In early July, I received an email inviting me to a bloggers-only preview scheduled for July 29 at the LUXURY Privé show at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria hotel. For a moment, I wondered if I was even qualified to attend. While I blog here at Off the Chain once a week, I don’t consider myself a blogger, per se, and certainly not a “blogger only”—the diehard print journalist in me objects every time.
Then I realized the event—held on the third and final day of the show—included a “Meet the Designers” luncheon, so I quickly got over my uncertainty and crashed the party with my friend Hellin Kay, aka Champagne and Heels, an actual (and invited) blogger. (“I loved having the opportunity to see pieces from young designers up close and meeting some of them at the luncheon,” she says. “It was a great idea.”)
Staged in a private area overlooking the Waldorf’s Grand Ballroom, the event, touted as JCK’s first-ever blogger luncheon, featured curated displays from more than 45 JCK exhibitors (including those down on the show floor as well as companies that had participated in JCK Las Vegas). The writers behind the notable blogs Gem Gossip, iDazzle, The Jewellery Editor, and Diamonds in the Library attended.
“The jewelry community has so many talented bloggers who have such an extensive reach, it only made sense to have an event focused on them,” says Desiree Hanson, LUXURY Privé event director. “At this event, select designers could join the bloggers for lunch and talk about their product and inspiration, giving the bloggers a deeper understanding of who they are. The suppliers/designers find the blogger reach incredibly valuable and really appreciated the one-on-one time they were able to spend with them.”
As I admired the displays—which featured a maximum of three jewels from each exhibitor set out on slices of wood that provided a sleek yet organic touch—and hobnobbed with the bloggers, I was struck by how much had changed in the nearly 15 years I’ve been writing about jewelry. I first heard the word blog sometime around 2006 or 2007, when I attended a new media event in downtown Manhattan, and I wondered why anyone would ever care to read one. (Ha!)
Today, bloggers command more attention and, in some industries, I gather, more money than their counterparts in traditional media. They are Instagram darlings, YouTube personalities, and Pinterest pioneers, and their followers are engaged with them in ways that most journalists can only dream of. Let’s hope the companies that exhibited at the Privé bloggers event were able to get a little piece of the action.
Here are 10 of my favorite jewels from the event (but not my only favorites—the caliber of the pieces on display was uniformly spectacular):
Évocateur Jellies earrings in 22k gold leaf and enamel; $140
Irthly Jewelled Adornments Art D’Eco Sepulcher earrings in 18k rose gold with diamonds inlaid in organic vegetable ivory; $4,700
Thyreos Vassiliki wreath-shape tiara with diamonds in 18k yellow gold; $19,700
Kaura Jewels Shield cuff in sterling silver with 18k gold stone settings, .28 ct. t.w. champagne diamonds, and 30.1 ct. rose quartz cabochon; $3,100
The Mazza Co. black orange link necklace with red coral and diamond pendant in 18k gold; $20,690
M.K. Diamonds Panther ring in yellow gold with golden diamonds; $2,200
Oscar Heyman invisibly set ruby and diamond necklace in platinum featuring 536 rubies weighing 189.67 cts. t.w. (before trimming) with 19.13 cts. t.w. diamonds; $950,000
Rina Limor Designs diamond bezel-set ear climbers set in 18k yellow gold; $4,900
Sethi Couture 18k gold tsavorite, blue sapphire, and rose-cut diamond chandelier earrings; $9,200
Spark Creations pendant necklace with pear-shape cabochon Ethiopian opal with pear-shape yellow sapphire and diamonds set in 18k two-tone gold; $31,430