Live From JCK Las Vegas 2013: The Life of LUXURY

Paola De Luca’s Tuesday morning trend presentation, courtesy of TRENDVISION + FORECASTING, could have been the good luck charm that the 2013 JCK LUXURY and Elite Enclave shows needed for a great start—considering that spirits among vendors were running high early on.

“The U.S. is back,” declared first-time exhibitor Arnoldo Cassuto, sales manager of Versace Fine Jewelry, whose 18k gold and diamond designs are licensed by Samra of Dubai. “We have a few good appointments scheduled and other stores who are very interested.” (JCK spoke to Cassuto early Tuesday afternoon—opening day—a time when many retailers were still checking in to their hotel rooms.) Versace has been selling its watches at JCK Las Vegas for years. But Samra—determined to spread the Gianni Versace dream—recently brought the Medusa and Greek key motif styles back to the U.S. market after a decadelong hiatus. “Americans still have Gianni in their hearts,” mused Cassuto.

The TRENDVISION + FORECASTING team, from left: Federico Bosisio, Paola De Luca, Corrado Facco from Fiera di Vicenza, and Ada Tessaro

By the end of the day one, seasoned exhibitors such as Ashi Diamonds were reporting strong sales. “For the first day of the show, it was good!” exclaimed partner Sanjay Pandya. Ashi’s offerings included numerous oversize cocktail rings and additions to its proprietary Lovebright collection of diamond jewelry.

Among the trends seen thus far on the floor: cabochon cuts, emerald pieces, and -rhodium and textured metal surfaces. New York City–based Rina Limor Designs showcased cabochon and diamond-studded earrings (plus a new silver line); Yehouda Saketkhou of San Francisco’s Yael Designs covered the emerald trend with an entire collection of the stones—which are moving fast. “I’ve sold half of everything I’ve brought,” he told JCK on day two.

Signature collection earrings in 18k gold with 29.75 cts. t.w. tanzanite and 1.5 cts. t.w. diamonds; Rina Limor, LUX908

In bridal jewelry, rose gold and rose and white combinations continue their ascent in popularity, while floral halo settings and twist effects are also abundant. A unifying factor among the varying styles: price-point choices. “Everybody is asking for price point,” said Sylvie Levine of Sylvie Collection, who added more petite, complete diamond ring designs in 14k gold starting at $1,550 retail.

Tanzanite also had a -presence in many booths—as has been the case at every major 2013 jewelry show. “People are trying to bring it back,” explained Andrea Kamhi of New York City’s Izi Creations, whose cases displayed plenty of finished jewelry options for the purplish-blue stone.

Crocodile Medusa bracelet in 18k gold with 4.6 cts. t.w. diamonds; Versace Fine Jewelry, LUXEE3

Year-over-year business was up 18 percent for the Berg family of San Antonio, Texas–based Lee Michaels Fine -Jewelers, but that didn’t stop the team from scouring the show for new ideas and potential new vendors. “We are looking to go more in-depth with inventory from some of our existing vendors,” market president Ryan Berg confided during a break.

And while business was a bit quiet for first-time vendor Lorenzo, company director Albert Lai expressed confidence—and also a request. “For our first time here, we should be okay,” he said, adding that retailers seemed to be impressed with the Shenzen, China–based company’s high-end colored stone collections. “But we’d like to move to the main hall next year.” (Lorenzo is currently housed in the Breakers Ballroom.) Drop by to see big cocktail rings and collar necklaces with gems such as rubellite, amethyst, and citrine.

Ring in 18k gold with emerald slice and diamonds; Yael Designs, LUX400