Alison Chemla, the designer of Alison Lou fine jewelry, remembers creating her first — and possibly most priceless — piece.

Alison Chemla photographed by Trevor Smith for Citiphile

I’ve always had a connection to jewelry. I think it’s because not only do I still remember who gave me the pieces I own, but also where and when I received each one.

My dad still wears my first-ever design: a braided, waxed yarn bracelet with four green beads and one large blue bead in the middle.

I had originally made it for my godfather while our families were on vacation together in Mexico in 2002. When he didn’t want it, my dad was like: I’ll take it!

Some of Chemla’s Alison Lou designs, which are inspired by “the deceptive simplicity of modern communication”

And even though it’s not that nice, he’s been obsessed with it ever since.

The bracelet is falling apart and the blue bead was missing for a while — we thought our dog ate it — but my dad hasn’t stopped wearing it for 13 years. He now pairs it with customized Alison Lou ‘Eye Love U’ and ‘Screw U’ diamond and ruby bracelets.

Each night he’ll take all three off before going to bed, and the first thing he does the next morning is put them back on.

— as told to The Thick

Did you see? Jewelry designer Jennifer Fisher shares favorites from her stockpile of serving bowls, milliner Gigi Burris remembers the first hat she ever bought.


Annabelle Dexter-Jones throws an expressive punch in Alison Lou rings, photograph by David X. Prutting