For those I have not yet seen or corresponded with, my name is Sarin Bachmann and I am returning as the Event Director for LUXURY, LUXURY Privé, Elite Enclave and Swiss Watch. I am thrilled to be running the LUXURY portfolio again and back with all of you in the jewelry industry! Working on my inaugural issue of the LUXURY Link newsletter has been a wonderful view into the talented group that makes up LUXURY and I am excited to present this issue to you.
This edition includes the return of both the Brand Feature (SOHO) and the Retailer Profile (Orloff Jewelers). Both were delightful subjects and I am sure you will enjoy learning more about these industry icons. We are also paying homage to one of jewelry's favorite holidays, Valentine's Day, with a price-point focused gift guide. We are exploring the renewed popularity of birthstone jewelry and revealing a sneak peak of new products from LUXURY designers that will debut in 2015. Our Media Spotlight shines on Sarah Gerrish from More Magazine—a book that has become a power player in jewelry editorials as of late and is a personal favorite. Lastly, our Community Chatter section keeps you up-to-date on all of the brand events, editorial mentions, and celebrity placements our LUXURY designers have to share.
I hope you enjoy the issue and I am looking forward to working with you all. And if you haven't done so already, make sure to join our private LUXURY Facebook Community only for invited retailers and manufacturers to stay in touch and "in the know" on all things that affect our high-end segment of the jewelry community. You may be in the next LUXURY TBT photo, so make sure to join us!
Event Director, LUXURY, LUXURY Privé, Elite Enclave & Swiss Watch
New Year, New Product
With a broad color spectrum, (from icy blue to warm rose gold and fiery red), nature themes and show-stopping engagement styles, our LUXURY designers are ready for 2015 with some incredibly impressive debut pieces and collections. We hope this sneak peak wets your appetite for the year ahead...in jewelry.
- Artistry, Ltd. - Pear-shaped aquamarine (3.88ct) and diamond halo 18” necklace in 14k white gold
- Claude Thibaudeau – ‘Sky Blue' Diamond Collection set in 18k white gold
- Garavelli - Dedalo Collecton featuring brand new rose gold fashion pieces
- Hulchi Belluni – Pavoné Collection featuring nature-themed rose gold pieces
- Jack Kelege – New platinum rings including a 1.62ct round brilliant diamond engagement style and a stunning Kuznite
- Mastoloni Pearls – New Signature Collection Viva bracelet featuring 7-14mm+ multicolored baroque Tahitian pearls strung from a 18kt yellow gold clasp
- Omi Privé – Two new rings with unique shanks, including a fancy purple sapphire ring with pink sapphire and diamond accents set in rose gold and an emerald and diamond ring set in 18K yellow gold
- Rhonda Faber Green – Nature themed Filigree Butterfly ring and Juliet Flower earrings featuring diamonds and tsavorite accents in 18k white gold
- Sofer – 18k gold and diamond Chandelier earrings and pendant from the new Sofer Deco Collection
- Sylvie Collection – New diamond fashion rings set in 14k yellow and rose gold with black rhodium
- Yael Designs – Fire Opal Slice Collection featuring vibrant fire opals set in rose gold with diamonds
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Valentine’s Day Gift Guide – By Price Point
From accessible to extravagant, there's something for every (romantic) jewelry enthusiast on the list.
