According to designer Alla Belenkov, the study of beauty is a tradition and an inherent part of the culture of her native hometown, St. Petersburg, Russia. Following an upbringing steeped in these traditions, Alla furthered her knowledge of Art History, drawing and math before further studying metalsmith techniques. This knowledge, coupled with her world wide travels, inspired the artist to open a studio making a collection of one-of-a-kind, wearable art under the name AB Jewelry. Alla is joining seven other designers in the New Designer Gallery at the upcoming spring show and, as it turns out, getting ready for the show has become her latest obsession!

JA New York: The first thing I ever designed was…?

Alla Belenkov: A pearl necklace from large fresh water pearls I got at the Hong Kong market.

JA New York: Every morning I….?

AB: Have my espresso, read WSJ, turn on the music, and enter my studio

JA New York: I never leave the house without…?

AB: My jewelry, of course!

JA New York: I have my breakfast…

AB: At noon, after a few hours in the studio

JA New York: Jewelry is all about…

AB: Making one feel confident, expressing oneself

JA New York: One thing I wear every day is…

AB: My wedding ring

JA New York: I don’t eat…

AB: Octopus

JA New York: My favorite restaurant in New York City is….

AB: I don’t have one; I love discovering new ones. I enjoy all the creative ingredients, combinations and ambience that surprise when visiting a restaurant for the first time.

JA New York: I am a maniac about…?

AB: Learning and experiencing “new.” New techniques and materials while making jewelry, new documentary, new ingredients while cooking, new places to see.

JA New York: My obsession of the moment is….?

AB: Preparing for the JA New York show!

JA New York: I’m currently reading…?

AB: Man called Ove for my book club, The Upright Thinkers by Leonard Mlodinow for myself. I prefer documentaries but am happy to read something outside of my comfort zone for the club.

JA New York: I’m currently listening to….?

AB: Gogol Bordello station on Pandora. That includes Caro Emerald, Tom Waits, Paloma Faith, Parov Stelar, Andrew Bird, and many more

JA New York: 5 words that describe my brand DNA are…?

AB: History; Nature; Expression; Nuance; Wearable

JA New York: My trade show uniform is…?

AB: Thinking of color. Olive or red, with jewelry accents.

JA New York: My greatest accomplishment so far is…?

AB: My children. Their curiosity inspires and encourages me; I’m proud of them and their accomplishments.