WASHINGTON -- The newest trend in cell phone accessories is all about the bling-bling: Thousands of phones are being decorated with thousands of colorful Swarovski crystals by a Manhattan designer.
NY Noir has sparkled the cell phones belonging to such celebrities as Reese Witherspoon's character in Legally Blond 2, Sarah Jessica Parker's character on Sex and the City, and real-life cell phone user Star Jones of the talk show The View.
Customizing your cell phone costs $220 for the whole phone and $110 for just the front. Noir requires customers to leave their phones for three weeks while its designers place each individual crystal on the phone by hand.
As thousands submit their phones to be crystallized, separation anxiety and expense don't seem to be deterring this desperate-to-shine market.
"I just saw it and had to have it," says Jessica Naddaff, beauty director for Siren Public Relations. "It is so sparkly and happy," she says of her bubblegum pink crystallized Motorola flip phone.
Just a Sidelight
NY Noir owner Leeora Catalan says the company is known for its crystallizing, although mobile phones are a recent target.
"We rhinestoned a whole motorcycle once," Catalan says. Customers are familiar with the company's work and approach with ideas for new projects.
"We really do the phones as a side thing; it's more for fun," Catalan adds. Her own phone is crystallized in a pink camouflage motif.
Lenore Elbrecht, a NY Noir sales representative, says the company's primary focus is on handbags and wholesale jewelry, but lately the phone sector has taken off.
"While we will crystallize anything under the sun, the phones have gotten a little out of hand," Elbrecht says. "This is a side thing we do. We have everyone from young kids who come into the showroom with their parents to older adults wanting their phones crystallized."
Watch for their work in the bright, shiny pink phones, since NY Noir reports that pink is the most popular color for spiffing up a cell phone.