Stephan Alexander is Creative Director at Sticks & Stones, an avant-garde jewelry and accessories company based in Portland, Oregon. Growing up, Alexander was inspired by his mother’s copies of Architectural Digest, which kindled his interest in design at a young age. Utilizing reclaimed exotic wood, fossils, prehistoric ivories, fine metals and gemstones, his designs bring together the world’s finest and most unusual natural materials. Sticks & Stones transcends the present age to tell stories of time, history and the experience of earth.
What’s hot right now?
Clothing pieces and accessories that have great historical stories. For example, my mother recently gave me my grandfather’s collection of hats. They are more special because of the stories that they hold. Portland is a vintage empire, so I tend to mix and match. My favorite article of clothing is currently my vintage Bean Boots. I wear them with slim selvage denim, rolled up to show off the full boot, a solid button-down shirt with a vintage military issued camo overcoat and an extinct sloth vertebra inlaid with white sapphires on gunmetal and gold chain from our upcoming Spring collection.
How would you describe Portland’s creative culture?
Portland’s creative scene is incredibly fresh, forward and young right now. There are so many talented people here who have turned to independent business and freelance projects due to the laughable job market. It makes for a competitive but very supportive environment.
What are the most compelling trends coming out of Portland right now?
I would say the eco lifestyle is a huge trend, but we all need to maintain that. When it comes to fashion, a specific trend in Portland is vintage goth. Long black dresses with platforms. Black overcoats and boots.