JCK Las Vegas 2015: Welcome to the Neighborhood



Before you hit the aisles at Mandalay Bay, consult our guide to the redesigned show floor

Earlier this year, JCK underwent a minor, but meaningful, ­redesign intended to improve how readers experience the magazine. We ­eliminated a couple pages, added a few new ones, and tidied up their placement to improve how the book flows. Our colleagues at JCK Events took much the same approach for the 2015 edition of JCK Las Vegas, whose reimagined, simplified floor plan is built around the concept of neighborhoods.

Designed to make it easier for buyers to find their ­favorite vendors (and discover new ones), the show’s new layout reflects the emerging appeal of hot new categories, such as wearable tech and fashion jewelry, as well as the enduring importance of industry standbys, like the fine finished jewelry you’ll find in the Currents section.

Join us for a tour of the new neighborhoods at JCK Las Vegas—complete with highlights of a few don’t-miss exhibitors, plus reminders of some of our old favorites (AGTA, we’re looking at you!). Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re off for a foot massage at the Shorelines-level spa-themed lounge. Something tells us we’ll see you there.

Currents

Location: Shorelines, Level 2
Number of exhibitors: 200+

Think of Currents as the Whole Foods of JCK; it’s where you’ll find the well-made basics to ­nurture your jewelry business. The bread and butter manufacturers are based here, meaning this is your go-to area for diamond classics, colored stone staples, and fun, fashionable selections.

Highlights: Don’t miss Gabriel & Co., whose diamond and colored stone designs are at once trendy and timeless. For a charming bestiary of rings, earrings, and pendants, check out the pavé-studded dazzlers at Effy. The color combinations at Le Vian always reflect the year’s most popular hues. And lovers of pearls in fresh, modern settings make a beeline for Vincent Peach, the Nashville-based designer with a penchant for pearls paired with leather. —Victoria Gomelsky

VicenzaOro
I Love IT

To honor its 10th ­anniversary at JCK Las Vegas, Fiera di Vicenza has given the Italian-focused pavilion a new name: VicenzaOro I Love IT. While the ­moniker may have changed, the jewelry—some 100 brands, ­exemplifying ­Italy’s rich heritage of ­creativity and design—remains, blessedly, the same. —Melissa Rose Bernardo


D’Oro 14k yellow gold diamond earrings by Currents exhibitor Effy ($5,750)

18k gold, ruby, and diamond flower ring by VicenzaOro exhibitor Graziano Cassola ($11,500)


Design Center

Location: Shorelines, Level 2
Number of exhibitors: 100+

Momento pearl pendant with ruby and Kyocera opal center in 14k gold by Design Center exhibitor Galatea: Jewelry by Artist ($5,565)

At more than 15 years old, the Design Center is the heart and soul of JCK Las Vegas. Home to a mix of established and emerging designers, the popular neighborhood is where buyers shop for stylish versions of classics, developing trends, and one-of-a-kind collector pieces. This year, thanks to the Editors’ Choice Awards, expect a little more foot traffic: Members of the press will judge Design Center submissions, and a winner will be announced on Friday, May 29, at the “Night of Design” in the JCK Wine(d) Down area in the Mandalay Bay corridor, near Strip Steak.

Highlights: Delicate motifs such as crescent moons and sparrows are Blackbird and the Snow’s stock-in-trade. A past grand prize winner of JCK’s Jewelers’ Choice Awards, Marika Desert Gold is known for its statement-making gold cuffs. Galatea: Jewelry by Artist just gave its faceted pearls a high-tech upgrade, with an intriguing line that allows wearers to upload videos and images. For a rainbow of colored stones in dramatic settings, check out Vivaan. And be sure to visit the Rising Stars, five designers destined to make waves in the years to come. —VG


Clockwork

Location: Bayside, Level 1
Number of exhibitors: 125+

Formerly known as the Hall of Time, Clockwork is home to dozens of exhibitors showing timepieces that fall across the spectrum of wrist adornment, from sporty ­chronographs to colorful bracelet styles, with a heavy emphasis on fashion watches from the likes of Kenneth Cole and Michael Kors. With watches earning so much media attention these days, there’s no time like the present to stock up.

Highlights: Find sleek Scandinavian styles at Bering Time and Skagen, both masters of the minimalist form. For extreme functionality on the cheap, get a load of the connected timepieces at Cogito. When you’re buying for manly men, G-Shock is always a good bet—be sure to suss out the brand’s new smartwatch. If you still prefer your timepieces to be traditional, don’t miss Dutch-owned TW Steel, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and is using the occasion of the JCK show to make the U.S. debut of its 2015 Canteen collection, an update to the brand’s best-selling TW1 model—180 new models and counting. —VG

Passport

Formerly known as the World’s Fair area, ­Passport—which houses the bulk of the show’s overseas ­contingent—is home to 220+ vendors from as far afield as Korea, Turkey, and the island nation of Mauritius. —VG


The Pop watch in Raspberry Crush by Clockwork exhibitor Cogito ($129.99)

Rose gold and diamond earrings by Passport exhibitor Asian Star Jewels Pvt. Ltd. ($365)


Now/Next

Location: Bayside, Level 1
Number of exhibitors: 150+

Drusy pendants in 18k gold–plated brass by Now/Next exhibitor Marcia Moran ($170 each)

If you read our May issue (and if you didn’t, what are you waiting for?!?), you know the lines between fine and fashion jewelry are becoming more blurred with each passing day. So it’s no coincidence that the first thing you see when you enter the JCK show is the fashion pavilion—rechristened the Now/Next neighborhood.