Under $1k | $2,500-$5k | Over $10k
- Asher – ‘Diamonds in Motion' pendants featuring a patented mechanism on the center diamond which makes it move, set in 18k gold
- Ariva – Skinny gemstone bangles in woven and basket weave textures, choice of rhodium or rose gold plating
- Artistry, Ltd. - Delicate filigree diamond pendant on an 18” necklace
- Sylvie Collection – Trio of diamond fashion bands in 14k yellow, rose and white gold
- S&R Designs – From the Messages Collection, handmade, heirloom-quality bottles featuring a tag that can be engraved, in sterling silver and set with gemstones
- A. Link – Stackable diamond milgrain bezel rings in 18k white, yellow, and rose gold
- Hulchi Belluni – From the Tresore Collection, 18k gold and diamond stretch bracelets
- Rhonda Faber Green – From the eSSence Collection, 18k white gold and diamond band, custom orders available for other stones
- Sethi Couture – Rose Cut diamond stud earrings set In 18k yellow gold
- Sylvie Collection – Rose gold and diamond bangle
- A. Link – A. Link Signature Diamond Opera necklaces set in 18k gold
- Jack Kelege – Pink and white diamond bands set in platinum with rose gold accents
- Omi Privé - Ruby and diamond ring handcrafted with a 2.49 carat oval ruby center stone set in 18K yellow gold.
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All jewelry is personal in that we wear it on our person. And although it is the ideal, at least in our minds, not all jewelry carries with it a uniquely personal sentiment. Enter birthstone jewelry. Nothing could be more personal, more reflective of oneself or a relationship to loved ones. Whether celebrating the wearer's own personal milestones or those of their most dear, birthstone jewelry has a way of way expressing individuality, sentiment, and style like no other. Here's a round-up of LUXURY's best birthstone jewelry, from January to December.
- January (Garnet) – Zeghani, Red garnet pendant set with diamonds in 14k gold
- February (Amethyst) – Artistry, Ltd., amethyst and diamond earrings
- March (Aquamarine) – Simon G., aquamarine and diamond ring set in 18k white gold
- April (Diamond) – A. Link, diamond swing pendant
- May (Emerald) – Yael Designs, emerald and diamond ring set in 18k white gold
- June (Alexandrite, Pearl) – Omi Privé, alexandrite and diamond ring set in platinum
- July (Ruby) – Sethi Couture, ruby and champagne diamond pendant
- August (Peridot) - Rhonda Faber Green, ‘You Are the Moon and Stars to Me' personalized birthstone necklace.
- September (Sapphire) – Sylvie Collection, 14k white gold and sapphire band
- October (Tourmaline, Opal) – Yael Designs, opal and diamond earrings set in18k white and yellow gold
- November (Citrine, Topaz) – Dove's by Doron Paloma, 18k yellow gold diamond pendant with white and brown diamonds and citrine over white mother of pearl
- December (Tanzanite, Zircon, Turquoise) – Asher Jewelry, tanzanite and diamond ring set in 18k white gold
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Brand Profile: SOHO
Continuing with the theme, we asked a few LUXURY retailers to tell us how they "do" the holidays year after year. From in store events, decorations, and unique promotional opportunities within their respective communities, this bunch sure knows how to deck the halls and toast the season.
Interview with Ceava Kats, Creative Director/Designer for SOHO Enamel Jewelry
LL: Tell us about the company/brand history. When did you begin designing? When was the brand founded? What are the origins behind the name? etc..
CV: SOHO was founded in 1994 with the mission to use a proprietary blend of enamel to bring a contemporary, yet elastic, version of an ancient Etruscan art form to market (in the field of fine jewelry).
The SOHO name was inspired by my family's dispersion over the years. We were political refugees from Russia in the early seventies moving to Galveston, Texas, which is south of Houston. We had a jewelry store there for fifteen years before moving to La Jolla, California, which is south of Hollywood, at which point I split from my parents and moved to New York City's SoHo neighborhood. It was the Manhattan SoHo that gave us the most inspiration by being a neighborhood full of multicultural backgrounds and a propensity for the arts. We would travel there regularly as a family to buy art and furniture/housewares and to see all the latest galleries and design boutiques. The neighborhood was a muse of sorts that laid the foundation for my design philosophy, which is rooted in contemporary, functional, and contrasting elements that bring texture, color, and emotion to fashion and wearable art.
