Showbiz

How Chris Aire hustled his way to become Hollywood's 'King of Bling'

Published 5:50 AM ET, Wed December 18, 2013
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Chris Aire Alek Wek Tyson BeckfordChris Aire Alek Wek Tyson Beckford
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Nigerian jeweler Chris Aire (right) is a master craftsman, famous for his magnificent designs made of diamonds, gold and other precious stones and metals. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images/file
His A-listed clientele ranges from Hollywood superstars, such as Angelina Jolie ... Courtesy Chris Aire
... to famous musicians like 50 Cent. Courtesy Chris Aire
Aire says inspiration can come from anywhere, at any time. "I see a painting and I'm inspired," he says. "Or I look at a little kid doing something; I look at trees sometimes and I'm inspired; or I look at old art." Frazer Harrison/Getty Images For IMG/file
The designer's sparkling creations include a $500,000 diamond-coated guitar for hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean. Scott Gries/Getty Images/file
"I try to listen to what people want," says Aire. "Because sometimes what we articulate is sort of different from what we want ... and because this is something I live and breathe, for someone who doesn't live and breathe it I kind of feel like I have an advantage." Mark Mainz/Getty Images For IMG/file
Glittering diamonds, sapphires, rubies and other gems are encrusted on watches, rings, bracelets and anything else Aire comes up with. Mark Mainz/Getty Images For IMG/file
A model walks the runway at the Chris Aire Spring 2007 fashion show in New York. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images For IMG/file
In 2004, Aire became the first jeweler to stage a runway show at New York Fashion Week. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/file
A detail of the accessories on the runway at the Chris Aire Spring 2007 fashion show in New York. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images For IMG/file