearable art. Geometric breastplates, mini cage clutches (an Anndra Neen signature), and light, thin chokers with oversized agate and onyx stones were on display in the hollows of a custom-built Trojan horse where Greek soldiers would have hid.

“We wanted to create a space that was unique for the jewelry to live in, so we decided to encase it in this sculpture,” Phoebe told “After all, the Trojan horse ended a period of instability and began an era of prosperity,” Phoebe told

The sisters have had their own odyssey of sorts. Born in Mexico and educated in the States, they took a trip to Japan in 2009. They were so inspired, they joined forces to create Anndra Neen. Now based in New York, they travel back to Mexico every few weeks to oversee the production of their collection, which now counts Michelle Obama, Drew Barrymore, and Anna Paquin as part of the fan base.

Photos: Courtesy of Anndra Neen; Dean Neville/