New York City–based jewelry atelier Wendy Brandes Fine Jewelry creates edgy, one-of-a-kind jewelry rife with small and surprising details. The brand’s incredible Maneater rings, for example, feature reliefs of teeny-tiny men on their undersides. Other designs feature secret compartments.
Many of her meticulously detailed, darkly romantic designs look great in photos but can be truly appreciated only in the flesh. It’s a hurdle company founder Wendy Brandes is hoping to clear this year with a retailer program she’s officially debuting at Las Vegas Fashion Week in August.
The designer has created Wendy Brandes Concierge, a program that allows handpicked retailers to request individual pieces from the firm’s limited-edition and one-of-a-kind collections to showcase in their own stores for a two-week period.
Customers can purchase pieces through the retailer (with the retailer’s added markup), or the retailer can return pieces to Brandes after two weeks, with no obligation.
The idea is the short-term loans “help retailers to strengthen their relationships with their most discerning customers by providing creations that can’t be found anywhere else in the world,” reads a company statement. The program essentially formalizes a practice that many designers of high-end, one-off jewelry are familiar with.
Brandes said she’s being choosy about the retailers she’s partnering with on the program, explaining in the same statement: “My customers know me personally. They’ve followed my blog for 10-plus years, they tweet with me until 3 a.m. And they call upon me to make some of their most emotionally significant jewelry dreams come true, like their engagement rings or wedding bands. I want to partner with retailers who have the same level of closeness with their customers. And for those who don’t have that level of authenticity yet, I want to help them create it by giving them the tools to make those connections.”
Retailer partners already in on the concierge program include Hummingbird Jewelers in Rhinebeck, N.Y.; Chicago’s Steve Quick Jeweler; and Alexanders Jewelers in Columbus, Ohio.
Photo: Wendy Brandes Fine Jewelry designs (courtesy of Wendy Brandes Fine Jewelry)