Introducing: Ariel Gordon

29th July, 2014

For the past few years, we’ve only had eyes for the daintiest of jewels ~ sweet, stackable rings and wear-everyday lariats. It’s a fantastic trend that has made fine jewelry more accessible and personal than ever, for these are the types of pieces you can put on once and never again take off. One designer who’s mastered this métier especially well is Ariel Gordon, with whom we recently caught up over rosé and the setting sun amidst the sprawling gardens of Gallow Green, an airy dreamscape perched atop Manhattan’s McKittrick Hotel.

Ariel’s a busy lady these days. She’s just rebranded her jewelry collection, launched an exclusive three-piece collaboration with Shopbop (a pretty pearl ring, necklace and pair of earrings) ~ plus she and her husband are expecting the imminent arrival of their first child. What better time to cozy up with the designer (pictured below) for a few canapés and questions?!ArielGordon21. Where are you from?
San Diego, CA

2. How did you get your start in fashion?
I majored in English and Italian at UCLA. After graduating, I worked in PR producing celeb red carpet events.  During this time, I took some jewelry classes at a local jewelry school to escape the hectic pace of the industry. This led me to the Revere Academy in San Francisco, where I learned metalsmithing and stone setting. Once I moved back to LA, I blindly sent my resume to every jewelry designer in the area and ended up working as the assistant to Maya Brenner for 5 years. She taught me everything I need to know about how to run a small business – from making line sheets to sourcing materials to accounting and everything in between.  It was a great partnership and we are still very close.

3. Which characters or moments in your life illuminated your calling as a designer?
During my PR days, I worked on an event with a jewelry designer named Page Sargisson. Meeting Page was a revelation for me. I was so inspired by the life she had created for herself… She owned her own company. She was the one who benefited financially from all her hard work. She was doing something creative. She had time to be with her kids. I knew those were all things that I wanted in my own life. I had literally never made a piece of jewelry before I met her. She inspired me to start my own business.

4. Why jewelry?
It is so satisfying to design and make something that is tangible that will become a part of a someone’s daily life. I know a lot of girls that don’t change their jewelry everyday and I’m definitely one of them.  I like jewelry that I can put on and never take off.  Because all of my jewelry is real metal and stones, I love the idea that the pieces I make could be handed down as family heirlooms.ArielGordon35. You’ve just embarked on two intensely personal new journeys: impending motherhood and the rebranding of Ariel Gordon Jewelry. Do the two feel related?
Absolutely.  I had been toying around with the idea of rebranding for a while. Finding out I was pregnant was the catalyst that made me finally take the plunge (since I knew that I’d be otherwise occupied very soon). Coincidentally, the whole rebrand process took me a long and exhausting 9 months to complete so I feel as if I’ll be giving birth twice this year.

I feel like I have grown so much as a designer and as a woman since I started my business. It was a natural progression as I grew from my early 20s to my early 30s. My tastes have evolved and became more refined and I wanted the branding to better reflect this evolution. I also feel like I have a better sense of who my customer is and how I should be marketing to her.  The new AGJ logo is meant to evoke both the sparkle off of a new piece of jewelry as well as the excitement that bubbles up when you see that jewelry for the first time. I incorporated this element in both the new custom packaging and a new sleek website.  I’m so happy with how it turned out. The new look book was shot in NYC by my friend James Dimmock and he nailed it.  I think it really helps set the cozy and intimate mood I was looking for.ArielGordon4|ABOVE| James Dimmock photography |BELOW| Shopbop’s Fashion Director Elle Strauss wears Ariel Gordon’s pearl earrings and lariat necklaceArielGordon56. In redefining your brand after 6 years in business, what have you discovered about yourself?
I feel like I am a funny mix of aesthetics.  In my clothing and jewelry, I like things to be very simple and minimal.  However in my décor and environment I like a lot of vibrant color and pattern.  Because I wanted the new branding to be more chic and understated, I had to practice a lot of self-restraint and I had to constantly edit myself so I wouldn’t junk it up too much.  It was an ongoing joke with my graphic designer, Wendy Polish.  She helped me walk the line of keeping things simple but still expressing my playful personality.ArielGordon67. Which piece of jewelry in your own personal collection means the most to you?
My engagement ring. I love the man who gave it to me (after I designed it) and what it symbolizes.ArielGordon7|ABOVE + BELOW| pearl-drop necklace and earrings, two Ariel Gordon x Shopbop exclusivesArielGordon8This morning, I woke up and made some sourdough toast and green tea (my pregnant morning routine).

