JCK’s 150th: Luxury Brand Group’s Duvall O’Steen on JCK’s Evolving Role in the Industry

JCK magazine is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year! To commemorate that milestone, we’re talking to 150 veteran jewelry professionals in 2019 for a feature series meant to distill the voices of some of the industry’s most enduring and successful professionals.

We can’t print every interview in its entirety in the magazine—so we’ve been posting full interviews here on JCKonline.com every Thursday.

This week we hear from veteran jewelry publicist Duvall O’Steen of Luxury Brand Group.

JCK: How long have you been in the jewelry industry, and how has it changed since you joined?

Duvall O’Steen: I’ve been lucky enough to work in this esteemed industry for almost 20 years now. I started at World Gold Council [WGC] in 1999 and joined the jewelry team in early 2000. The dynamic pace of evolution in our industry has been interesting to watch (and a challenge for most of us to keep up with). In recent years, the advent of digital communications has vastly changed and enhanced both our communications and our connections with our customers.

Social media allows designers and retailers to strengthen their relationships with fans and followers in emotionally evocative ways—which hopefully leads to brand loyalty. It certainly enhances a brand’s image for both retailer and designer brands and allows the brand to tell engaging stories that were previously cost prohibitive.

I think probably the biggest change has been direct access. Both consumers and retailers now have direct access to the brands and the goods they want, either via e-commerce or social media communication channels or direct buying programs. In some ways, this is quite a blessing, as it can increase impulse purchases and strengthen relationships. But in other ways, it can make it more challenging than ever to cut through the clutter and command the customer’s attention.

What’s your experience with JCK magazine?

As the director of jewelry PR for WGC for over a decade, I worked closely with JCK magazine in a variety of ways, from producing cover art to advertising to procuring data for editorials or being quoted on jewelry trends and retailing tips.

I also planned many an event with JCK, as either a partner or a guest. And I’m proud to say that my annual gold event on the eve of the JCK Las Vegas show was voted “best in show” for special events from JCK editors on multiple occasions!

And I will never forget the many scrumptious dinners in Italy during the VicenzaOro fair with Mark Smelzer, Victoria Gomelsky, and previous JCK staff. We shared laughter, industry news, jewelry trends, creative plans, and lots of love. The JCK team always felt like family, whether here or abroad.

What has JCK magazine meant to you?

JCK has never felt like just a magazine to me. It was, and continues to be, both a source of inspiration and education, as well as a vehicle for distribution of important news. In this ever-changing industry, I’m always needing facts or figures or names, many of  which can easily be found on the pages of JCK. I’m also always striving to help my clients spread news about their latest innovations and designs. JCK is a conduit for important information, like a giant river that splits off in various tributaries, flowing personnel news here, trend info there, selling tips and tools this way, in-store experience innovations that way, etc.

Being an avid lover of design and beauty, I personally enjoy the jewelry editorial the most, but I admire how most of the factual and supportive information in JCK seems to balance the practical with the inspirational.

What was your first impression of JCK magazine, and how has it changed over the years?

I honestly don’t recall my first impression of the magazine, but I will forever remember the first team at JCK that I ever worked with. I’m still dear friends with all of them. The people behind the pages are what make it so special.

Top: Duvall O’Steen (photo courtesy of Duvall O’Steen)

Catch up on all of JCK’s 150th interviews:

Pat Henneberry, founder and president of the Jewelry Coach
Marty Hurwitz, CEO of MVI Marketing
Hank B. Siegel, president of Hamilton Jewelers
Erica Courtney, jewelry designer
Robert Weldon, director of GIA’s Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center
Stuart Robertson, vice president of Gemworld
Bill Furman, longtime JCK magazine ad sales manager
Kathryn Kimmel, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of GIA
Katie Kinsella Murphy, owner of Kinney + Kinsella
Frank Dallahan, publisher, The Retailer Jeweler
Jen Cullen Williams, managing director of Luxury Brand Group
Sally Morrison, chief marketing officer of Lightbox
Susan M. Jacques, president and CEO of GIA
Marie Helene Morrow, president of Reinhold Jewelers
Jenny Luker, U.S. president of Platinum Guild International
Beth Gerstein, co-CEO of Brilliant Earth
Russell Shor, GIA senior industry analyst
Walter McTeigue, cofounder of McTeigue & McClelland
Caryl Capeci, president of Hearts On Fire
Eddie LeVian, CEO of Le Vian
Peggy Jo Donahue, freelance writer and former JCK editor-in-chief
Rebecca Moskal, jewelry marketing veteran

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