Growing up in a jewelry store, I began designing at an early age. With my father being a master jeweler and my mother being a jewelry designer, one could say my designing career began at the age of 13 when I was working behind the counter during the holidays. I also spent a lot of time observing my father selling and designing engagement rings. These observations would in turn lead me to one day find the delicate balance between aesthetic, functionality, and customer satisfaction. In college I went on to study art and in graduate school specifically, jewelry design.
LL: What is your design philosophy? What would you say is your signature design element? What would you say is a signature, or even iconic, Soho piece?
CK: My design philosophy is one of an evolution of construction. I allow my designs to develop organically, letting function and purpose lead the way with each design building upon the next. "When will she be wearing this piece? How many different ways can she use/wear it? What can she wear that will compliment this piece? How will it make her feel?" are some of the questions that I continually ask myself throughout the design process.
There are many answers to the question of iconic SOHO pieces because we have innovated and perfected all of our finishes to infuse them with unlikely elements— like gold leaf, gold powder, and precious stones— but I would say our most iconic SOHO bracelet is the little black bracelet from our SOHO Black Collection. It's a real modern classic, going on its fifteenth year as a top seller in our lines. I would equate it to the little black bag or the little black dress. It works for any occasion. Casual enough for work and play, yet elegant enough for evening wear.
LL: Do you have any new pieces/collections coming out for 2015?
CK: 2015 will see SOHO moving towards creating pieces that have the allure of gold while being made entirely of Sterling Silver, a new type of finish that doesn't exactly meet the hand feel of gold but rather one that hints at the look.
LL: What goals do you have for the brand?
CK: The most important goal I have for the SOHO GOLD and SOHO SLVR collections is to maintain the quality and integrity of our handmade items so that they will become objects that are shared and enjoyed throughout generations, not only in their aesthetic but also in the realms of durability and wearability. With many manufacturers turning to alternative and cost saving forms of production, our items are made in the same factory with the same process and techniques as they were since our inception. This dedication to quality is what I believe truly "makes" a brand.
LL: What are your interests aside from jewelry? I.e. how do you relax/reduce stress/take time off?
CK: I love to cook, mainly because I like to eat. I also like to DJ. For relaxation and meditation I like to pray. However, spending time with my wife and son is my favorite hobby.
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Retailer Profile – Orloff Jewelers
Serving the Fresno area for nearly 60 years, it's safe to say that Orloff Jewelers is a household name in Northern California's Central Valley. The store was founded in 1955 by Paul “Prince” Orloff, whose nickname reflected not only his famously refined taste but the “royal treatment” he and future generations (James and Mary Ann Orloff) have bestowed on clients.
Indeed James and Mary Ann Orloff have continued the tradition of service with style, growing the store from a 175 sq foot office to a classic yet sleekly appointed store featuring collections from over 20 powerhouse luxury brands. The roster of brands, including LUXURY designers Rahaminov and H.J. Namdar, is just one of the many impressive attributes Orloff Jewelers has to boast.
James lists quality control, exacting standards, meticulous attention to the craft and detail of jewelry, and an all-encompassing knowledge of jewelry as some of the most important and defining aspects of his store's success. “The signature element of everything we offer is quality,” he says. This applies to both the lines Orloff represents and the pieces and collections they produce in-house—they are known for custom creations and reworkings. It's also a philosophy that's adhered to store-wide; each staff member holds credentials from GIA or AGS.
Equally important are the (life-long) relationships the Orloffs keep with their customers. “Trust and integrity are paramount in this industry,” says James. “It's a very special feeling when I'm helping a second- or even third-generation customer. When that happens, you know you're doing something right.”
The relationships the Orloffs have cultivated go beyond jewelry, however; they are true friends with their customers and of the community. Mary Ann in particular James dotes, “is deeply involved and puts a lot of energy into the community.” Impressively, Mary Ann sits on the board of multiple charitable organizations including St. Agnes Medical Foundation, Children's Hospital Central California, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), Camp Taylor, All About Care, and Valley Animal Shelter. “We take every opportunity we can to donate our time, funds, or jewelry for auctions that support charities, particularly for children or animals,” says Mary Ann.
