Alexis Bittar, the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Accessory Designer of the Year for 2010, recently celebrated the grand opening of his first San Francisco store, at 1942 Fillmore St.
What type of work do you do? I have three lines with separate personalities and am influenced by architecture and nature, and I look at the detail in the craftsmanship of antiques. All my pieces are hand-carved and hand-sculpted in Brooklyn.
Why did you decide to open a store in San Francisco? I’ve been selling all over for nearly 20 years and I realize my core demographic. San Francisco is a walking city, the people are laid-back, but they respect art and this comes across.
What can people expect from the store? It’s like walking into an old boutique, but with a modern concept. It’s quirky with hybrid animals throughout. Fashion and art lovers especially like my work as there’s an art context going on and a strong fashion base.
What does it mean to you to be the CDFA Accessory Designer of the Year? It’s a huge personal reward. I didn’t go to fashion school or have family in the business. I built everything from the ground up and it’s a great feeling to be acknowledged for all the hard work, especially as I’m a nonadvertiser and was up against names such as Marc Jacobs.