Ariana Grande’s new video for “Into You” features a secret romance, a desert getaway and lots of casually sultry style. Nestled among copious amounts of ripped denim and fringe are delicate necklaces by jeweler Alex Woo, a celeb favorite whose other clients include Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and Zendaya.
Woo talked exclusively with Billboard about how her pieces help tell Ariana’s story in “Into You.”
How did you respond when you found out Ariana would be wearing your designs for this video?
I can’t tell you how excited I was when I heard that Ariana was wearing not only one, but two, of my pieces in her new video! My whole office was screaming when we found out.
Tell us a bit about the designs Ariana is wearing.
Ariana is wearing my Princess Kiss pendant and Words Taken Arrow necklace. These two designs launched recently, and like all my designs are made in New York. They are available in sterling silver, 14-karat gold, or with diamonds. Depending on the metal, the price can range from $128-$958.
What was the inspiration for these pieces?
The kiss pendant features sculpted lips with a heart-shaped cutout center that I would describe as sweet, pretty and sexy. I was inspired by lips, but I like to make things fun by hiding hearts in my designs whenever I can. This is just one example of that.
As for the arrow, it incorporates the word “taken” in my handwriting across the center of the piece. I designed the arrow to represent being love-struck by Cupid’s bow and arrow. It captures that sudden excitement you get when you’re first in love and want to show it proudly.
Why are these necklaces such a good fit for Ariana and the “Into You” video?
These two pieces really capture that “Into You” feeling that Ariana sings about. In the video she’s having this secret love tryst and is “taken” with this guy. She’s swept away in a scandalous love affair that is exciting and passionate. Wearing lips can be sweet, but they’re also a little racy, and when she layers it with edginess of my “taken” arrow necklace, it becomes “a little bit dangerous,” to borrow a lyric from the song.
How did the process of working with Ariana begin?
This is the first time Ariana has worn my pieces, but her stylist Law Roach has worked with me before with his other client Zendaya. Since he knows Zendaya and Ariana so well, Law really knows what will resonate with them. I’m appreciative that they have been so supportive of my collection.
What does it feel like to have some of the industry’s biggest talents wear your designs?
I feel so blessed and honored that these amazing artists have chosen to wear my pieces to tell their story. I design my jewelry to be of the moment, but it’s also timeless. These modern heirlooms are keepsakes that we will pass on to our children. Our stories and what’s meaningful to us will never go out of style.
One fun story I can share along those lines is about Jennifer Lopez. She had my custom gold “m&e” necklace that she wore to keep her twins Max and Emme close to her heart. She loved it so much that she wanted a men’s version of the necklace for Marc Anthony for Father’s Day. The catch was that I don’t design men’s jewelry, and she only gave me a week. But it was for Jennifer Lopez! So of course I dropped everything and made a diamond version on a dog tag and overnighted it a day before Father’s Day. I was so happy that we got it there in time—that next week we saw pictures of Marc wearing it onstage in concert. Maybe one day we will see Max wearing his dad’s necklace and Emme wearing her mom’s. How amazing would that be?