In my post as market editor for JCK, I see a lot of jewelry—at shows worldwide, during market appointments in the city, at stores, and through private research. As we all prepare for the mother of all American jewelry market weeks—unofficially dubbed Jewelry Week in Las Vegas, starting May 29 with the LUXURY show—it can be a tad overwhelming to think about from a work perspective; there are thousands of firms exhibiting at JCK Las Vegas, Couture, and other smaller shows in town that week! How do you even begin to decide whom to see? Well, from my own little perch on Madison Avenue in the Diamond District, scrutinizing jewelry designs for JCK readers, I humbly offer this assessment of three firms that I think deserve closer inspection—from a salability and design point of view. I’ll list some more next week.
Retailers: Please weigh in with your own opinions to help peers. Designers: we know you want to promote your work, but please refrain from posting obvious ‘ad comments.’ I’d like to keep this forum authentic in terms of reader usefulness. Thank you.
Lauren Harper Collection at JCK Booth #S10619. Winnetka, Ill.-based Lauren Harper of Lauren Harper Collections is surely one of the gems in JCK’s Design Center for her contemporary silver and gold designs with both editorial (think big and bold) and everyday appeal. Her new silver and moonstone wide cuff in the image shown, with a tribal effect, is hot! And so were the two smaller ones JCK put on the cover of the July/August issue last year. Harper’s jewelry is just plain pretty, and she successfully, and effortlessly, designs from big to small scales.
Moonstone and silver jewelry from Lauren Harper Collections
Efva Attling at Couture. Okay, everybody probably already knows how much I like Efva Attling’s work (I have blogged her jewelry three times since March, including yesterday) but it’s because I really do like it a lot. She works in all metals, has bridal, and, a minimalist style, which, honestly, is my own personal taste, but for a wider audience, it translates to being easy to appreciate and more affordable. Her messages are great: they’re inspiring (braille dog tags that read Make Love Not War), funny (her Bend Over ring is about, well, you know…), and personal, including her Happy Tears jewelry, made for a friend diagnosed with MS. Plus, she is perhaps the best selling point for the brand: a mature woman (a former model and pop star from Sweden) with whom the primary buyers of jewelry—women ages 40 and up—will connect because she’s ‘real’. How real? She’s gorgeous with wrinkles, and at the end of my market visit, she started tearing up while describing a piece of jewelry. I like that honesty, in appearance and in action. And she knows what to do at a jewelry bench because she’s a trained silversmith. She is new to the U.S., and this is her debut American trade show.
Lana Jewelry at Couture. Freshly styled, easy-to-understand gold jewelry, with wide appeal, at a great price (starting well under $1,000 retail): That’s what Chicago-based designer Lana Bramlette of Lana Jewelry has to offer. She’s in quite a few Neiman Marcus stores nationwide, as well as some Nordstrom stores and Harrod’s in London, but I’d investigate whether or not her line is already available in your market (she tells JCK that she has wide distribution in Texas and Florida) because her modern 14k gold looks, often with a high polish, allow consumers to have gold at a reasonable price.