Racked - Alex Woo on "The Carrie Diaries," Chicago's Best Brussels Sprouts


Jewelry designer Alex Woo is bringing her charms (both personal and wearable) to a Nordstrom trunk show on Saturday. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., she'll be showing off her cute, feminine designs and chatting up customers—and you may be able to find her at the Purple Pig afterwards. Before she boards her jet plane to Chicago, we spoke with Woo about how she layers her pieces, how she trims her Christmas tree, and her best beauty tip for frequent travelers. Read on to get to know Woo, then get out there and greet her in person this weekend.
For someone who's not familiar with your line, how would you describe it and what are some great "starter pieces" to stock up on? My collection has a clean-line design aesthetic and optimism in the feeling of the pieces; it's classic but with a fresh twist for that modern woman who's bold enough to share her personal story through her jewelry. So whether it's a child's initial or an icon representing a childhood nickname, there's something for everyone—even Carrie Bradshaw! My Little Letter "c" is her signature accessory in the Carrie Diaries.
What's your favorite way to layer or combine your pieces? I like to wear three Icons of different metals: two next to each other at the same chain length and one on a longer chain. I think layering pieces and mixing metals allow you to share your story in one look. I hardly ever leave my house without my Little Letter "a" representing my son Alexander, and I often wear the Number 8 as it's my life path number and very lucky in the Chinese culture. Then I find myself reaching for my Little Lotus when I need a bit of peace.

We're excited to have you come to Chicago! Random but burning question: Since you're on the road so much for trunk shows, have you picked up any beauty tips along the way?
Even though it's dehydrating I always have to have my lattes when I travel, but I balance it out by drinking lots of water. I also like to lightly cleanse, then reapply moisturizer—with SPF if I'm somewhere sunny—so I leave the airport fresh and ready to see some friendly faces!

Noted! Ok, back to Chicago. Do you have any favorite local spots or shops you like to hit up? Yes I have, earlier this year—for another trunk show at Nordstrom, actually! It was Chicago's very first look at my collection, and it was very exciting. I had dinner at the Purple Pig, where I had the best version of a "fried salad:" it was fresh lemon juice drizzled on fried brussel sprouts. I really ought to visit more often.

What do you love best about hosting trunk shows, and what can we expect to see at Saturday's show? Of course I love meeting my fans, old and new. I love to hear feedback and suggestions from them, and that sometimes can inspire my next design! You can count on seeing my newest collections and pieces released this year; the Cities and MLB collections are very much connected to showing pride for your city. I believe we all have personal ties to the cities we grew up in, and many of these same cities tell different stories for each person. I can't wait to meet all the proud Chicagoans on Saturday!

You're a pro accessorizer. How did you trim your Christmas tree this year?  I love to travel, so many of my ornaments are keepsakes and souvenirs I've collected from different cities and countries I've visited. This year has been fun, decorating the tree with these ornaments together with ones my son has made. I guess you can say my tree is adorned with many personal icons.

What inspires you most as a jewelry designer?  I create jewelry that reflects life through design and imagines fashion in a way that's both personal and timeless. I draw inspiration from travels around the world. I'll admit my most creative moments are found in new locations that I visit.
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