Last week our full time fashion students were excited to have Irish brand manager of hip jewellery brand Alex &Ani come in to deliver a guest lecture as part of their customer services module. This American brand which is going from strength to strength on Irish shores offer a range of affordable stack bracelets, rings and necklaces using sustainable materials that are bang on trend.  Brand Manager Yvonne Ellard took time out of her busy schedule to spend a morning with our students talking about her role with the brand and give them an insight into brand positioning and sales in the Irish market place.

Yvonne's varied role sees her build and maintain brand awareness in Ireland, driving campaigns specific for the Irish market in line with the US guide lines, ensuring the brand value stays true to it's American heritage.  In addition to this it is her job to ensure each concession mirrors their ethos of environmentally friendly and holistic lifestyle.  The success of this brand in Ireland speaks volumes given its loyal customer following to date and with a celeb following such as Beyonce, Taylor Swift and our very own style guru Angela Scanlon this is one brand to watch. 

So what did our students think of the brand and Yvonne's presentation? Here's what a few of them had to say on the day.

Alex and Ani is the go to brand for those seeking celeb approved arm candy.  The jewellery brand Alex and Ani (Eco friendly and made in America if I may add) is the latest trend in the Irish market right now.  A third generation jeweller Carolyn Rafaelian, founder of Alex and Ani is said to have come up with this idea whilst at her kitchen table and even made her first Alex and Ani bangle right there. These sustainable bangles come in dozens of different styles, some beaded and some with charms and the best thing about this brand is that each piece has a different meaning and message. The brand Alex and Ani is made up of powerful, meaningful and spiritual pieces, some of which adorn the body, enlighten the mind and empower the spirit.  There are also charms meaning spiritual energy which helps strengthen your life’s spiritual journey. I’ve always been a fan bangles but these are defiantly my newest crave !- Aisling Fitzgerald

I was looking forward to this as I am a shopper of the brand and very interested in the company’s values.  The presentation was very informative and I learnt a lot more about the set up the company, it requests for stockists display and also fun facts like the meaning behind the brands name.   The presentation demonstrated how much the company has grown since it was founded in 2004.  I learned a lot from the presentation that you would only learn from a person with insight into the company. I extremely enjoyed it and it really came across that Yvonne had great passion and knowledge of her company.  Aoife O"Rourke

The key points of success of this brand are SIMBOLYSM, ECO FRIENDLY and MADE IN AMERICA.  Alex and Ani is the product that makes every woman happy, stylish and eco friendly, lets not forget that this is a product made with recycled materials which is good for the environment. Serena Citriniti.

I really enjoyed hearing all about the company beginnings in U.S and how the brand rapidly developed and grew into the huge global business that it is today. Yvonne is very passionate about Alex and Ani, so it was very easy to listen to her explain about the company ethos and the vision for the brand growth in Ireland. Mary Amahmed

I think this was a really beneficial lecture as I learnt so much about how once you are passionate about a company you will have no problem always putting in 110%. I also found it really interesting just to hear what she does as a brand manager for such a big company on a day to day basis. Kim O'Sullivan