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Bling bling ka-ching

Anthony Nak fashions boffo baubles

AUSTIN — A tiny Austin jeweler quickly learned the Nak for cozying up to celebrities.

The five-year-old firm has latched onto the swankiest earlobes in showbiz — Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sarah Jessica Parker and Reese Witherspoon, among them — by working local connections and eschewing Oscar suite free-for-alls.

Anthony Nak actively courted stylists and New York fashion editrix to make a name for itself in Hollywood. But the company — run by biz minded Anthony Camargo and designer David Nakard Armstrong, known simply as “Nak” — got its first big celeb score in its own backyard.

Austin scenester Sandra Bullock started wearing earrings Camargo literally handed to her at a media event during the South by Southwest film festival a few years ago.

Next up was the George Bush family, which was moving on up to Washington. Soon-to-be First Lady Laura Bush and first daughters Jenna and Barbara both wore Anthony Nak to inauguration parties.

While the Bush name may not inspire many people in the world of couture, “It was the best press,” Camargo says.

But the first real big “get” was “Sex and the City’s” favorite fashion icon. Parker picked out a pair of Anthony Nak earrings during an Elle photo shoot and eventually wore Nak pieces on the HBO skein.

“That was huge for us,” Camargo says.

Barneys New York began carrying the jewelry, known for large stones in spun gold settings that give the designs a vintage feel, two years ago.

“They helped drive the whole chandelier earring thing,” says Julie Gilhart, vice president and fashion director for Barneys New York.

The jewelry is also carried by favored industry fashion emporium Fred Segal.

“There is definitely a buzz about them,” says stylist Inge Fonteyne, who works with Zeta-Jones, Demi Moore and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Last year Anthony Nak targeted the award shows for the first time. Camargo says they specifically avoided Oscar suites for the masses, focusing instead on a select list.

They scored with Zeta- Jones and Naomi Watts, who wore Nak jewels to the Academy Award nominee lunch.

But they missed Nicole Kidman, who is something of a Holy Grail for designers.

“I haven’t figured that one out,” Camargo says. “She’s tough.”

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