Eli Halili Store Opening: A Lesson in Personal Branding

Last night we attended a gorgeous event celebrating my friend Eli Halili - jeweler, designer and in my opinion, style icon in the making. Eli recently completed a big renovation, taking over the space next door to his original Mott Street boutique. My husband and I stopped by a few weeks ago and the venue was still pretty raw, but we knew Eli would do something amazing in time for his celebration party in collaboration with Vogue Gioello. And he really outdid himself... the space is like stepping into Eli's worldview. Each display case is a work of art, with the jewelry styled on antiques, ephemera and interesting objets from all over the world, new and old. There's even a downstairs sort of parlor/sitting room accessed from a spiral staircase - you can sit and admire artwork and collectibles from every angle. 

The event was of course very chic - velvet rope, step-and-repeat and all. Every element was spot on, from the PR girls all in black lace dresses to the custom fruity cocktails (not too sweet, so refreshing!) to the balanced floral arrangements of hydrangea, roses, red fern and other unusual stems, to his signature Diptyque candles, to the DJ, Taryn Manning, who was cool, friendly and of course, decked out in some of Eli's pieces. It was a great turnout and I hope it brings all of the recognition and interest that he deserves.

I used to go to quite a few of these types of events and always kind of felt like it was a lot of money to spend for a lot of hype and maybe not so much tangible ROI. But this party was different because I sensed Eli's touch on every single aspect. Eli's jewelry comes from this sort of contemporary yet historical aesthetic - most pieces are in 18 or 24K gold with matte finish and interesting, precious gems, evoking Byzantine and other rich historical periods. But the pieces are made to be styled the way we wear jewelry today - layered, mix and match, etc. That aesthetic permeates the entire boutique - every object feels curated, its placement & lighting thoughtful - but it's not fussy, it's casual, elegant eclectic. So I felt like the event was a huge dynamic calling card for Eli - he's welcoming everyone into his world. And I for one love hanging out there!

I'm not sure that this designer set out purposefully to make a cohesive lifestyle statement representing his jewelry brand the way an agency would. I think that he knows what he likes, has amazing taste and vision and just trusted his instincts. Maybe that's why his "brand" feels so authentic - he's not trying to conform to any set of rules, just trusting his gut and of course, leveraging his considerable talent!  Below are some of the images I captured from last night's event - if you like them you should definitely stop by the boutique to get the full experience. To find out more about Eli Halili check out his website and also his Instagram to see how he gets inspired.