A New Spin on Webb



Three estate dealers purchased bankrupt jeweler David Webb in June for $11 million and plan to “revitalize” the 62-year-old design house.

Two of the new owners, Robert Sadian and Mark Emanuel, run European Arts and Antiques; the third, Sima Ghadamian, is a vintage jewelry dealer. All three were also involved in the November 2009 purchase of legendary jeweler Fred Leighton.

Emanuel says the new regime will hire “first-rate” talent to run the company. He cited his other goals as increasing production at its factories, creating a division to buy vintage Webb items on the secondary market, developing an “authentication model” for Webb pieces, and overseeing a book on the designer’s jewelry.

They also want to bring the company “into the 21st century” by increasing PR and advertising efforts and reaching out to younger consumers. “We want to not only revive old classics, but create new and exciting pieces that are respectful of David Webb but also have relevance for today,” explains Emanuel. The jeweler’s two stores, in New York City and Beverly Hills, will remain open.

Best known for its exotic animal ­bracelets, the company was founded in 1948 by Webb and Nina Silberstein, and was run by Silberstein and her family after its namesake’s death in 1974. In June 2009, it declared Chapter 11, citing “serious financial difficulties.”

Emanuel vows to honor the brand’s storied history. “David Webb created literally hundreds of iconic designs,” he said. “We take the role of honoring him very seriously. It’s a tremendous name that is recognized all over the world, and we want to do it justice.”