With a website that’s plastered with more celebrities than People magazine, jewelry designer Chris Aire is making all our star-studded sartorial dreams come true with a line that’s worn and loved by our favorite A-listers. Offering everything from simple gold hoops (beloved by Eva Longoria), to custom-designed insignias (Jay-Z has one, no big deal), Aire is undoubtedly the jeweler to the stars. Best known for his eclectic style and love of all things that sparkle, his designs are bright, unexpected and truly impressive—he’s even been given the nickname “King of Bling.” But don’t take our word for it, just ask one of his many, many celebrity clients.
Of course, life hasn’t always been a star-studded party for Aire. As a teenager the designer left his family and friends in Nigeria to peruse higher learning stateside at the California State University in Long Beach. After failed attempts to make it big as a singer and actor while attending classes, he decided to pursue his second love, gemstones. The rest, as they say, is history. Shortly after graduating from the Gemological Institute of America, he was selling his pieces to sports stars and big Hollywood players entirely through word of mouth. Of course, having been in business for 25 years now, he no longer worries about getting his name out there—he’s the go-to jeweler for close friends like Naomi Campbell, Miley Cyrus, Jay-Z, Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. The Hilton sisters even have earrings named after them.
In an effort to stay “true to his African roots,” and share his prosperity with his homeland, Aire sources his gold and diamonds from Africa, where he has personally invested in local mines. He is also committed to using conflict-free diamonds, and only uses stones that have come from his mines or well-known and reputable sources. He also fights against the use of child labor, and believes in the industry’s responsibility to make a difference in the mining community. In addition, a portion of all sales are contributed to philanthropic efforts which provide access to clean water and education to people in Nigeria.
While most of his pieces have only been available online or through special commissions (do stars even have to set foot in a store?) he recently opened a flagship location in Beverly Hills this last December. Now shoppers can stop in and see his extravagant collections, from dazzling, diamond-encrusted cufflinks to golden prayer beads, Aire has a piece for every style and palette. Of course if you’re finding it hard to pick just one, we suggest just buying one of whatever Angelina ordered.
Chris Aire is available online and priced from $450-$13.5 million and up.