The Jewelry District, Episode 27: Art Deco, Department Stores, And Virtual Styling

In This Episode
In this edition of The Jewelry District you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and news director Rob Bates talk about the enduring influence of art deco, the decline of department stores, and the rise of virtual styling. They’ll also cover a Weird Story of the Week that involves an antique ring and an unhappy fiancée.

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Show Notes
00:30 Victoria discusses her New York Times article on art deco.
07:19 Department stores are seeing a decline, and Rob explains why.
12:54 Victoria believes that jewelers should also work as stylists and discusses how this process is going virtual.
17:59 Rob brings back the Weird Story of the Week segment with the tale of an unhappy fiancée.

Episode Credits
Hosts: Rob Bates and Victoria Gomelsky
Editor: Olivia Briley
Producer and engineer: Natalie Chomet

Show Recap

Art Deco Is Here To Stay
Rob introduces an article from the New York Times that Victoria wrote, “Art Deco at 100: Jewelry Can’t Get Enough.” She covers the enduring influence of art deco and explains that the century-old style isn’t really making a comeback. Art deco has never really gone away. Many jewelers have defined their whole aesthetic by revisiting or reinterpreting the style. Victoria talks about some of the deco looks she’s most interested in.

Brick-And-Mortar Decline
Department stores are on Rob’s radar right now, and he discusses how they are having huge problems. The big icons of American retail are suffering due to online shopping. Victoria asks Rob if there are any department stores that he sees plateauing or declining, and Rob emphasizes how those serving the middle class are suffering the most. Victoria delves into the omnichannel approach, and Rob raises what the decline of department stores means for jewelers.

The Jeweler As Stylist
Victoria brings up how jewelers can work as stylists, and how they should consider themselves to be stylists in the way that they help customers figure out how to incorporate jewelry into their existing wardrobe. Victoria has previously spoken to the founder of The Jewelry Edit, who wanted to “move the jewelry box from the back of the closet to the center of the wardrobe.” You’ll hear about how this process is going virtual as people with expertise show clients how to best accessorize their look.

Weird Story of the Week
Rob brings back one of our favorite segments, Weird Story of the Week, with a story from a publication called In The Know. He recounts the proposal by a woman to her girlfriend, who said yes. All was fine until the proposed confronted her girlfriend and said she didn’t want the ring that her girlfriend had spent months picking out, but instead wanted her grandmother’s antique ring. Rob and Victoria talk about whether it’s ever okay to request (or demand) jewelry from a loved one.

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