I’m starting this blog while wedged into an economy seat on American Airlines, en route from LAX to JFK. There’s a large man sitting next to me, making love to his tonic and gin. (Okay, okay—only half of that sentence is true.) Suffice it to say, I’m looking forward to being off the plane and in the Big Apple. Over the past five years, I’ve spent about one week out of every month in New York City. Last month, however, following the Las Vegas jewelry shows, I opted to stay put in Los Angeles and forgo my monthly visit to NYC, so it’s been more than two months since I’ve ridden the subway, been to the JCK office, and admired the Manhattan skyline from my home away from home in Brooklyn Heights.
The occasion of my return is, of course, the other jewelry market week, which kicked off yesterday, with two jewelry shows, an ’80s-theme cocktail party, and a rooftop gathering of Gen-Next Jewelers. I missed all of them except the ’80s party (naturally). Here’s what I’ve got on my hit list for the days ahead:
The fifth annual LUXURY Privé show opened yesterday at the Waldorf Astoria. I arrived in time to make the opening party, an ’80s-theme cocktail soiree where I saw an impressive amount of neon skinny ties and Miami Vice–style blazers. The show, which runs through tomorrow, is one of my favorites because of how upscale and intimate it is. I’m especially excited to see the work of Michael Galmer at Repoussé Jewelry by Galmer, where I’m told a very special sterling silver creation awaits.
Courtesy We Love Photobooths
WJA Awards for Excellence
The Women’s Jewelry Association holds its annual Awards for Excellence gala tonight at Chelsea Piers on Manhattan’s West Side. It wouldn’t be summer without this gathering, which marks my calendar as surely as do Christmas and New Year’s Day. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve attended it, but I reckon at least a dozen (I was honored to win WJA’s award for excellence in editorial back in 2007).
Tonight, I’m looking forward to cheering on JCK associate publisher Donna Borrelli in the special services category—and clinking glasses with my friends and colleagues as we revel in the industry’s feel-good event of the year.
AGS Circle of Distinction Dinner
Donna isn’t the only colleague I’m cheering on this week. Yancy Weinrich, senior vice president at JCK Events, is being presented with the Triple Zero Award at the American Gem Society’s prestigious Circle of Distinction dinner on Tuesday night at the Plaza Hotel. This dinner, more formal than the WJA gathering, but no less fun, is the summertime answer to January’s 24 Karat gala, and every year it reminds me how much this industry values rituals. I find great comfort in the cyclical nature of our calendar, and even though it occasionally feels like Groundhog Day, I love the fact that we are witnesses to each other’s lives.
Smart Jewels at JA New York
Much like JCK Las Vegas, the JA New York show is inviting jewelers to discover wearable tech at this year’s summer show. Five exhibitors representing the smart jewels category will exhibit at the fair. My bets are on two of them: Viawear, whose Tyia bracelet was designed by none other than Walter Adler Chefitz, JCK’s first (and only) Rock Star winner, and Beacon & Lively, a wearable tech company with a sleek, smart bracelet called the Beacon that I’ve written about but have never seen in person. Dave Becker, cofounder of the company, tells me they’re “aggressively looking for partners who would be interested in collaborating around our smart bracelet and patented LED-notification technology.” Something tells me they’ll have more than a few interested parties to choose from.
Courtesy Beacon & Lively