Ann Dexter-Jones Design

The Designer

Ann Dexter-Jones is a British-born renaissance woman who resides in New York City's West Village.

Before moving to New York City in the 1980s, Ann lived in London with then-husband Laurence Ronson, with whom she has three children: son Mark Ronson, now a world famous recording artist and Grammy-winning music producer who has worked with such names as Amy Winehouse and Adele, and twin daughters Samantha Ronson, who is a globally-known DJ and recording artist (her new album, Chasing the Reds, is available on iTunes) and soon-to-be published author, and Charlotte Ronson, a fashion designer who has turned herself into a household name with her namesake clothing and accessories line and make-up line (available at Sephora).

After her union with Ronson dissolved, Ann married Mick Jones, of the band Foreigner, to whom she was married for 25 years; Jones wooed Ann by sending her orchids everyday for six months and wrote the song "I Wanna Know What Love Is" with her in mind; she even contributed a verse. Ann and Mick have two children of their own: son Alexander Dexter-Jones, now a DJ who is currently finishing his first album and is currently traveling the world making quite a name for himself in the music industry, and daughter Annabelle Dexter-Jones, a model, actress and clothing designer, who has appeared and starred in several award-winning and critically acclaimed films and has just launched a capsule collection for French fashion house, Faith Connexion (her designs can currently be found on display in the front window of Colette in Paris).

Aside from being the busy and incredibly proud mother of the celebrated Ronson/Dexter-Jones creative clan, she is an icon on the New York social scene, as well as a tireless supporter and fundraiser for youth rehabilitation charities, academic scholarships, music, art and education. Ann is also involved with charities for the environment, the homeless, women's health and political issues. Often preferring a hands on approach when it comes to giving back, Ann volunteers her services as a Reiki master, helping to heal children in Mount Sinai's pediatric ICU.

The designer is well known for her impeccable taste and vibrant personality. As a legendary hostess, she has a passion for bringing diverse groups of friends, who span the worlds of music, art, politics and Hollywood, together at her home to join her 'grand salon'. She feels that dialogue between all different types of people is the key to fully understanding anything of importance.

When she isn't designing jewelry, Ann can most likely be found writing. As a freelance writer, her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Tatler, Nylon, Gotham, WWD and Town & Country; she is also currently writing her first of three novels, which she refers to as "faction".

The Jewelry

One may say that jewelry design is something that is in Ann Dexter-Jones' blood. Her paternal grandfather was the crown jeweler for Kaiser Franz Josef of Austria.

The concept for the designer's namesake jewelry line, Ann Dexter-Jones Design, is one that has been in the making for nearly a lifetime. Ann comes from a background deeply rooted in world travel, art and music. Her father, a physician, as well as a concert violinist in his youth, was a man determined to show his daughter the world beyond her, what he saw as bourgeois, life in England. At the age of ten, Ann recalls how her father sat her down, along with her four siblings, and explained that he felt it was his duty to expose his children to the many religious, cultural, social, economic and political landscapes the world had to offer. He put his finger down on a spinning globe and chose the nearest point in the British Commonwealth: Australia. And thus began Ann's lifelong penchant for travel, and subsequently the basis for her inspiration as a jewelry designer.

After Ann's mother died suddenly when she was just 11 years old, her father, a great intellect in search of the truth, found it all the more important for the family to continue their travels and experience life to its fullest. Travelling the world and seeing so many unique and exotic places allowed Ann to hone her designer's eye at a young age. She recalls during those first weeks of travel pulling into port on the Suez Canal and being absolutely struck by the overwhelming beauty of Bermuda, particularly the way the blue and pink color combinations seen everywhere looked so stunning together?creating a fairyland of sorts. She recalls seeing for the first time the mosaic tiled streets of Curacao and gleaming jewels and gold in Sri Lanka and India and remembers once again being overwhelmed with awe and inspiration at the exotic color combinations. It is experiences like these to which she credits her unique ability to seamlessly incorporate so many exotic elements into her designs, while still keeping each piece uber chic.

In the years that followed, Ann found herself living on nearly every continent. Growing up, she attended 14 different elementary and secondary schools and three different colleges, each containing different types of people whose traditions and ways of life would shape her artistic vision.

From a young age, Ann also developed a deep appreciation for all types of music, but the rock-and-roll chapter of her life really began she met Laurence Ronson, the then-manager of the British pop band, Bucks Fizz, winners of the Eurovision Song Contest. The pair married and had three children. Laurence and Ann became staples on the hot London rock scene. Ann was introduced to countless music legends, many of whom would become her close friends.

