I started following the Alex and Ani trend a couple of years back, when spotting their line at Nordstrom stores around California. On a recent trip to Montreal, I picked up one of their Vintage Sixty-Six bangles to start my own collection of arm candy, otherwise known as #charmedarms on social media.
The company’s forged a huge following on Instagram, with fans from all over the globe posting their best bracelet pics.
Alex and Ani was started 11 years ago by Carolyn Rafaelian, using the jewellery factory that her father founded in 1966. Alex and Ani are the names of Carolyn’s two daughters.
Each of their pieces has a story to tell and the huge range of eco-friendly bangles can be paired with several others in the collection. A luxury problem for sure, but the hardest part is trying to pick out just a few! The website can help by letting you select pieces by finish, collection and price.
I noticed the majority of the bangles are in the US $25 to $50 range. There’s even bangles created for sports and travel lovers.
These three are from the new collection: Feather Spirit Wrap, Pinot Noir Rooted Mystery Wrap and Red Jasper Forest’s Blessing Wrap, all three in the Rafaelian gold finish. The colours and accents perfectly symbolize fall’s changing leaves and the jewellery is easy to dress up or down, along with a favourite scarf.
Alex and Ani bangles have a patented sliding mechanism designed to expand to fit all wrist sizes. And each is graced with tiny charms featuring the logo and collection (all of mine are from the Vintage Sixty-Six line).
The pieces are created with either recycled of vintage products, all manufactured in the States.
Other Alex and Ani items include earrings, necklaces, rings and handbags. They also sell a few men’s bracelets and handcrafted scarves produced by Maine textile mill Brahms Mount.
Alex and Ani also creates bangles in conjunction with charities for fundraising campaigns. Many of their bangles are exclusively designed for charities with funds raised going back to the charity.
The company also gives back via Charity by Design with 20% of bangle sales donated to Hasbro Children’s Hospital. As of February 2015, Charity by Design has donated $20 million to 44 different charities. Not bad for a company that started out making pretty things!
The entire collection is available online. If you’d like to try the bangles on for yourself, I noticed a good selection at the recently-opened Vancouver Nordstrom.