This was a project that came full circle working with Joan Collins. Here’s the story…
As a boy, when my parents named me “Alexis”, it was a boy’s name. It was fairly unused in the US but in Russia and Greece it was common. When Joan Collins played “Alexis Carrington” on Dynasty she changed everything. I’ve been defending the masculinity of my name ever since. Growing up in Brooklyn in the 1980′s was particularly difficult. I still get mail addressed to “Ms. Alexis Bittar”.
In regards to the ad campaign, the concept was created through a six degree level of separation. Our PR Manager Pascale was having lunch with Joan and Joan mentioned (not knowing that Pascale worked for me) that she had recently lost an earring of one of her favorite designers… turns out, she was talking about me. She has been collecting my work for 10 years.
Pascale called me after her lunch to tell me this story and I was with my friend Edwin (who incidentally is one of the legendary members of the House of Extravaganza) who said, “You should have Joan be the face of Alexis Bittar. ‘Alexis for Alexis Bittar’!” And that’s how it happened.
I’m thrilled to have her represent the line because she deserves credit (and hasn’t received it) for much of the 80′s fashion that is mimicked today. When I think “Opulence”, I think “Joan Collins and Dynasty”. Having used younger models in the past I liked that she was older and more mature. She’s the perfect person to represent the brand, company and me.