By Isabelle Kellogg in New York
Steven Fox is no stranger to Greenwich, Connecticut, where the shopping is as elite as the enclaves, which are home to some of the wealthiest residents on the East Coast. Eschewing the flashy lifestyle of other suburban neighborhoods located within the metro NY area - a geographic region covering roughly 60 miles in three states, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey - Steven Fox looked to Greenwich for setting up shop in the mid-1980s.
With his "don't rock the boat" mentality and preference for subtlety, Steven opened his eponymous jewel-box-like boutique on Lewis Street, a few doors off the main shopping avenue. The neighborhood's commercial status quo of classic, timeless and elegant fits perfectly with his aesthetic and the type of jewellery he collects and makes.
"The interior is warm and classy looking with a feeling of the past," says Steven. "The quiet elegance reflects the customers who are discreet but want the very best jewels without being too showy." Visitors feel welcome when they enter. Hues of chocolate brown cover the walls, and vitrines showcase a few, rather than many, rare gems and pieces of carefully chosen estate jewellery.
A graduate of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), Steven's training began with his father, who ran a couture clothing company in the mid-West. While Steven developed an eye for the finest fabrics and cuts, he also began to experiment with making jewellery to see how elegantly cut clothes that flattered a woman's body were enhanced when worn with exquisite accessories. "Jewellery," he surmises, "can outlast clothes."
Not surprisingly, Steven started collecting estate pieces from the Victorian, Art Deco and mid-century eras. Pieces from these epochs are his favourites because he senses these pieces have a soul and a voice. "They are like old friends," he says.
Which piece, in particular, will Steven treasure forever and never sell? A Marcus & Co. dragonfly brooch with diamond wings, set with emeralds, which he came across recently. The dragonfly, a symbol of good luck and joy in Asian cultures, reminds Steven of his own path to success as a merchant and a designer. This story, like the other stories of the exceptional jewels that Steven has acquired during his lifetime, can be found on Steven's website.