American celebrity fashion designer Anand Jon was born on November 28, 1976, in India. Determined to succeed as a fashion designer he moved to the U.S. at the age of 17, hoping to realize his dreams and build a career in the fashion industry. He arrived in America through an international scholarship program from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale where he studied fashion but only for a while. After a few semesters, he was transferred to the highly acclaimed Parsons New School of Design, from where he graduated in 1998 with a degree in fashion design and communication. His original luxurious designs in which he experimented with fine art and fashion, attracted the attention of the right crowd and led him to America’s Next Top Model. In the spring of 1999, Anand Jon launched his debut clothing line and got featured in some of the nation’s most elite fashion magazines. His innovative use of traditional, Indian-influenced fabrics, combined with unique bead patterns, as well as his intricate embroideries, distinctive use of color and rich aesthetic attracted the attention of some high-profile celebrities and helped him establish himself as an international Brand.
Anand Jon cemented his status as a visionary fashion designer and became even more popular, showcasing his fashion line dominated by gold embroidery on international prestige fashion shows. His creations quickly got sold at exclusive stores, and Anand Jon Alexander was listed by Newsweek as one of the hottest new designers to watch. He was also recognized for moving the fashion boundaries and was even given the title of cultural ambassador. Forming alliances with fashion talents across the world, additionally helped him became one of the most demanded fashion designers. In a relatively short period of time, he took Hollywood by storm and penetrated America’s luxury markets. He is best known for his luxurious, unique designs, often inspired by the exotic Eastern cultures.
His exquisite luxury designs helped him get to the top 12 new fashion brands of the future. Anand Jon won the SASA Award for a breakthrough in Arts and Business, and after a while, he created his first handbags and fine jewelry line. The rising star was also chosen as the winner of the prestigious Fashion week of America’s International New Star” Designer Award and was named “Best New Designer” by the People’s Choice Award. Anand Jon was influenced by both the exotic East and the modern West, which resulted in dramatic and intricate collections, worn by celebrities and even royalties. Due to his remarkable evolution, he was regularly featured in fashion magazines. His transcendental yet modern creations which reflect a unique balance of exotica, art, and technology continue to impress the fashion world.
AWARDS, HONORS, & CREDENTIALS
Apart from being the winner of the prestigious Fashion week of America’s International New Star” Designer Award in the year 2002-’03, Anand has also won several acclaimed awards, honors and credentials such as
- Asia Society Guest of Honor 2004, Asia on my mind.
- Winner of Peoples Choice Award “Best New Designer”2002, Dans Papers
- Winner of SASA 2004 Award for breakthrough in Arts and Business.
Indian-American Kerala Cultural & Civic Center Outstanding accomplishment Award 2002
- Selected Top 12 new fashion brands of the future in the world by In Style Europe 2001-2002.
- Parsons School of Design official Jury starting 2004.
- Helping Hands Charity with M Night Shyamalan, Anand Jon & Ms Universe’03 Amelia Vega
- Selected by A Magazine as among the Top 21 Asians to watch out for in the 21st century
- Selected as one of the 25 “Faces of the Future” leaders of the new millennium by India Today.
- Selected for the prestigious NYC 2000 by Mayor Guiliani among the top 70 designers in the world
- Picked as one of the Top looks of the Millennium /NYC 2000 – Oprah Winfrey show “Oprah”
- Official International Spokesman for CARE International children’s charity
- Judge for Miss India 2002
- Judge for FEMME 2003 with FUBU & E!’s Leon Hall
- The Shakespeare Theater (Hamptons, the Peter Beard mansion) Costumes by Anand Jon ’01
- Special Host of Iceland Fashion Week (with Patricia Fields of Sex & the City/ HBO), MTV Asia, MTV.
- Selected to be the official host (co hosted by Ms Universe 2003 and Michelle Rodriguez) of the US ARMY/USO July 4th 2003 celebrations at Fort Dix, NJ.
- The Fashion Group Int’l, Member NYC 2003 selected / sponsored by Margaret Hayes, President of FGI.
- Profiled designer in Tyra Banks, America’s Next Top Model, 2003.
- Selected to co-host the first ever MTV Asia Fashion awards 2003.
- Picked on ABC & A &E “American Royalty” series as the “It Designer” who launches “It Girls” featuring Amanda &Lydia Hearst, Paris & Nicky Hilton, Ivanka Trump. Lauren Bush(other “It Makers” included Richard Johnson / Page Six, Patrick Mc Mullan and Michael Musto of Village Voice)
- Runway features debuts of Amanda Hearst, Michelle Rodriguez, Mya, Izabella Miko, Ananda Lewis, Princess Olivia of Spain, Max Tucci the Count of Florence and featured Paris Hilton, Nicky Hilton, Lydia Hearst.
- Selected as one of the “Sexiest South Asians in America” Bibi 2004
- Listed in Newsweek’s “Who’s Next in 2007?” (read more)
- Selected by Newsweek as one of the most successful South Asians in the world 2004.
