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For Zadeh NY, Setting Up Shop Is Sweeter the Second Time Around


Zadeh founder and designer Catherine M. Zadeh says her New York jewelry gallery is the product of 25 years of highs and lows in the industry, which began with her taking her first jewelry class in the same neighborhood and then getting started in men’s jewelry.

The Zadeh store opened last fall at 1244 Madison Ave. on the Upper East Side, where Zadeh raised her daughters and walked from home to the 92nd Street Y to learn the foundations of jewelry-making.

“Even as other neighborhoods downtown are perhaps trendier, the Upper East Side has a special place in my heart,” she says. “I love the people, I love the vibes, I love the stores and the restaurants. When we think about our patrons, they are here—the mothers and father frantically shuttling their kids to school, the ones who get dressed up to the nines for the most glamorous of galas but who look equally chic when they’re in their gym clothes on a Sunday.”

This is Zadeh’s second run at retail: She had a store in Southampton, at the east end of Long Island, from late 2020 through summer 2022. Opening a new space at age 62 may seem risky, but Zadeh says it brings her joy. Now, each day feels like a new beginning, the veteran jeweler says, and she has expansion goals.

Zadeh store
Getting texture from wood, glass, and mirrors, the store’s interior design reflects the jewelry sold there.

This gallery was slowly and meticulously planned,” Zadeh says. “Our first pop-up five years ago took place next door, and its success led us to where we are now. We love having a direct line to our clients in person.

“Fingers crossed, our goal is to share our brand with more people and develop a broader plan to roll out more stores—maybe starting in Paris,” she adds. “I feel that my old friends would be happy to see how I’ve grown.”

Zadeh cases
Catherine M. Zadeh designed the wood display cases herself, and her favorite woodworker created them for the Upper East Side boutique.

Zadeh wanted the boutique to tell the story of her brand and the kind of people drawn to it. She says her clients are the best advertisement for her jewelry. They are casual, confident, and fashion-forward, she says, and they see her gallery as a destination.

“They love beautiful designs and craftsmanship, but they live effortlessly. Our jewelry stands for that kind of attitude,” Zadeh says. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously, so we wanted the store to emanate warmth and be welcoming. It is precious jewelry for people who are not precious.”

Zadeh put art on the walls by one of her favorite abstract painters, Pamela Dove, and designed the display cases, which are made from walnut by the same carpenter who did the woodwork in Zadeh’s Hamptons house.

Zadeh desk
Zadeh calls her work area in the gallery “Zen-like” and says she feels joy when she walks into the space.

“I love the warmth and understated look of the display cases, which is the opposite of the formal environment of a typical jewelry store,” Zadeh says.

She keeps a desk in the store, an office of sorts where she can dream about where the next 25 years will take her. Behind it, she displays photographs of her jewelry designs, which she describes as balancing androgynous cool with European sophistication.

“When people come in our doors, they are fascinated with what they see. Our aesthetic is unique. I really believe in the DNA of my brand and what I’m doing,” Zadeh says.

Top: Inside Zadeh NY’s recently opened shop on the Upper East Side of Manhattan (photos courtesy of Zadeh NY)

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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