Catching Up With Scott Kay in Teaneck, N.J.

“Two hours should be enough, right?” Suzanne Messina of Scott Kay asked me about the amount of time I would likely spend with Kay before a car service would pick me up and return me to the city. On Tuesday, July 22, I took the 168 New Jersey Transit bus up to Teaneck, where his facility, offices, and SK66 by-appointment-only store are located, at Kay’s request, to catch up on his latest projects and lines.

Scott Kay in the doorway of his office in New Jersey.

Feeling special: I got in to see the wizard last week.

A gift to Scott Kay from his employees, who understand his serious nature.

A gift to Scott Kay from his employees, who understand his serious nature

Scott Kay with a piece in progress

Scott Kay with a piece in progress

Upon closer inspection, some of Scott Kay's bravado is evident

Upon closer inspection, some of Scott Kay’s bravado is evident.

It had been more than a year since I’d met with Scott and his wife, Regina, interviewing them at the 2013 LUXURY show, where they took over a ballroom to unveil new collections to retailers. (Scheduling conflicts prevented me from seeing them at this year’s show.) After the show, Scott had intimated that he had some big projects cooking and encouraged me to come up and learn about them in person. “I have such big things cooking, I’m almost ready to release the news,” he’s told me several times in recent weeks.  

Walls of sketches in the Scott Kay design department

Walls of sketches in the Scott Kay design department

Scott Kay's head designers hard at work at headquarters

Scott Kay’s head designers hard at work

A Scott Kay elephant ring in progress

A Scott Kay elephant ring in progress

But once he started talking, it was clear that there were many irons in the Kay fire. Kay told me about six projects in the works that I could not yet discuss. He laughed when I told him how unusual a market visit this was—a designer telling me about multiple plans in confidence, to be shared at a time not yet determined. But then I remembered that this was typical Scott Kay: big talk, then big announcements. One thing is for sure, Kay doesn’t cry wolf.

Before ex-Yurman exec David Minster was hired, there was lots of buzz coming from the Kay camp about a game-changing hire on the horizon. Then there was the much-trumped-up invitation to journalists from Kay to join him at the Desmond Tutu Center in the fall of 2009 to determine the durability of tungsten carbide versus his BioBlu 27. Even way back in 2004, when Kay changed his company name from Scott Kay Platinum to Scott Kay Bridal, dramatic claims were part of the announcement.

“We’ll never make white gold,” Kay said at the time. “Gold is naturally yellow, and that’s all we’ll ever use.”

Who is that guy? Scott Kay at a Platinum Guild event many years ago

Who is that guy? Scott Kay at a Platinum Guild event many years ago

Old photos of Scott Kay and his mother

Old photos of Scott Kay and his mother, whom he opened up to me about, simultaneously revealing and explaining a lot about the artist, his roots, and why he’s an overachiever.

Tungsten carbide rings smashed to bits by Scott Kay in his office in New Jersey

Scott Kay is still smashing tungsten carbide rings to bits in his office in New Jersey, a move meant to underscore potential wearability issues surrounding the metal.

Back to the present, my day with Kay—filled with sneak-peeks, shared plans, incredible jewelry, and lots of laughter—did not disappoint. I’ll go into detail tomorrow.

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