Welcome to the LUXURY Link!
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Welcome to the LUXURY Link! We are thrilled to be distributing a newsletter that will keep the LUXURY community connected throughout the year and hope that you'll find it useful. Our goal is to keep you abreast of both brand and retailer happenings, divulging new product launches and what's trending at stores. We'll also call attention to industry and show news, as well as invite featured guests from the editorial community to share their latest impressions of the ever-evolving jewelry market.
In this premier issue, you can expect to find the 'wise' source of inspiration for Temple St. Clair's latest collection, a spotlight of new products launched just in time for Q4, a collection of Holiday 2012 predictions from our retailers and an Editor Exposé on Inside Weddings' Rebecca Verma.
John Tierney, Industry Vice President
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Lover all things ancient, Temple St. Clair Carr, of Temple St. Clair, has captured the hearts of history, folklore and art lovers for 25 years with her distinctive jewelry designs. Her latest collection, inspired by the goddess Athena, is no exception. With pieces featuring the goddess' constant companion, the owl, and tiny acropolis-like charms in homage to her patron city, Athens, there is much for an art, history and design devotee to admire.
Known as the goddess of wisdom, Athena is frequently depicted with an owl perched on her hand and, according to myth, "sitting on her blind side so that she could see the whole truth." The owl, of course, is also well known for his ability to see at night, contributing to his wise and all-knowing demeanor. It is said that Athena, impressed by the owl's great eyes and solemn appearance, took the form of the avian while traveling the earth.
18K Owl Amulet with Blue Sapphire and Diamond Pavé
18K Pear Owl Earring with Garnet and Diamond
With the new collection, Temple has taken inspiration from these tales and images, creating whimsical representations in the form of earrings, pendants and a limited edition cuff. Featuring rich hues, perfectly suited for Fall, of sapphire and garnet, the pieces are finished with brushed matte gold and accented with hints of polish and diamonds. In true Temple St. Clair form, one Athena piece bears striking resemblance to her signature rock crystal amulets, however, this version is encased by an owl with watchful sapphire eyes.
Limited Edition Athena Owl Cuff
Speaking of the rock crystal amulet, it is that iconic design, along with the brilliantly colored jewels of the collection, which have catapulted Temple St. Clair to its place of prominence in the jewelry world today. Temple's designs, inspired by her comprehensive knowledge of Renaissance details and honed while working alongside centuries-old Florentine jewelers, combine a truly modern aesthetic with classic, old world techniques.
Now carried by the finest jewelers and specialty retailers worldwide, Temple sold her first collection to Barneys New York in 1986. A quarter century later she continues to infuse a deep love of art, history and storytelling into each collection. In an age where reality TV stars are churning out accessory lines in rapid succession, Temple St. Clair's refreshing interpretations of classical themes and expert craftsmanship have inspired a devoted following among sophisticated jewelry consumers the world over (not to mention us!).
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When we decided to include a feature on an industry editor for the LUXURY Link, we knew right away who we wanted to interview first. Rebecca Verma, of Inside Weddings, is a true jewelry enthusiast. If you have ever had the pleasure of meeting Rebecca, and presenting jewelry to her, you know what we mean.
She is intently focused on the jewels and asks the most pressing of questions to satiate her hunger for the details of each piece. Now we're turning the tables and asking about the (pretty) nitty gritty of jewelry journalism and some personal jewelry tidbits as well.
LL: In your opinion, what is the most exciting trend in jewelry right now?
RV: I think the most exciting trend is jewelry that can be worn in many ways; for example, earrings that have charms that can be added for greater adornment or a necklace that can be worn in 3 different ways (wrapped/layered, long and as a lariat). I think this trend resonates with jewelry consumers in the current economy. People are more selective about their jewelry purchases now. Items that allow for versatility bring more value to a purchase.
LL: Any predictions for future trends?
RV: More precious stones in unique metals (titanium, etc), which allows designers to achieve a desired look at a price point. Again, this is reflective of our economy and a very smart reactive move on the part of designers. It's great to see more diversity of product.
LL: What grabs your attention during a press presentation/pitch?
RV: I get excited when viewing pieces that have been thought about from every angle and aspect; for example, I appreciate when the back/underneath of the piece is just as beautiful and well crafted as the front. I look for designers that really pay attention to detail and think of each piece as a work of art, not a piece of jewelry off an assembly line.
Gumuchian's Gallop Necklace
LL: If money was no object, what piece of jewelry would you buy for yourself?
RV: Gumuchian's Gallop Necklace: I love the multi-functionality of the piece; it's something you can truly wear, whether with jeans and a t-shirt or a little black dress; it's not something that will sit in your jewelry box.
LL: What is your most treasured jewelry possession?
RV: A diamond flower pendant that was the first substantial piece of jewelry I bought for myself.
LL: What is your favorite vacation destination and why?
RV: India, for many reasons: My husband is from there, so I enjoy going to visit his family; the people there are warm and welcoming to visitors; the food, architecture and culture take over all of a person's senses; it is an exciting country to visit, with so many unique parts to experience.
