Sylvie Boksenbaum is living proof of the adage: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” The woman behind the eponymous brand creates sensational statement jewelry framed by punchy, colorful crochet work. It turns out there’s a practical purpose behind this unique methodology…
Having discovered that she was allergic to the metals used in jewelry making, finding a way to cover it in order to prevent it from touching her skin became a priority. “I was very frustrated by not being able to wear statement jewels,” she explains, “so I had the idea of covering a large chain necklace with cotton, thanks to a crochet technique my grandmother taught me.” Don’t be put off by “crochet”: We’re talking jewelry that’s far removed from a naïve, homespun craft—it’s pure haute couture.
Indeed, boks&baum necklaces and bracelets are a breathtaking mix of crystal pearls, semi-precious stones and luxurious threads of cotton and silk. The sun-drenched colors, quirky shapes, and surprising combinations allow these handmade creations to be worn for both casual and dressed-up looks. “I create the pieces I want to wear,” says Sylvie, “which requires hours of thinking, looking for the perfect stones, mixing colors, materials, and more.”
She began her creative career in the heart of Paris’ famous Marais neighborhood, where she had a shop selling luxury knitwear. “I had to leave my knitwear boutique when I moved to South Africa—it was too hot there to sell sweaters,” she remembers. “I developed my jewelry pieces while I was living in Brazil, integrating the beautiful semi-precious stones that I saw all around me.”
Inspired by her globetrotting, Sylvie has gone on to create pieces influenced by the shapes and shades of South Africa, Brazil and Mexico. Her creative genius started in childhood: “From the age of four, it was impossible to take me to the beach without accessories—bracelets, necklaces (handmade with melon seeds, flowers, shells), sunglasses, fancy skirt, etcetera! I’ve been attracted to fashion for as long as I can remember.”
Motivated by a magpie eye, too, it seems: “I always wanted to incorporate Swarovski crystals in my jewels, as I love mixing matt and shiny stones. The brilliance of the crystals contrasts nicely with the stones you find in nature, as well as cotton, silk, raffia—anything that I can add to my creations.”
All items are available at wolfandbadger.com.