avant-garde movement. Her striking statement pieces crafted from such diverse materials as bone, shell, mixed metals and pre-Colombian idols were worn by Peggy Guggenheim and Frida Kahlo, and sold at Henri Bendel in New York City. The sisters have continued their inspirational grandmother’s legacy, and added their own interpretations of antique European jewelry, Egyptian motifs, French medieval armor and even Japanese design elements.
Just like the inspiration behind the designs, the materials used are not from just one place. The beautiful stones and shells featured in the
designs are sourced both in Mexico and New York. In the past, the sisters have used mother of pearl found in Mexico and the marbled shell Conus Marmoreus from the Philippines. Although there are no hard and fast rules, they usually find the materials they want to work with first and then design around them.
The design process is collaborative and the sisters constantly throw ideas back and forth. One will start a sketch and the other will finish it. They then produce the sample and wear it themselves to get a feeling of how it works on the body.
Each Anndra Neen piece is unique and has been lovingly crafted by hand in a workshop in Mexico City. Phoebe and Annette work very closely with artisans from the School of Silversmithing in Taxco, constantly developing new techniques and discussing options. The talented artisans are involved in every aspect of bringing the design to life and are amazing at interpreting sketches and translating then into actual objects.