The Power of Jewelry

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Award-winning designer Robert Lee Morris has dominated the world of high-fashion jewelry and body ornament in America for more than three decades. Morris's strong yet graceful shapes recall artifacts of ancient and aboriginal cultures, transformed by his imaginative vision and fine workmanship into sublimely fluid, organic works. This engaging book-told in his own words and illustrated with eye-popping photographs of his innovative designs-provides a candid, insider's view of the fashion world, seen through the eyes of one of its genuine icons.

The first gallery to show Morris's work was New York's Sculpture to Wear, which offered one-of-a-kind jewelry by fine artists such as Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, and Man Ray. Today Morris's pieces are found not only at his own gallery in New York's SoHo, but also in the high-fashion collections of Donna Karan-for whom he created a signature look-and in jewelry stores throughout the United States. Robert Lee Morris is sure to appeal to jewelry lovers and fashion aficionados everywhere, and to have a powerful influence on the next generation of cutting-edge designers.

Author Robert Lee Morris, a leading designer of jewelry and body ornament, is known for his one-of-a-kind pieces as well as his collaborations with such designers as Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld, and Donna Karan. He has received the Coty Award and two Council of Fashion Designers of America awards.
  • ISBN-13: 9780810949546
  • Publication date: September 2004
  • Pages: 180
  • Product dimensions: 11.37 wide x 11.50 tall x 1.00 thick
  • Shipping weight: 3.4 lbs.
Review from Publisher's Weekly:

By the time he was 31, Morris had become one of the most influential jewelry designers in North America: his creations appeared all over fashion magazines like Vogue; his Manhattan jewelry store had become a favorite spot of celebrities like Bianca Jagger and Andy Warhol; and his work was marching down the runways of Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld, Kansai Yamamoto and Donna Karen.

In this coffee-table book cum memoir, Morris explains "how he grew from a self-taught jewelry designer to a recognizable brand name in such a relatively short time." The designer, who is known for his "edgy blend of modern and tribal effects," attributes his global sensibility to his college courses in anthropology and to his upbringing as an "Airforce brat." He moved 23 times before he was 18 and lived for several years in Japan and Brazil. But it’s clear that the mainsprings of Morris’s success are his joyful, single-minded focus on his work and his savvy entrepreneurial spirit. Though his book contains asides on his marriage, his travels and his study of shamanism, it centers mostly on the origins of his signature creations, the development of the "designer jewelry" consumer niche in the 1970s and ’80s, and the way he managed his brand "as if it were a wild horse in a rodeo."

Morris now designs up to 10 jewelry collections a year, and though the name-dropping can be a bit heavy-handed in spots, his memoir is full of friendly advice for young artists. Morris’s fans will appreciate this careful history, but readers unfamiliar with his designs may find themselves skipping pages to stare at the large, full-color photos of his smooth knuckle rings, gently bulging necklaces, mesh belts, herringbone collars and sensual bracelets. They are unlike anything else.
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