By now you’ve heard all about, or have even personally visited, the Vault at Saks Fifth Avenue—the department store’s wildly luxe, basement-level fine jewelry bonanza. One of the many prestigious names that comprise this glittering tableau is Beverly Hills, Calif.–based couture jewelry designer Martin Katz
Well known for his innumerable celebrity clients and longtime dominance on awards show red carpets, Katz’s Saks presence encompasses a curated boutique collection of jewels, with prices ranging from $6,500 to $700,000. The assortment is centered on one-of-a-kind, limited-edition numbered pieces bearing the award-winning jewelry designer’s signature.
Certainly more than a few of the Saks pieces would cut quite the figure on the Emmys red carpet coming up this Sunday night, Sept. 22. In fact, Katz and his team are working with several 2019 Emmy nominees but, of course, can’t reveal names just yet.
Katz, one of the original “celebrity jewelers,” has been loaning his treasures to stars since the 1990s, when consumer interest in the whole “Who are you wearing?” thing was in its infancy. In the following decade, he observed a shift in how jewels make their way to the carpet, and he had things to say…
In 2003, Katz told the New York Times: “It’s not fun like it used to be.…Early on, celebrities would come in, we’d talk about their gown, we’d play around with the jewelry, try on different looks. Now, you rarely see the star. Everything is done through a stylist or designer or public relations person. It’s frustrating.”
And in 2017, he told the same newspaper (via JCK’s own Victoria Gomelsky): “If you roll back the tapes 15, 20 years ago, back then when it was still fresh, and you look at the thrill when the celebrity said: ‘Look what I’m wearing! Can you believe I’m getting to wear this!’ That’s when it was fun.”
The question is now: How do we make it fun again?
Maybe some Paraiba tourmalines will do the trick.
JCK had a few more red carpet questions for Katz ahead of the 2019 Emmys. See our conversation below.
JCK: What celebrities have an innate sense of style when it comes to their jewelry? Who is our new Elizabeth Taylor?
Martin Katz: I think Lady Gaga has a great sense of style and may very well be our next Elizabeth Taylor.
What celebrity stylists are doing a really good job with their jewelry picks for clients’ red carpet looks?
Why do you think the red carpet hosts rarely, if ever, ask about the star’s jewelry? Why is it so hard to find out what pieces are being worn, and what can be done to make the red carpet more friendly to announcing jewelry designer credits?
The red carpet landscape has dramatically morphed over the last decade because the big jewelry brands now engage celebrities to star in their ad campaigns and represent their brands. Most announcers know this and are less inclined to inquire because often the answers don’t reflect a pure personal style statement…but rather a brand endorsement. While I would welcome an environment that is more friendly to jewelry designer credits, the current industry trend appears to be here to stay.
Top: Ring with round Paraiba tourmaline, trapezoid diamonds, Paraiba tourmaline accents, and microset sapphires in platinum, $408,000. All jewels pictured available at The Vault at Saks Fifth Avenue.
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