After divorcing Ronson and later marrying Mick Jones, guitarist, composer, producer and lyricist for the band Foreigner, Ann once again found herself traveling the world, this time as a rock-and-roll wife. No matter where she found herself, during all those years on the road, one thing she noticed to be a consistent presence in every country she visited was the concept of the ID bracelet. Although they differed in shape, material and size from country to country, the sentiment remained; no matter what open air market or shopping mall in which she found herself around the world, the ID bracelet always represented a traditional mark of young love and commitment. This phenomenon is something she believed should be celebrated. Always living by the motto "Every day is for best. Life is short", Ann longed to find an ID bracelet that incorporated the exotic stones she also found along the way on her travels. She finally decided that no one was going to read her mind, and if she wanted a unique and stunning ID bracelet of her own, she would have to go ahead and create her vision herself. And so began Ann Dexter-Jones Design.

Ann, who describes her line as "rock-and-roll-chic jewels for women and secure men", hand chooses each stone that goes into each piece of wearable art. Everything is hand crafted and assembled in New York City by skilled artisans who have generations-worth of experience creating prototypes for top jewelers, such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier and Tiffany & Co. Each stone is hand cut with guaranteed precision by artisans who restore stones for the famed Russian House of Faberge.

Each link on every piece of jewelry in Ann's entire line is individually cast and assembled by hand. This method, which has not been commonly used since the mid-twentieth century, allows for a classic, old-school look, which recalls the long-standing tradition in which the concept of the ID bracelet is rooted.

The Midnight Hour Collection

After creating her first collection of ID bracelets, Ann's next burst of creative inspiration came while listening to Wilson Pickett's "The Midnight Hour", one of the designer's favorite rock-and-roll classics. Ann decided an homage to Wilson Pickett was in order; and thus was born the Midnight Hour watch collection.

While the Midnight Hour bracelets are not actually functioning watches, the idea behind the collection is that the 18kt gold, jewel-encrusted hand of each watch is perpetually set at 12 AM; this way, time always stands still at midnight and the wearer of the watch never has to leave the party.

The Starry Starry Night Collection

Always finding inspiration in music, Ann was once again inspired while sketching and listening to Don McLean's "Starry Starry Night", a favorite song of hers inspired by her idol Vincent van Gogh. The Star Starry Night collection of bracelets and necklaces is her homage to Don McLean (and through association, van Gogh) and features a mixture of chunky solid sterling silver and 18kt gold stars with inlaid precious and semi-precious stones.

The Give Peace a Chance Collection

Ann's designs were once again inspired by music, while traveling to Iceland for the annual lighting of John Lennon's Imagine Peace Tower, a tower of light commissioned by the Beatle's late wife Yoko Ono as a tribute to him. Ann was inspired by the gesture and the idea of the tower, which consists of 15 searchlights with prisms that act as mirrors, reflecting the column of light vertically into the sky from a 10-metre wide wishing well. Both the tower and the song on which it was based hold a beautiful message, which inspired the designer to create her Give Peace a Chance collection, which consists of large solid sterling silver peace signs set on top of exotic stones. These chunky-yet-chic bracelets and pendants allow the wearer to spread John and Yoko's message of world peace, a cause near and dear to Ann's heart.

The Fairy Collection

Aside from being a jewelry designer, Ann is also a master of Reiki, the Japanese art of life-force healing; she incorporates this practice into her jewelry design in the form Fairy Bracelets. These feminine and radiantly colorful pieces of jewelry feature semi-precious stones, such as aquamarines, turquoise, quartz and topaz, all hand cut into six-sided triangles, rectangles, ovals and hearts to recall the zodiac signs. The stones are then strung on very thin 18kt gold wire to give the illusion that they simply dance around the wearer's wrist. Ann performs Reiki on the stones to energize them, allowing the wearer of these brilliantly dainty bracelets to look good and feel good all at the same time.

The Pearl Collection

For the more classic girl looking for just a touch of edge, Ann created her "Recession Pearls". The collection features white and grey freshwater pearls hand strung and knotted on colored silk. By using this method, the designer incorporates a bit of edginess to the classic pearl, releasing the wearer from the gem's usual buttoned-up constraints.

Along the same vein, Ann has designed a collection of individually knotted seed pearls on short lariats, to be worn around the neck, and longer lariats, which can be worn around the waist at the beach as "bikini jewelry".

Wearers of Ann Dexter-Jones Design can rest assured that their purchases benefit the greater good. The designer gives 20% of her profits to charity; each season, she chooses a cause close to her heart, several of which include, Mariska Hargitay's The Joyful Heart Foundation, Harboring Hearts, Literacy Partners, Inc. and ACRIA.