Celebs dripping in jewels . . . sooo common. But celebs wearing jewelry by designers with Long Island roots . . . now that's more interesting. Better yet, you don't need a ticket to Hollywood to buy these homegrown gems -- just take a look in area stores.
BACKGROUND Born into the third generation of a South Shore family of jewelers, Kaye started designing in the mid-1990s. Previously, she worked as a set designer for "Late Night" at NBC, where celebrities took notice of her custom pieces. She now co-owns the family business, Kravit Jewelers.
SIGNATURE STYLE Her passion, she says, is mixing things up -- precious stones with metal, even leather for what she calls "a romantic, edgy look." Her "Sexy Y" necklace is a thin leather lariat embellished with tiny diamond eternity beads ($380). She also collaborated with stunt performer Criss Angel this year to create a limited-edition collection of necklaces, bracelets and earrings made of black metal, leather, silk and beads for less than $30.
Simone I. Smith
BACKGROUND Given Smith's love of accessories and what Bay Shore-raised husband LL Cool J describes as "a black belt in shopping," this mother of four launched her jewelry line in February. Smith, who was raised in Queens and owns a home in Manhasset with Cool J, is a cancer survivor who took inspiration from her illness, creating a charm based on her lollipop tattoo that was altered during surgery so it looks "like someone took a bite out of it." She donates 10 percent from each sale purchase to the American Cancer Society.
SIGNATURE STYLE Smith has "always been a hoop girl," hooked on big earrings since her husband bought her a pair of "door knockers." Earrings (most come in four sizes in a variety of metals) dominate the collection, which includes bracelets (cuffs, mostly) and the lollipop charms in crystal, $300, or enamel, $100.
AVAILABILITY SHAG, 1370 Old Northern Blvd., Roslyn, 516- 484-3133; simoneismith.com.
BACKGROUND Hauppauge native Ficalora inherited her parents' Montauk business, The Breakers Motel, where she opened a small boutique in the mid-1990s. Ficalora started selling her own designs and motel clients spread the word to behind-the-scenes entertainment and fashion players.
SIGNATURE STYLE Ficalora describes her work as "simple beauty." She was credited with starting the monogram trend around 2003 by producing alphabet charms -- small 14-kt gold or silver disks ($145-$155 gold, $50 silver). Other pieces include the Montauk daisy ring, a band of daisies crafted in 14-kt gold ($650 without diamonds, $1,500 with diamonds).
AVAILABILITY Helen Ficalora, 2487 Main St., Bridgehampton, 631-537-5577; Helen Ficalora, 21 Cleveland Place, Manhattan; 212-219-3700; helenficalora.com.
BACKGROUND Kristen Farrell is a Dix Hills native and a fourth-generation jewelry designer. Her father, brother and sister own Mayfair Jewelers. Farrell's work as a painter led her to London with apprenticeships under master goldsmiths. She launched her company in 2003, and her limited-production pieces have been picked up by Mayfair, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys and others. She now owns her own store and workshop in SoHo.
SIGNATURE STYLE Drawing on her childhood obsession with knights, armor and castles, Farrell says her designs are "very medieval," inspired by weaponry and fantasy. That translates to pieces like her 18-kt white gold dagger earrings with green tourmaline and diamonds ($12,000-$20,000).
AVAILABILITY Hirshleifer's at Americana Manhasset, 516-627-3566; Mayfair Rocks, 19 Main St., East Hampton, 631-329-8444; Mayfair Jewelers, 7947 Jericho Tpke., Woodbury, 516-496-8171; Kristen Farrell, 339 W. Broadway, Manhattan, 212-319-0533; kristenfarrell.com