My greatest fashion moment was when I wore the Monique Lhuillier wedding dress that I scored at her infamous LA sample sale.  It was originally a size 10 and had to be totally rebuilt to fit me but it was so beautiful I couldn’t resist.

My greatest style regret is having bangs in the 80s. Curly bangs are never a good look.ArielGordon9Living in LA is full of sunshine and traffic. One of those things I love. The other, not so much.

I am happiest when I’m traveling to a new exotic place with my husband. I love an adventure.

Becoming a mom is exciting and terrifying.

Maternity clothes are better when they show off the bump. Because I’m only 5’2”, if I wear a loose caftan I look like I am wearing a tent.  So I wear a lot of dresses and shirts that cling close to my belly.  I’d rather look super pregnant than like I’m swimming in fabric.

Jewelry on men should be limited to a wedding ring and a nice watch.ArielGordon10The thing that would surprise people most about my job is it’s 90% running a small business and only 10% creative.

To be a good designer, it’s crucial to also have a good head for business.

My favorite place to shop is Amazon prime.  Makes my life so much easier.

My fashion pet peeve is knockoffs.

My top beauty essential is coconut oil.ArielGordon11Every woman should own a luxe handbag (No one will know if your clothes are from Zara or H&M if you’re wearing good jewels and fancy purse. The right accessories always elevate an outfit).

Every man should own a properly tailored suit.

The key to life is surrendering.

When I’m feeling stressed I make lists and cross things off (sometimes I’ll even write down things I’ve already done that day because I love the satisfaction of checking off another to-do).

These days, the thing I wear most often is summer dresses and Birkenstocks.

The coolest place I’ve ever been is a traditional Japanese ryokan in the forested mountains outside of Kyoto.

Right now, I’m obsessed with finding the right wallpaper for the nursery. Nothing too baby. Nothing too gender specific.

Vintage is a fun treasure hunt. I love early mornings at the Rose Bowl flea digging for treasure.

Being a glamourai means being comfortable in your own skin.

|CLICK HERE| to shop all the Ariel Gordon goodness!

  • Emily Chavous

    Wow, her line is absolutely stunning! I adore the moon necklace, and those dainty rings… oh my! Thank you for turning me onto this gem of a collection.

    Emily ||

  • María

    This is the most beautiful simple jewelry I’ve ever seen. So lovely.
    Lots of love, xx

  • Alexandra Aimee

    Delicate and colorful! I love them!!

    — Alex at Cashmere Kangaroo

  • Fantastic jewelry!



  • naturalfoodnew

    so beautiful jewelry

  • Willemijn De Koning

    This looks like pretty amazing jewelry 🙂
    X Willemijn Sofie

    Amsterdam So Fashion

  • Each piece is absolutely stunning! I love the idea of duel birthstone rings, perfect for special occasions. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful brand.

    Gem. x |


    I love the necklaces!

  • These necklaces are awesome! Love!

  • GapToothedGirl

    I like these jewels!
    XOX, Gap.

  • coline

    prettiest jewelry ever!!

  • Lindsey

    Very beautiful! Love each piece!

  • laura

    wwwooowww those jewells are wonderful!!!

  • I love this jewelry!! It’s gorgeous!!


  • These are gorgeous! I love really dainty jewellery, particularly stacking rings. I also love the use of so much yellow gold vs. white gold or silver, it adds such a chic romantic vibe to the pieces. One of my favourite pieces of jewellery is the simple initial necklace which she does so well (that sideways ‘m’!) I featured one of my favourite initial necklaces on my blog if you’d like to check it out

  • Larissa May

    this jewelry so simple yet so perfect!!


