Alain Simić has always inhabited uncommon roles within the jewelry industry. As an in-demand jewelry and fashion photographer, he captures the dazzle of diamonds, gemstones, and precious metals in new and chic ways. And, more recently, Simić’s larger-than-life personality—which swings between warm, whip-smart, and riotously funny—has been in full bloom on NYC Jewelry Week’s popular podcast, Rough Cut, which he co-hosts with NYC Jewelry Week cofounder JB Jones.
Now Simić, who was born in the former Yugoslavia to Bosnian parents and grew up in Germany and currently lives and works in Manhattan, has recently taken on a new role that relies deeply on his ability to conceptualize and execute arresting visuals: creative director of special projects for NYC-based LEVIEV, one of the world’s largest privately held diamond manufacturer and distributors.
Greg Sofiev, CEO of LEVIEV, initially planned to hire Simić as a photographer, but “We kept talking and having meetings,” Simić recalls. “We clicked quite well and had the opportunity to get to know each other.”
The series of meetings resulted in Simić signing on for the position, which will soon see him spearhead a series of splashy designer collaborations for the brand. “We want to tap bright, young, as well as established talent from the industry, and get them to create spectacular pieces,” he explains. “It’s all about opening new channels for the business and getting the best and brightest in our community involved—and then giving them carte blanche and opportunity to create spectacular designs.”
Simić says he’ll also try his hand at designing “a piece or two” (in his personal life he wears show-stopping, stylishly understated jewelry), and will strategize and photograph campaigns and other collateral for the company. He will split his time between LEVIEV and his photography business.
“When the opportunity came along, it felt really right for me,” he says. “Greg really was incredibly trusting and was very ready to say, ‘I want to build something with you. I know you’re talented, I know you’re capable. I want to go on this ride with you.’ That is such a tremendous gift I’ve been given. I want to make the most of it.”
Simić brings his significant stable of industry relationships to his new role; as a prominent industry photographer, he has many deep and long-term relationships in the jewelry world.
He also brings clarity of vision, which he considers his biggest strength as a professional, to the job. “In this position, clarity of vision is what’s called for. And I’m extremely decisive. I’ve learned over the years to really trust my gut, and I have always prided myself in my ability to see the end goal and then be able to execute and take everyone along with me on that journey. That comes from establishing trust with everyone I work with.”
Simić, who stepped into the role just after Las Vegas Jewelry Week, says he’s excited about the long-term plans he and Sofiev have already hatched for LEVIEV. “We’re just getting started, and obviously it’s one thing at a time,” he says, “but we have some great things coming.”
Top photo: A photograph Alain Simić took for LEVIEV (all photos courtesy Alain Simić)