by Emma Loggins
The Soffer Ari Collection, designed by Ari Soffer of Beverly Hills, includes more than 500 pieces illustrating the progression of design styles and techniques in Ari Soffer’s creations. It includes exceptional jewelry-sets, as well as an outstanding collection of pendants, rings, and belt buckles. Besides fleur and crosses, are romantic pieces like the From Within heart design. There are other creations both decorative and functional: accessories for men and women such as the luggage and computer bags, precious photo albums, customized premium denim, leather desk weights… and all items are proudly Made in Los Angeles. This line attracts Rockers, Ballers, Sex Kittens, and Key Influencers including the Governator! Sold at select boutiques.
We had the honor of sitting down with designer Ari Soffer, and here’s what he had to say:
Can you talk a little bit about the history of the line and how it came to be?
We started out making leather pants, and then customers wanted matching belt buckles, matching bracelets, etc. It just took off from there.
Who is your customer with this line?
The line ranges from heavy rocker to dainty and sophisticated. There’s really something for everyone.
What are the main inspirations that have affected the designs in the current collection?
Attitude mainly, and the need to feel that we’re doing something different. Our pieces are meant to stand out on their own.
I’ve read that all the clothing and accessories are made entirely by hand. What made you all design to go that route instead of having it manufactured? Does it allow for greater attention to detail?
Absolutely. We wouldn’t put anything out that hasn’t been inspected at least three times. With a larger company, this is hard to do. Since everything is handmade, quality control is easy to keep up.
Since pieces are custom made to order, I have to ask what the most elaborate piece that has been requested is?
We made a Duffel bag out of a beautiful new Chocolate Brown colored leather and paved all the hardware with Diamonds and Sapphires. It had 8 1/2 Karats of Diamonds and 25 Karats of Sapphires. We sold it for $56,000.00. It was amazing. Right now we’re working on a cane with a solid sterling silver skull as the hand rest. The entire skull is going to have a Sapphire cross paved into the top and the rest will be completely paved with diamonds.
What is the design process like for you in creating a piece?
Once we get a solid idea, the design is either sketched out by hand or drawn on the computer. A wax is made, then there are usually a few prototypes before we get it just right.
Do you have a favorite piece personally in the collection?
I honestly don’t think I could answer that. I love them all. I can tell you that I absolutely love belt buckle and bracelets.
Is there a certain piece that has been a favorite among the celebrity clientele?
They all like different things. Governor Schwarzenegger has one of the duffel bags in camouflage leather, Djimon Hounsou has a backpack, and Axl Rose has quite a few of the skull pieces.
What is fashion to you?
Fashion is about expressing yourself, and impressing others. It can be a very easy way to show people your interests and it’s also a great ice-breaker.
What can we look forward to with the upcoming collection?
We’re working a lot of things right now. We are excited about a whole line of smaller sized belts and buckles designed specifically for women and men’s suits. We will always say that whatever comes out next is going to be amazing.