NYC designer debut: Lionette by Noa Sade

Launched this summer, Lionette designer Noa Sade revealed online the first collection of her Eastern-inspired jewelry – heavy chain-link necklaces and exotic gemstone pendants – to Internet gazers and New York shoppers.

Although her first collection remains unnamed, Sade has revealed the name of her upcoming collection, “Tribal Chic,” which will debut this fall.

“I’m using totally different techniques this time,” she said. “Everything is handmade, and we’ll be casting pieces.”

A slight divergence from her current line, Tribal Chic will feature cuffs and earrings in cast metal, in comparison to the handmade metalwork of her first pieces.

Raised in Israel and heavily influenced by Africa, it’s no surprise that Noa Sade has endowed her jewelry with an alluring, Eastern exoticism.

“I always had a lot of access to art. If you come to my house…every piece in the house is made by my mom, my dad, my brothers or me,” Sade said.

Growing up, she unconsciously started carving a path towards jewelry making.

“I traveled a lot and started collecting stones in the Middle East,” the New York-based designer said.

Although her parents had practical careers, she came from a family of innate artisans. During the day, her father was an engineer, but at home he was a carpenter who built all the furniture in their home. Her brother is also an artist.

Sade later moved to South Africa, living in Cape Town for a year, and found never-ending inspiration from the colonial town.

“Whenever I think about design, I think about Cape Town,” she said. “Their home decoration is something that I haven’t seen anywhere else. It’s a combination of raw Africa and modern British. There’s not a single door handle that is not considered. There is nothing plain about their design.”

The contrast of Cape Town, and the juxtaposition of the colonial and the indigenous, is reflected in her upcoming line. You can hear it just in the name, Tribal Chic, alone.

“I’ve always said that contrast creates something interesting,” the Israel-born designer remarked. “In the line, the crystals and the element of color… it’s shiny and flashy, but we made the metal antique-looking. I’m always looking, unconsciously, for contrast.”

She was also intrigued by stones in general, which were abundant in Africa.

“In Africa, you cannot miss (a stone). It’s a part of nature,” she said. “They were magical to me.”

Already onto her second collection, Sade reflects on her company, which is quickly beginning to establish a name in New York City.

She admits she wasn’t always convinced that being a designer was in the stars for her.

“I’ll be honest, when I first started in the fashion world, and I was like ‘Is this is my mission in life? Selling stuff to girls?’ ” she wondered.

However, she realized something unique about the way people interacted with her pieces, something that evoked emotions deeper than she expected.

“Sometimes a woman will say ‘Oh I feel like an empress in this.’ Jewelry, clothing and fashion bring something out of you,” she said. “It highlights something you have inside.”

“The more I get involved in this business, I learn that it’s not about spending money, but it’s about expressing yourself,” she said. “Lionette doesn’t apologize for herself. That’s why we say ‘Woman untamed.’ She has no rules but she’s in control.”

Speaking of following the rules, Noa Sade applies her motto to her design ethics as well, never following current trends.

“I never look for inspiration. I find it, of course, but I try not to think about rules – what’s in season or what’s in fashion,” the designer said.

Noa Sade expects to launch Tribal Chic in late fall. Her first line still remains new, only posted for a few months online, and shoppers can purchase pieces on her website at www.lionetteny.com.

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Purple Neon/LadyLUX

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