Live From Madrid: Carrera y Carrera’s Plans

This is a continuation of Friday’s post Next Stop, Madrid: My Upcoming Tour of Carrera y Carrera’s Headquarters, part of a series of blogs based on a trip to Madrid happening now.

After a day of acclimating to a new time zone—spent in part by indulging in a visit to Spain’s funky and beloved Desigual clothing brand—my work (if you can call it that) here begins today. On my itinerary, printed on Carrera y Carrera letterhead: a guided tour of the city and a visit to the Prado museum. This exercise will help my understanding of the brand’s inspiration, history, and business, which the Spanish house aims to return to the glory days of the 1980s and 1990s, before its sale to Lladró, which many attribute to the brand’s loss of market share.

When the porcelain giant parted with it in October 2010, CyC America president Thierry Collot detailed a five-year plan to JCK that included opening about five U.S. stores a year. At that time, the brand had 22 U.S. accounts and 35 doors nationwide, while former corporate CEO Nathalie Guedj told Elite Traveler in January 2013 that it had “about 30 doors.” Meanwhile, CyC’s website today reveals that it has 29 doors in America, eight of which are Neiman Marcus outlets. Though the brand maintains in a statement that the 2010 buyer of the company (speculated to be a Russian) aims to regain the top spot in the No. 1 luxury goods market, and hired Svetlana Kupriyanova in December 2012 to drive this growth, the current numbers indicate that there’s still work to be done on U.S. expansion efforts.

Which is why I’m here—to help share CyC’s story with American store owners who may open up covetable case space for Carrera y Carrera jewelry. While sharing news of my trip on Facebook, a jeweler from Cincinnati dished how he “carried them in the 1990s and was in love with them.” If you’ve seen their jewelry, it’s not hard to understand why. Think sculpted karat-gold styles, often with a powdery soft matte finish, in myriad Spanish motifs. Monuments in Madrid include the spectacular brick Plaza Monumental de Toros de las Ventas, with architecture so impressive that it helps to distract from the gruesome events unfolding within. I’ll learn more today once the city tour starts and will be sure to share it all with you tomorrow.

Sierpes earrings in 18k gold and diamonds by Carrera y Carrera

Medium Sierpes earrings in 18k yellow gold with black onyx and 0.5 ct. t.w. diamonds from the new Seda Imperial collection, $12,000

Spanish embroidery that inspires Carrera y Carrera jewelry designs

Spanish embroidery that inspires Carrera y Carrera jewelry designs

For snaps and other highlights from my trip, follow me on Instagram @jenniferheebner and Twitter @jenniferheebner, and be sure to stop back to this blog for Live From Madrid daily posts.

The Style 360 blog is your editorial source for the newest jewelry, trends, market analysis, trade show insights, designer profiles, and more.