The spirit of honest hard work and dedication to their family, clients, and the community (not to mention a true love of jewelry) is palpable when speaking with the Orloffs. Based on all they have going on, one might think that they would be too busy for a LUXURY Link interview during high season (we spoke in mid-December) but they were nothing short of delightful and gracious interviewees. After speaking, it was agreed that a trip to Fresno is in order.
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Sarah Gerrish, Senior Accessories Editor, More Magazine
Catering to a sophisticated and stylish audience, Sarah Gerrish's editorial spreads in More are a luxury jewelry consumer's dream. Full of statement, full of color, full of innovation and above all, a sense of refinement, we look forward to the eye-candy every month. Here she shares what she's excited about, jewelry-wise, in 2015 and what she believes Valentine's Day is all about.
LL: If you had a "jewelry" New Year's resolution, what would it be? (i.e. are there any new products/types of products you've shied away from in the past, but are curious to try? Any new ways of wearing things, or different combinations you'll try?)
SG: My jewelry resolution this year is simply to mix things up. It's so easy to wake up and put on the same pieces of jewelry everyday so I would like to aspire to be a little more daring with my jewelry choices. Also, I feel like delicate jewelry was trending this year but I personally am ready to start wearing some statement pieces again.
LL: Have you ever received jewelry on Valentine's Day? Was it good?
SG: Honestly I don't think I have. Every year for Christmas my dad would buy my mom and I a nice piece of jewelry until I was finally old enough to tell him that I actually didn't love my birthstone (amethyst). So I think by Valentine's Day he had given up on the jewelry and decided on flowers instead. Now that I am married my husband knows better than to pick out jewelry for his Accessory Editor wife, I'm way too picky! Although he did a great job on my engagement ring which he is very proud of.
LL: What do you think makes for the best Valentine's Day gift (jewelry and otherwise)?
SG: I think Valentine's Day gets a bad reputation of being a cliché holiday which is sad because it is a day to remind the people you love how much you love them. That being said, some of the jewelry designed specifically for Valentine's Day isn't the best so I would say that the best gifts are thoughtful and unique, don't feel like you have to buy hearts just because that's what most people buy. I personally love an experience as a gift, a Broadway show, maybe a cooking class, something you can enjoy together. As my mom would say, "the gift of time spent together".
LL: Which jewelry trends are you excited about in 2015?
SG: In general I am excited about fine jewelry becoming more accessible. It used to be reserved for specifically special occasions and now I'm noticing that designers are designing for everyday wear. The idea that you need a special occasion to wear beautiful jewelry is antiquated, each day is special and you should be able to enjoy wearing that piece of jewelry that makes you feel your best.
Sarah Lisitski-Gerrish is currently the Senior Market Editor at More Magazine where she oversees the accessory market including fine jewelry. She began her career in fashion assisting notable fashions stylists with celebrity, editorial and advertising campaigns after completing internships at SELF Magazine and Draper's Record Magazine in London. She then became the Assistant Accessories Editor at O, The Oprah magazine, a position she held for three years before trying out the world of merchandising and buying at e-commerce start-up Opensky.com. She is thrilled to be back in editorial and working at More.
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Hollywood starlets are loving LUXURY. For proof, look no further than the weeklies...or our newsletter!
Katrina Bowden wore A. Link for Forevermark Deco Earrings to the UNICEF Snowflake Ball in New York City on December 2nd, 2014.
Dove's by Doron Paloma recently dressed the likes of Patricia Arquette (at 24th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards), Miranda Lambert (at CMAs), Taylor Swift (at KISS FM's Jingle Balls Press Room), and Gina Rodriguez (at 2014 GQ Men of the Year Party)
Taylor Swift wore Sethi Couture, while walking the red carpet and performing onstage, at the 2014 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
Mastoloni Pearls had some spectacular holiday season placements in Elite Traveler, Robb Report, and Town & Country
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