It’s the newest edition of Jews of Philly Fashion, introducing you to the Chosen few who dress our city. They might mix wool and linen, but they’ve got some strong opinions on mixing stripes with florals. In this space, we’ll talk to designers, sellers, buyers, influencers, models and more. This week, we spoke to Kimby Kimmel and Amy Fink.
Amy Fink and Kimby Kimmel share quite a bit. They both graduated from the former Akiba Hebrew Academy in 1988, both send their children to the now-Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy today and both found themselves looking for something new during the pandemic.
When it seemed like nothing would ever be the same, the longtime friends looked to each other for support and inspiration.
What came out was Ilyan Jewelry, Kimmel and Fink’s private jewelry company (the name is pronounced “a-lion”). As they don’t have a storefront, customers can view the jewelry by appointment only, and they participate in trunk shows and private charity events. Fink studied gemology at the Gemological Institute of America; Kimmel learned about custom jewelry design from her mother, Nancy Hankin Schwartzman, and co-owned a stationery and invitations business for 20 years.
Fink and Kimmel, friends since they were 14, spoke about inspiration, their favorite pieces of their own and TikTok.
What’s the last book you read?
KK: “To Kill a Mocking Girl: A Bookbinding Mystery” by Harper Kincaid. The author is a good friend and roommate of mine from the University of Miami.
AF: The last book I read was “Mrs. Everything” by Jenifer Weiner. I love all her books.
What clothing trend would you like to see make a comeback?
KK: I would love to see scarves make a comeback. There’s nothing like a colorful Hermès scarf worn with a blazer or thrown over a white T-shirt and jeans.
Best piece of jewelry you own?
KK: It’s not necessarily the best piece that I own, but definitely a favorite and meaningful piece: my emerald-cut blue topaz and gold ring that my mother made for me for my bat mitzvah.
AF: The best piece of jewelry I own are my Cartier tri-color trinity rolling bangles. My aunt gave them to me at my big birthday. They were given to her by my uncle on her big birthday many years ago and I have always loved them. They go with everything.
What’s the best quality in a friend?
KK: The best quality in a friend is someone that is honest and there for you through the good and the bad. Amy and I have been friends since ninth grade at Akiba Hebrew Academy and I can definitely say that she is that kind of friend. There’s a lot of history there and so much more to be made.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in the jewelry business?
KK: If I weren’t in the jewelry business I would just continue to live my best life surrounded by people I love.
What item of clothing should more people be wearing?
KK: Loafers. They’re the perfect shoe to dress an outfit up or down.
What person’s style do you admire?
AF: I love Sarah Jessica Parker. She is so talented and creative in her style. She is extremely fashion forward, but always has a classic and elegant flair.
What talent would you most like to have?
KK: I would love to be able to paint or learn how to do graffiti art.
AF: Anyone who knows me knows that I am a terrible dancer. I have no coordination and wish I did. My daughter is obsessed with TikTok and always asks me to make them with her, but I feel too self-
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