News and noise from the jewelry retail front.
Olympic Athletes Receive Alex and Ani Olympic Charms
Alex and Ani’s status as one of the jewelry industry’s reigning fashion jewelry collections got a big boost at the Olympic games. The Rhode Island–based wholesaler and retailer—famous for its cute stackable bracelets dripping with charms—was selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee to create charms for the 2012 London Games. The trio of brass charms—which include the Olympic rings, a penny-style circle that reads United States Olympic Team, and a silhouette of London’s Tower Bridge—were tucked into the uniform bags of Olympic athletes as mementos. Silver medalist swimmer Elizabeth Beisel, a Rhode Island native, tweeted that she was ‘‘more than excited for the Alex and Ani charm.” Talk about a win-win.
Alex and Ani Olympic pendants (photo courtesy of Alex and Ani)
James Avery Debuts a New Location in Houston Area
Retail jewelry chain James Avery recently opened a location in Cypress, Texas, just outside of Houston. The family-owned company now operates a total of 65 stores across nine states, chiefly in the southwest United States. “This new retail outlet adds convenience for an underserved, but deeply valued, Avery customer group,” said James Avery CEO Chris Avery in a statement.
Brad and Angelina’s Jeweler Dishes on the Famous Couple
Los Angeles jeweler Robert Procop, who’s most famous for codesigning Angelina Jolie’s engagement ring with Brad Pitt, recently chatted with US Weekly about his superstar friends, revealing that the couple’s relationship may have been all “flying planes and riding motorcycles at the start, but…now they’ve settled into this wonderfully strong family unit and it’s beautiful how in love they are. They always knew they’d be together forever and get married one day, right from the start.” Spoken like a true long-term collaborator. Procop has helped the couple create custom gifts—including a tiny pendant for Pitt that mimics an ancient Egyptian tablet—for one another since 2006. And he’s collaborated with Jolie on charitable jewelry collection, Style of Jolie, which benefits the actress’ foundation, Education Partnership for Children of Conflict.
Jewelry Designer Wallace Chan Featured at Paris’ Biennale des Antiquaires
Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is designing next month’s 26th Biennale des Antiquaires art fair in Paris, where 150 exhibitors—including haute joaillerie makers Bulgari, Boucheron, Piaget, Chanel, Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, and Dior—will showcase their finery. Lagerfeld will reportedly re-create a Parisian street scene for the fair, channeling a Belle Époque atmosphere. The outspoken designer has also tapped Hong Kong jewelry designer Wallace Chan to show his exquisitely crafted one-of-a-kind jewelry at a stand beneath the dome of the Grand Palais. Chan will be the first-ever Chinese jeweler to show at the famous fair, set to kick off this year on Sept. 14.
A one-of-a-kind Wallace Chan piece (courtesy of Wallace Chan)