Will jewelry shoppers buy a $76,000 ring online?
Just a few years ago, chances were slim. But the price threshold for online purchases these days feels nonexistent. We live in a world where someone dropped $1 million on a Ferrari Enzo and bought an entire town—Albert, Texas—for $2.5 million, both online. And important jewels and gems are sold in online auctions nearly every week.
So when Net-a-Porter reached out to Martin Katz, asking if he would curate a selection of jewelry for the site, the Beverly Hills, Calif.–based jeweler, who specializes in high fine designs, didn’t hesitate.
Martin Katz recently debuted a small collection of one-off and limited-series jewels on Net-a-Porter that top out in price at $76,000 (for that aforementioned ring, which has a black opal center stone and is coated in diamond, amethyst, and tsavorite).
“Listen, nothing should be discounted, anything is possible,” Katz says when I ask if he expects the high-ticket jewels to sell outright. “But I think what we’ll find is that the website is largely an information portal, and Net-a-Porter personal shoppers will be the point of sale. Chances are, a buyer will see a piece and then contact their personal shopper to ask about it, and even where they can see it.”
Which is why Katz insisted on personally training the e-tailer’s personal shoppers on the brand. He spent time at Net-a-Porter in New York and Los Angeles, “teaching the personal shoppers about the history and DNA of Martin Katz, and what sets us apart from other jewelry brands.”
The jeweler, who’s output has been a constant on Hollywood red carpets for decades now, says he curated a series of “not exactly classic, but more fashionable and stylized” pieces for the retailer, with the assistance of the Net-a-Porter merchandising team. “I picked what I liked and then they told me what they felt would be good,” he explains.
The 15-piece collection, which appears to be posting in stages (there are currently three Katz pieces on the retail site), ranges from $30,000 to $76,000, and is composed of luxe, vividly colorful jewels including distinctive cocktail rings, dressy occasion earrings, and a diamond-swathed pendant necklace.
Net-a-Porter has a global viewership of more than 7 million and has been growing its fine jewelry and watch collections significantly as of late—a retail trend we’ve seen really explode among upscale fashion retailers that sell online. Both Barneys New York and The RealReal, to name two, have focused on bulking up their jewelry and watch categories in recent years.
Net-a-Porter in particular has been corralling high-end jewelers such as Katz in a bid to corner the haute fine jewelry category online. The site’s shoppers can, in just a few clicks, procure a $77,000 Buccellati diamond parure, a $28,900 De Grisogono diamond ring, and a $56,900 Chopard L’Heure du Diamant 18k white gold watch.
“Net-a-Porter reached out to us and said they’re looking to bring the highest level of jewelry to their clientele,” Katz tells JCK. “And we’re happy to be on there with other large and upscale brands. Online is such an important part of commerce today, and it cannot be denied.”
(All photos courtesy of Martin Katz)
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