One of Manhattan’s oldest jewelry stores, Michael C. Fina, has decamped to one of the world’s most iconic streets: Park Avenue. The jewelry and fine tableware store, which was founded in 1935, moved from its Fifth Avenue location into a 6,500-square-foot storefront at 500 Park Avenue on Feb. 25.
The new store, tucked into the so-called Plaza District on the Upper East Side, is “in a neighborhood that truly caters to our core clients,” says company president Steven Fina, the grandson of founder Michael Charles Fina. “We know who we are and who we cater to. We have put an emphasis on making our clients feel like part of our family, and with that comes listening to what they want. ”
Designed by Morris Adjmi Architects, the new space sports a streamlined white, gray, and black color scheme. In the home department, white cubbies—filled with brilliantly illuminated silver picture frames, glassware, and baby gifts from brands including Hermès, Bernardaud, Christofle, and Saint-Louis Crystal—line the walls.
Inside Michael C. Fina’s new Park Avenue store (photo courtesy of Michael C. Fina)
The shop’s extensive Ring Gallery houses “the largest selection of engagement rings and wedding bands on the East Coast,” says Fina, and showcases twinkling looks from brands such as Tacori, Hearts On Fire, Mark Patterson, and Michael B. Classic.
Though tradition clearly trumps fleeting trends at Michael C. Fina, the company has retooled its customer service operations for its new digs: “We no longer sell our fashion jewelry from behind a counter,” explains Fina. “For over 11 years, we’ve been selling our engagement rings and wedding bands by standing next to our clients as we guide them through the process and…now we’ve decided to do the same for all of our jewelry.”
The retailer also changed how it displays tableware, grouping items together instead of interspersed throughout a home department. “The space is more focused,” says Fina. “We became extremely specific when deciding what to feature, and the products are now merchandised in a more lifestyle-oriented way rather than by designer.”
Company founder Michael Charles Fina cut his teeth in the jewelry industry working in the early 1900s on Manhattan’s Maiden Lane, then the nexus of the jewelry and gem trade in New York. “We have a legacy in vintage silver and bridal registries, and we have set the tables of New Yorkers for generations,” says Steven Fina. “We have really become a part of family traditions here.”