Known for her sculptural shapes and expert craftsmanship, Parisian designer Annelise Michelson is changing the face of fine French jewellery
If you’re looking for a delicate flower brooch or dainty drop earrings, you might want to look elsewhere. But if it’s studded metal-knit necklaces, earrings that climb up the cartilage or statement fingerpieces you’re after, then Annelise Michelson is your girl. Born and raised in Paris, the A-list favourite designer may have initially studied fashion and haute couture at La Chambre Syndicale de le Couture Parisienne, but it wasn’t long until she learnt where her true passion really lay. “After a couple of years working in ready-to-wear, I got an opportunity to design jewellery for the very first time for a shoot, and I found that I enjoyed it so much more,” Annelise tells MOJEH. “I loved designing pieces in 3D, and soon found there was a gap in the market for sculptural, statement jewellery. “My jewellery got a lot of attention from the start, and I felt very strongly that I had something to say, so I just went for it. Today, I’m very proud to design pieces that make women feel strong and seen.”
Celebrating beautifully-unconventional jewellery, with sculptural designs that are handcrafted from experimental textiles and precious materials, Annelise Michelson offers a refreshing blend of artisanal and conceptual techniques, with each and every piece handcrafted in Paris by the same atelier she has used from the beginning. “We have a very clean and ethical production line, which means we can also ensure the same quality for the customer each and every time,” Annelise adds. “This is something that is very important to me.”
Pieces are imagined in Annelise’s Parisian apartment – “I feel very at peace there, and it overlooks a park, so I feel like I’m in the trees and in touch with nature,” she says – while clients can make appointments to visit her studio in the 8th arrondissement if they prefer to try before they buy. “I really believe that you need some intimacy when you try on jewellery, so I want my clients to be able to enjoy a moment by themselves and really get to know my pieces,” she tells us. “I’m also in the process of opening a big boutique gallery space next door to my studio, where I will present both my jewellery and sculptures at the same time. I want people to be able to get immersed within my universe.” When speaking of her most defining career moments, it’s clear that for Annelise, there are many. “When I first signed with Bonmarché in France and Bergdorf Goodman and Saks in the States, I was so proud,” Annelise recalls. “It was a huge moment for me. But then Rihanna starting wearing my pieces and became a big fan, and then Bella Hadid. Things happen that you believe to be huge, and then suddenly something will come along and top it. It’s unbelievable.” She’s no stranger to a designer collaboration or two either – her most recent being with the LVMH-owned FRED, where Annelise was given carte blanche to create a tribute to its timeless Chance Infinie collection. The result was a stunning capsule range of four precious pieces in yellow gold, including a ring, choker, cuff and earring that married the designer’s sculptural feminine aesthetic with FRED’s iconic 8 motif. “It was a huge moment for me, as not only was it incredible to work with such talented artisans, but it was also my first time designing a collection in gold, so it really was something special,” she adds.
Focusing on just one to two collections per year, Annelise’s main goal is keeping things fresh and exciting, while challenging herself with new designs that surprise her as much as her clients. With her next collection for Paris Fashion Week in the works, plus a number of new pieces being released for the opening of her new gallery boutique, the designer is well and truly determined to keep pushing boundaries and breaking moulds. “Design is unpredictable, and it’s important to keep looking forward,” she adds. “You never really know if you are making the right decision, but I believe that if you are true to yourself, people will see this and you will always win. The minute you aren’t authentic, that’s when you lose your essence.” We can’t wait to see what Annelise Michelson comes up with next. Shop now
The Annelise Michelson Guide To Paris
Where is home to you? The east of Paris in the 11th arrondissement. It’s been home to me for five years and I love it.
Where is your place in Paris for a good night out? It depends on my mood. I love La Buvette for apéro – it’s a tiny typical French bar with a lot of soul. For something lively, I’d go to Le Mary Celeste, and they serve food until 11pm, which is hard to find in Paris. If you want to dance, go to Bambino!
Which is your favourite restaurant? That’s a tough one, but I’d say Le Servan. They serve incredibly good French cuisine in a modern way that’s not too complicated or pretentious.
Where do you go to escape the hustle and bustle, and find a moment of calm? Bookshops – I believe they are the best places to recharge. There’s one I really love called La Belle Lurette. It smells of wood and paper, and the people that work there give amazing advice. There’s something really special about it.
Where was the last place you discovered? La Fondation Pinault at La Bourse de Commerce. It has a great collection of contemporary art, but the building alone is spectacular, and we don’t have many places like that in Paris. It’s the one big attraction of the moment.
How can you tell someone is from Paris? If you speak to someone who is very sophisticated – in how they dress, where they eat, what books they read – they are probably from Paris!
What do you love to do at the end of a long day? I love hanging around Montmartre with my boyfriend. It feels like you are escaping to the country and is much quieter than Paris. I think it is where I will live next.
If I didn’t live in Paris, I could see myself in… Italy is like my second home and my happy place, so I would have to say there!
Describe your personal style… I like feminine, easy-to-wear pieces that are flattering and well-fitted, and make you feel good in your skin. Also, originality is important to me – I’ll never buy the ‘It’ bag, I prefer something that is different and unique.
What are your favourite wardrobe essentials? Miniskirts are my trademark, but unfortunately they aren’t super-appropriate with my bicycle, so I also live in high-waisted denim jeans and chic tailored trousers.
Where do you shop? I love to shop online – I’m addicted!
Which brands do you love and why? I love Acne – it has original designs that are also well-tailored. It’s good for classics too, like a crisp white shirt and good sweaters. I’m also a big fan of Lemaire – it is edgy, but in a quiet way. And Yasmine Eslami for the best lingerie in town!
What is the last thing you bought? A pair of boots from Ellery – the designer is a friend of mine. They are black with a metal heel in an organic shape, just like my jewellery.
Which shoes are your most treasured? I was gifted a pair of hot pink satin shoes from Margiela’s Tabi line that have a lot of sentimental value to me. I only wear them for special occasions, but I love them.
How do you dress for the different seasons? I love playing around with my clothes for the seasons. I layer in autumn and I just love the colours, but spring is great too, as it means the return of skirts and open-toe shoes. I love dressing up for the day.
- Words by Naomi Chadderton