Rebecca Verma joined Inside Weddings in 2007. She graduated from Southern Methodist University and went on to study at the Gemological Institute of America. After receiving her Graduate Diamonds Diploma, Rebecca studied Byzantine jewelry at the Jewelry Arts Institute where she learned classical Byzantine jewelry making techniques. Prior to joining Inside Weddings, her experience was furthered by pursuing her degree in Jewelry Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.
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In anticipation of jewelry’s busiest season, we asked a handful of LUXURY retailers from Randy Cooper’s Fine Jewelry, Underwood Jewelers, Aucoin Hart Jewelers, Sarah Leonard Fine Jewelers and Bailey’s Fine Jewelry to share their predictions for top sellers this holiday. Here are their thoughts:
Randy Cooper of Randy Cooper’s Fine Jewelry in Wichita, KS – “There is currently a lot of color in the marketplace and I think that will continue to do well, but I’m also seeing a renewed focus and interest in pearls. In the past, people wore pearls to weddings and funerals. That’s all changed now and we have pearl companies who are really responding to customer demand for more fashion forward designs. Now you’ll see pearls mixed with silver and can wear them with blue jeans, turtlenecks and boots. We are seeing interest in all variations from baroque to south sea and freshwater and I think people are enjoying wearing them again.”
Clayton Bromberg of Underwood Jewelers in Jacksonville, FL – “With this being an election year, and such a tight race, I think it’s very hard to predict. But in previous election years, I’ve found that we do well with the timeless classics that have always served our clientele. The bridal jewelry and all of its incarnations, from bands to diamond studs and pendants, falls into that. Forevermark’s ‘Center of My Universe’ serves that customer and has been very successful, so I predict a lot of traction there, in addition to our own brand of classics.”
Rob Cavataio of Aucoin Hart Jewelers in Metairie, LA – “We’ve seen our luxury customer showing back up over the last couple of years so I think big ticket items like diamond statement earrings and necklaces, including fancy colored diamond pieces will sell. We’re also seeing interest in the high-end fashion market, such as rose quartz and diamond pieces with blackened metal settings. And of course, certain classics such as diamond hoops always do well. The Forevermark business has been up as well and I believe we’ll have a big holiday there; they’ve turned the halo setting into a classic, in-demand style, not just a trend.”
Gail Friedman of Sarah Leonard Fine Jewelers in Los Angeles, CA – “We believe that sterling fashion will be “hot” this holiday season and products such as Tacori’s 18k925 collection and Charles Garnier Constellation collection will do well. Bridal will also pick up this season, especially colorful bridal styles that incorporate sapphires and rose gold. We are also seeing a trend towards deco fashion and brooches.”
Trey Bailey of Bailey’s Fine Jewelry in Raleigh, NC - "We are seeing a lot of interest in richly hued jewelry, particularly in the blue and royal blue family. Customers are asking for Lapis jewelry and blue sapphires. Additionally, in the fashion category, long layering chains, stackable bangles and oversized cocktail rings are popular and we expect that to continue over the next few months. Monogrammed jewelry is another top seller, especially around the holidays, as it is such a sentimental and highly gift-able purchase."
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Products — What's New This Fall
Here's a round up of new collections from LUXURY designers that have us excited for the season ahead.
The Mazza Company's new "Kiss" Collection features classic, simple elements such as a baroque pearl, ebony, wood and aquamarine cabochons wrapped with a tailored "X" of diamonds or gold.
Dove's "Le Petit" Collection was created with a big look and a small price point in mind. Charm-sized rings, pendants and earrings in a variety of colored gemstones offer a fun, fashion forward look with price points starting at just $850 (MSRP).
Kim International's "Tesoro" Collection, the brand's new fashion line, features diamonds and various colored gemstones set in 14k gold. The collection comes with a comprehensive sales and marketing program, including custom displays, to support it.
Dilamani's "Sapphire in Silver" Collection is a bold and unique look that plays up the various hues of sapphire with fashion forward designs.
James Breski's "Petals" Collection, a multicolored collection of floral patterned ear dangles, is available in eight different gemstones, arranged around a center diamond, and can be crafted in either 18k white or yellow gold.
Novell's "Palladium and Black Diamond" weddings bands, are the brand's response to the popularity of black diamonds and more requests for economic alternatives to platinum. The bands are thoroughly modern in design and well crafted to stand the test of time.
Wideband's "Odyssey" Collection features reproductions of ancient Greek and Roman coins in used 18k gold and sterling silver fashion jewelry, such as this cuff featuring Dionysis, the goddess of Wine.
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Feature Trend: Links!
The 'link' motif is nothing new for jewelry designers. It is precisely this fact, however, that makes it so appealing. Links are utterly classic and chic and according to July Vogue, their timelessness is of the moment.
Here is a sampling from our JCK Marketplace of various LUXURY designers' interpretations of the look. Click on the images below to view the brand's JCK Marketplace showroom and additional products.
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