  • NoOvernightGuests

    I love the interview!

  • yanjing

    Es war ein
    Zug konnte ich nicht weg von zu bekommen. Wenn man jung ist, können Sie es
    tun können, aber nach einer Weile, Abendkleider
    es wird kommen, stürzt auf Sie. Barton Fest Party führte zu einer Aufladung
    des Fahrens unter dem Einfluss im Jahr 2007 und ein Gericht bestellt Stint in
    der Reha, aber es war nicht bis 2009, dass ihr Leben wirklich brachen, als
    ihre Familie inszeniert eine Intervention, und sie war auf einer unfreiwilligen
    psychiatrischen Krankenhaus und stellte zu halten.. Recht. Law
    gekreuzt mit meinem New England Großmutter? Egal, ich fühlte mich klug und
    hübsch und rechtswissenschaftlichen. Die Sexy Einzelhandel Kleidung.
    Verteilen Sie Fans und Sonnenschirme, wenn es ein besonders heißer und
    sonniger Tag. Das Essen wird von Tabellen in karierte und von Picknick-Körbe
    abgedeckt serviert. Servieren Sie Ihren Gästen gebratenes Huhn, Maiskolben,
    Bohnen-und Kartoffelsalat. IOS Anwendungen Brautmutterkleider
    sind zusätzlich nicht in Anwendungsschnittstelle verwendet werden. Der Grund
    ist, Verbraucher verwirrt, um die gleiche Symbol, das etwas andere Dinge in
    verschiedenen Orten über das System vermittelt anzuzeigen. IPhone-Entwickler
    müssen tatsächlich Substanzen wirklich richtig darzustellen.
    Queen Elizabeth eigenen Kleid verdient seinen Moment der
    Wertschätzung. Als sie heiratete Philip Mountbatten im Jahr 1947 entschied
    sich der damalige Prinzessin für etwas weniger offensichtlich opulent,
    Solidarität mit ihren Landsleuten, die immer noch das Gefühl wurden die
    Beschränkungen des Zweiten Weltkriegs nach Knappheit zu zeigen. Dennoch hat
    der Sir Norman Hartnell entworfen Blick nicht auf den gestickten Details mit
    Hunderten von britischen Handwerkern knausern. Mein Mann
    liebte, zu gehen und serviert werden. Es ist eine sehr komplizierte
    Geschichte, aber es ist etwas, das er aus seiner Kindheit genossen war. Ich
    war völlig im Widerspruch mit ihr, in meiner Kindheit haben Blumenmädchenkleider
    wir wirklich nicht viel gehen, selten, vielleicht in den Urlaub.
    Schmutz und Verunreinigungen bauen sich mit der Zeit, so
    dass Sie Ihre Fliesen stumpf aussehen, und was Mörtel zu verdunkeln und
    verfärbte. Startseite Reinigungsmethoden können einfach nicht am aufgebaut,
    Boden im Schmutz, der in harten niedergelassen hat zugänglichen Stellen zu
    bekommen. Schmutz in den Poren der Fliesen und Fugen gefangen ist besonders
    schwierig, mit herkömmlichen Reinigungsmitteln zu entfernen.
    Recht. Law gekreuzt mit meinem New England Großmutter?
    Egal, ich fühlte mich klug und hübsch und rechtswissenschaftlichen. Die Sexy
    Einzelhandel Kleidung. Verteilen Sie Fans und Sonnenschirme, wenn es ein
    besonders heißer und sonniger Tag. Das Essen wird von Tabellen in karierte und
    von Picknick-Körbe abgedeckt serviert. Servieren Sie Ihren Gästen gebratenes
    Huhn, Maiskolben, Bohnen-und Kartoffelsalat.

TheGlamourai is a webzine produced by Kelly Framel, a multi-media creative director based in downtown New York (but constantly bouncing around the world). Part fashion blog, part glossy mag, part fantasy travel portal, it's your ultimate online destination for stylish daydreams. Tune in for inspirational editorials, beauty tutorials, outfit ideas, DIYs, jet-set travel tips and more!
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