Highlights: You’ll be kicking yourself if you miss Marcia Moran and her eye-catching drusy designs. (Fact: Many of the JCK editors own at least one of her pieces.) And have you discovered Margo Morrison? You might have seen her super-light, easy-to-wear colored stone and waxed cord necklaces draped over a pregnant Blake Lively on her luxury lifestyle website Preserve. Melinda Maria makes awesomely edgy gold-plated, CZ-studded earrings and cuffs favored by such stylish celebs as Emma Stone. Also: This is where you’ll find Endless Jewelry, the fast-rising wrap and stackable bracelet brand that recently released a collection with American Idol judge/red-carpet icon ­Jennifer Lopez. If you’re looking for something finer (read: more diamonds and precious metal), don’t miss United Gemco, whose antique-­influenced ­jewels—rose-cut diamonds, ­Bakelite bangles, and colorful carved gemstones—­practically scream “modern heirloom.” —MRB


First Look

Location: Bayside, Level 1
Number of exhibitors: 200+

Formerly known as Finished Fine Jewelry, First Look—along with its sister section on Level 2, Currents—is your go-to destination for gold, platinum, and silver pieces set with just about any stone you can imagine. First Look will probably be the first stop for many retailers. Plus: Keep your eyes peeled for a First Look lounge. Because organizers know you’ll be spending a lot of time here, they’ve added a spot where you can relax and recharge before getting back to the business of the day (i.e., shopping and spending!).

Highlights: Since the opal trend shows no sign of abating, you’ll undoubtedly want to pick up a few; at Parlé Jewelry Designs you’ll find everything from delicate free-form studs to ­statement-making double finger rings. Vanna K offers both bridal and fashion collections, ­featuring a wide assortment of yummy colored stones (no wonder one of the lines is called the Gelato Collection). And with gold more reasonably priced—and popular—than ever, Royal Chain Group is a must; if you want to have a yellow gold arm party, that’s the spot. —MRB

Hong Kong & India

With some 200 exhibitors, the Hong Kong section at JCK is practically its own show-within-a-show. Meanwhile, if it’s yellow gold you want (and who doesn’t these days?) hightail it to the India pavilion for insanely intricate precious-metal styles. —MRB 


A 14k white gold 10.05 ct. boulder opal and diamond ring by First Look exhibitor Parlé ($5,450)

Rose gold, diamond, and pink sapphire ring by Hong Kong exhibitor La Vie


The Exchange

Location: Bayside, Level 1
Number of exhibitors: 90+

38 ct. ruby earrings with diamond accents in 18k gold by The Exchange exhibitor Silver City ($7,500)

Perhaps you’re in a resort area, and you’re expecting a rush of summer shoppers. Or you’ve ­suddenly found yourself short on studs. If you can’t wait for an order, The Exchange is your place. All these exhibitors focus primarily on immediate delivery. A UPS-sponsored shipping lounge makes getting goods speedily a cinch.

Highlights: Don’t let the name Silver City fool you. You’ll find plenty of 14k and 18k gold designs as well, with loads of colored stones and diamonds to boot. Diamonds are the order of business at Tasha R: hoops, pendants, bangles—all the staples. And at Charming Silver, you’ll find trendy CZ-accented styles (ear cuff alert!) at perfect self-purchaser price points. —MRB


Tech

Location: Bayside, Level 1
Number of exhibitors: 20+

Expect wearables to be one of the biggest buzzwords at JCK Las Vegas. Since demand for wearable devices—particularly models that double as nonsporty watches and jewelry items—is heating up, JCK divided what was formerly the Equipment, Technology & Supplies show into two separate (but adjacent) neighborhoods this year: Tech and Essentials. Tech will house exhibitors showcasing wearables and high-tech products ready for retail; Essentials will focus on products for the trade.

Highlights: Test-drive the much-buzzed-about Ring Cam—the engagement ring box that video-records the proposal. Then check out the latest watch-style activity trackers from ­Garmin USA, which recently partnered with homewares designer Jonathan Adler for a stylish new collection featuring bands printed with retro-fabulous patterns. Not to be missed: The Richline Group will showcase a collection of high-tech innovations straight from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show on Thursday, May 28, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Tradewinds D, Pool Level. Brands on display will include Continuum, Missfit, and Jimmy Choo Edge, and products will range from wearable jewelry to retail gadgetry. Following the showcase, in Tradewinds C/D, Richline will host a panel discussion on multifunction wearables from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. —Emili Vesilind

AGTA

No matter what color is ­trending, you’ll find it in the loose stones, strands, and finished ­jewels at the AGTA GemFair. Among the 200+ exhibitors: importer/­wholesaler Mayer & Watt, rare gemstone specialist Omi Gems, and luxury designer Tamir. —MRB


18k yellow gold ring with Colombian emeralds, yellow diamond, and diamond accents by AGTA exhibitor Tamir Jewels ($37,000)

Find the Garmin vívoactive ($249.99–$299.99, with or without a heart monitor) in the Tech section.

Essentials

Location: Bayside, Level 1
Number of exhibitors: 140+

The Ikohe rotating bur and tool caddy, which comes in two sizes, by Essentials exhibitor A&A Jewelry Supply ($39.95–$45.95)

Cutting-edge tools and supplies converge this year in the Essentials pavilion, where you’ll find everything from welders and chiselers to display case lighting and backroom vaults. In the market for an ultrasonic ­­jewelry cleaner or a better way to display those new necklaces? These are the aisles to peruse.

Highlights: Browse the industry’s most modern big-ticket equipment—including 3-D printers and laser-based machines—at LaserStar Technologies and Stuller; update your bench tools at Kassoy and A&A Jewelry Supply; check out slick packaging options at Interpak; and pick up some flawless LEDs at Lighting 4 Diamonds and Future Lighting Solutions. —EV