Let’s face it: trendy costume jewellery has a short shelf life. You buy a piece on the fly to complete an outfit, rock it for a season, and by the following year, you’re either sick of it or it’s busted and rusted. So who wants to shell out hundreds of dollars for a fashion fix that’s so fleeting?
Sophie Alden doesn’t. That’s why the Vancouver designer recently launched Birds of a Feather, a line of edgy, fun, and affordable necklaces, rings, and bracelets. These mass-produced, metal-based party accessories are definitely meant to be enjoyed for a good time, but not necessarily a long time.
They’re the polar opposite of Alden’s other successful line, Lisbeth Jewelry—a higher-end collection of delicate and simple handmade sterling-silver and gold-filled classics that Alden started in 2006.
“Lisbeth is so close to my heart and I love it,” says Alden, who sat down with the Straight at a West Side café to talk about her latest line—something she created to address her own wardrobe conundrums. “But when I go out, sometimes I want to put on a big necklace, and I was buying them for $300. And I was like, ‘How long am I really gonna wear this for? Like, in how many photos can I see myself wearing this necklace?’ So I wanted to do something that kind of represented the other side of my style.”
Apparently, Alden’s personal style is very close to what other fashionistas are into right now. Birds of a Feather only hit the market three months ago and already it’s carried in more than 60 stores across Canada and the U.S. Locally, you can find both of her lines in several Vancouver boutiques, including One of a Few (354 Water Street), wish.list (2811 West Broadway), and Fine Finds (1014 Mainland Street).
Her long fringe chain necklace ($45) has been flying off the shelves. Like most of her designs, this au courant standout comes in a bright, glammed-up silver or an antique bronze finish and is just the thing to complete pretty much any outfit that’s in dire need of a textural focal point up top.
Another hot seller is her spike necklace ($38)—three chains, two of which are adorned with long, skinny spike pendants. It’s a great way to add a touch of urban edge to your look.
“It’s amazing, and I wear it all the time,” says the tell-it-like-it-is Alden of her design, “but I wouldn’t want to pay a lot for it.”
Another design she can’t seem to produce enough of is the spike bracelet ($23), an elasticized strand of pyramids—perfect for stacking. As are her rings, which, by the way, are completely sold out for the moment. There’s a theme here, no? So perhaps it’s not too surprising that the instant success has been a little overwhelming, albeit exciting, for Alden.
“Birds of a Feather has been so crazy,” says the chatty and amiable blond beauty. “I wasn’t expecting the response I’ve had.…But it’s fun. I just wish I would have thought of this four years ago.”