Frederic Sage of the eponymous Great Neck, N.Y.-based jewelry design firm loves two-tone combinations, green tourmalines, and the look of intertwined styles with dimension.
Jewelry designer Frederic Sage
Headquarters: Great Neck, N.Y.
Year firm launched: 2001
Signature style: “Tailored designs with modern twists—I like geometric and linear shapes, such as ones from the Art Deco period, and I soften them up a bit, making them more feminine, with smoother lines. I love two-tone gold for its versatility, unique gemstones, and intertwined or twisted looks in settings, with multiple levels and dimension evident in single pieces.”
Training, education, and design process: “I have been designing jewelry on and off for 18 years. In college, I got a marketing degree, and then afterwards, went back to FIT for continuing education to study textile design. I actually designed textiles for 10 years, becoming a colorist by default because I had a knack for it, until I finally decided to focus on the field I was raised in—jewelry. My father is a gem importer, and I have been seeing gems and sorting them since I was 15.
“In my business now, I sketch designs and come up with concepts, and I also design around specific gems. Most of our designs are cast, but some of the one-of-a-kind pieces have to be fabricated. For findings and components, we make some, and others are made to my specifications in a factory we contract with in Italy. All of our jewelry is made in the U.S., Italy, and some parts of Asia.”
Materials of choice: “I work in 14k and 18k gold and platinum, but we like to use all gold colors. (I, personally, love rose gold and green gold.) We use only genuine gemstones and diamonds, and green tourmaline is my favorite stone simply because I love the color green. It’s a happy color that’s also neutral, and I find a lot of clean stones to work with in the market. And I love tourmaline in general, because it’s so versatile; the word comes from the Sinhalese word turmali meaning colors of the rainbow.”
Starting retail price: “In 14k gold, our starting retail price is $895, and in 18k gold, our starting retail price is $1,195.”
Accounts: “We have over a 100 right now in the U.S., including Neiman Marcus and MGM resorts, and more than 15 abroad, including Independent Jewellers in Edmonton, Alberta, in Canada.”
Retailer buy-in: “We really don’t have a minimum, but depending on the collection, we recommend a certain amount of pieces to make a proper presentation.”
Jewelry trade show exhibits in 2013: LUXURY by JCK, JCK, LUXURY Privé New York, LUXURY Privé Panama, the Select Jewelry Shows, the Prime Jewelry Show, Centurion South Beach, Centurion Scottsdale, and the Smart Jewelry Show
Awards to date: “I have won six American Gem Trade Association Spectrum Awards, including Best of Show for 2008, which is the most recognized award in the industry.”