Gold Expressions: The Divine Style of Italy 2009 Collection Debuts in Las Vegas

World Gold Council (WGC), together with the Vicenza Fair, mining company AngloGold Ashanti and the Richline Group, will host the US trade debut of Gold Expressions: The Divine Style of Italy, 2009 collections, on Friday, May 29, 2009, from 6:00 to 8:30 PM at Valentino restaurant in the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.  Following the event, the collections will be on display at the JCK Italian Pavilion booth #332 throughout the JCK Las Vegas Show.

Gold Expressions: The Divine Style of Italy (GE) brings the best of Italian gold jewelry design to the global marketplace.  Now in its sixth year, this successful research-based product development program promotes innovative jewelry design and “Made in Italy” quality in order to stimulate global consumer demand for gold jewelry.  The 2009 collection is composed of commercially relevant, innovative gold jewelry from 48 Italian manufacturers. GE 2009 made its global premiere in December for invited members of the US press and then launched officially at the January VicenzaOro First fair in Italy. The JCK Las Vegas show marks its official US debut for American and international retailers.

“The continuing success of the GE collections and their nationwide distribution through wholesale partner Richline Group demonstrates the effectiveness of this unique researched-based approach to product development,” said John Calnon, managing director, U.S., for WGC.  “The combination of Italian creativity and quality craftsmanship with the ongoing learning from WGC consumer research ensures the commercial relevance of the new designs while maintaining strong consumer appeal at point of sale.”

The May 29 by-invitation-only event in Las Vegas will feature a mini tour of the three Vicenza Fairs: VicenzaOro First: The Innovation of Italian Gold, Vicenza Oro Charm: The Passion of Italian Gold and VicenzaOro Choice: The Emotion of Italian Gold.  Each room of Valentino restaurant will feature a similar theme – “First” relies on innovative jewelry, fashions, foods and wines; “Charm” explores the passionate and fashion-forward side of gold jewelry, apparel and Italian culinary delights paired with hearty wines; “Choice” will feature the very best quality gold jewelry, gowns, select wines, cheeses and desserts.  Guests can sample their way through each room to experience the Divine Style of Italy in not only gold jewelry but also food, wine, fashion and gold.

“The Vicenza Fair is moving in increasingly more competitive global markets,” said Domenico Girardi, general manager for Vicenza Fair. “Our long-standing partnership with World Gold Council in support of the Gold Expressions initiative is mutually beneficial for enhancing the image of our Italian jewelry worldwide and promoting its creativity and quality craftsmanship.”

The process for GE 2009 began in April 2008 when WGC shared its global consumer research with the Italian design community at an industry seminar in Vicenza.  Key research findings related to the target gold consumer’s attitudes and behaviors toward gold jewelry were presented along with Worth Global Style Network (WGSN) trend forecasting information and a special presentation by designer Beatriz Biagi on how to apply this wealth of trend and research information to the process of new product design. This fully integrated approach to design has resulted in an extremely creative collection for ‘09.

Since its inception in 2004, the GE project has evolved and grown over time from a trade-targeted product initiative into a recognizable consumer brand in the US market, with strategic distribution through partner wholesaler Richline Group. Now America’s largest gold jewelry supplier, Richline Group has acquired the exclusive distribution rights for the Gold Expressions designs from a large majority of the GE participants. Joint marketing programs with World Gold Council, Vicenza Fair, AngloGold Ashanti and Richline Group will ensure that the very best of Italian gold jewelry design continues to be available at retail throughout the US.

Building upon the “made in Italy” cachet, Richline continues to merchandise the GE collections to its national retail partners under exclusive brand names with the tag line “Italian Passion by Design.” Each retailer will stock a selection of designers or designs that are exclusive to their stores. This product will be supported in marketing and at point-of-sale with signage, displays, branded GE packaging, sales associate training and consumer advertising.

The previous year’s 2008 collections received tremendous editorial support from both trade and consumer press.  Retail receptivity to the collections was also strong and consumer sell-through to date has proven the effectiveness of the initiative.

“The nationwide distribution capacity of Richline, combined with these exciting Italian product collections and the support of the WGC, AngloGold Ashanti and Vicenza Fair, serves the greater purpose of making truly innovative and branded gold jewelry available to the American consumer, no matter where she shops,” said Dennis Ulrich, CEO of Richline Group.

Richline’s Gold Expressions collection will be on display in Las Vegas at booth 13065 throughout the JCK Show.