- Selected in the NR Eyes 50 most Influential Indians in the world (Book and TV series) 2004
- Was placed in PaperMag’s “The 10 Biggest scandals that Rocked Downtown since the 70’s” (read more)
- Was selected in the WMagazine’s “Fashion Scandals of the past 40 years” (read more)
- Was the center of attention in NYPost’s “Designer Rapist Anand Jon Still has 48 sex-attack counts dropped, still faces 54 years” (read more)
- Perez Hilton wrote that “Designer Anand Jon gets mini victory in court” (read more)
- Was featured in NewYorkSocialDiary’s “Designing for a higher cause” (read more)
With such a long list of credentials and a rising career, everything was going his way until a fateful day in 2007 when he was convicted for count of forcible rape, an attempted kiss, touching on the thigh (sexual battery) by the Los Angeles court even though the evidences were in his favor. Anand passed the lie detector test and a negative rape kit. This was a real TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE. Presently Anand Jon is kept at the Riker’s Island jail in New York waiting for his fresh trial, fighting against the odds of injustice meted to him.
Let us join hands in voicing our views against this injustice and let TRUTH behold!
Anand Jon’s Letter from Jail
I have not seen the sky in months – six, maybe seven. Kind of easy to lose track of time and yet be unbearably aware of its existence. I am awakened at around 5:30 a.m. usually and on court days (once or twice a month so far) about 4:30 a.m. and then remain in shackles while being “sergeant-escorted” to a tiny moving metal vertical coffin in a van and transported underground to the downtown court.
The time in front of the judge is the only time I am not in shackles and handcuffed. The wait in the holding tanks, usually 3 feet by 7 feet high, is among those disorienting experiences that are carved into your sensory memory, some days as long as 18 hours, surrounded in filth of both indefinable and unidentifiable sources.
Welcome to the strangest episode of my blessed life as I near one year in L.A. County jail.
There is a possibility I may not survive this ordeal. I realized this most blatantly while in a holding tank at court, the only place where you actually “interact” with another inmate with only steel bars separating you. “I’m glad we got to chat, Don Juan, ’cause based on what that detective said about you on TV, I was going to cut you,” grinned the inmate. Any doubts I had about him joking evaporated as he pulled out a homemade “shank” (jail term for “mini-knife”), which he had somehow snuck past two strip searches while being handcuffed.
The threats against me escalated over the first five months, and it got so bad that my food was being kicked around and there were all-night howling sessions and hurling sessions of substances with such aggression that it is better not discussed. One deputy demanded why I eat kosher and how it meant to him that a rabbi spit into the food as a blessing. When I was arrested, the detective’s severe racial and anti-Semitic comments echoed – the prejudice, the bigotry gave me a taste of what my ancestors endured.
Before I was moved to total solitary confinement, I was on a “high profile” row and was constantly made fun of due to my total ignorance of “crime as a culture.” A local drug pusher to the clubs who, being familiar with my case, commented, “I can see why they hate you…It’s your image and attitude. You come off as the perfect party guy, and these chicks, even if they don’t get to make it big, at least expect guys to pay for them to get high, party, and get laid, and that’s what they expect. And what do they actually get? A workaholic into passion and meditation who avoids substances and wakes up at 6:30 in the morning.”
Yoga, meditation, and the love of my family and God have sustained me as I grapple with blankets that have blood stains dried in tie-dyed patterns and battle nocturnal visits from entities that include, but are not limited to, rodents and insects (that I have not even seen in the jungles of India!). How much of it is my imagination? I’m not really sure. But the whole thing feels like a Stephen King novel turned into a movie directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
A fair trial is a wonderful concept but more of a satire in my case, based on how this has been manipulated and has been anything but fair. No one besides the parties involved (traditionally “two”) knows IF intimacy/sex even happened or much less if it was consensual or not. Wouldn’t one call 911? Get a rape kit or at least STD testing? Would anyone continue to follow, travel, live with someone who allegedly assaulted them?
How can one defend himself without access to his last eight years of life, witnesses, records, paperwork? And how is one supposed to possibly fund all of this without being able to work? The few hours that one can get a private investigator at $125/hr inside to meet, how effective can that be? All the while both hands of mine chained down to the table so I can’t even flip a page or write notes!
More ironic is the fact that none other than the very chaperone who was there to protect me, today she and her daughter are among the leaders of the pack.
A “fair trial” seems more like a “fairy tale” when ALL the exculpatory evidence has been kept hidden from the grand jury by the prosecution. When you find out about witnesses being coaxed by the detectives. Conveniently the texts and all traces of favorable evidence have “disappeared” from the cell phones and computers seized.
I realize that this is the test. While some get a trial of fire, some inherit an inferno, and all one can choose is how we face these adversities. Either we do so in despair or in dignity. A hundred lies cannot change the truth.
I do know that there is a purpose to all of this and it is beyond my own exoneration. God clearly had bigger plans for me than just influencing the hemlines, and though I can and will win this ordeal, I may not survive it, and this makes me concerned about the pain my loved ones will go through.
It is a fascinating concept that I think more about them than myself. My pencil (I only get two per week) is running out of lead, so I also learn patience. Maybe that’s what it’s all about – taming the ego and revealing love.
Love and Light,