LUXURY Privé Panama, Over and Out!

The first-ever LUXURY Privé Panama targeted retailers south—way south—of the border

LUXURY Privé Panama concluded its three-day ­inaugural run Oct. 24 at the Westin Playa Bonita in ­Panama City, establishing a regional first: a buying show dedicated to the Latin American jewelry market.

The event brought together 50 high-end exhibitors from the United States and Europe and Latin ­jewelry retailers in a series of matchmaking-style events designed to nurture budding relationships between buyers and sellers eager to exploit the region’s booming economy.

“We are very pleased with the market’s response to ­LUXURY Privé Panama,” said Yancy Weinrich, group vice president of JCK Events. “Our focus throughout has been to be the catalyst for introductions between our exhibitors and the leading retailers in Latin America.”

For exhibitors anxious to tap the fast-growing South American market—Mikimoto, John Hardy, and ­Rahaminov, to name a few—the show offered an opportunity to enjoy face time with the region’s finest retailers, many of whom carry luxury watch brands such as Rolex and Cartier but are still getting acquainted with the top names in jewelry.

Long tanzanite earrings with white diamonds in 18k blackened gold; $10,500; Sutra, Houston; 713-988-8210;

“I do really well with some retailers in Brazil and I wanted to explore the other countries, and there was no better platform than LUXURY Privé,” said Divyanshu Navlakha of Sutra, a Houston-based jewelry manufacturer that showed a new collection of tanzanite ­jewelry framed by blue sapphires.

Tanzanite and blue sapphires were also evident in a handful of standout pieces by Miiori, a New York City–based company that debuted a new collection of colorful diamond-set titanium jewels designed to catch the eyes of retailers on the hunt for styles that defied convention.

The show took its cues from LUXURY Privé New York, an annual invitation-only buying fair that debuted at New York City’s Pierre Hotel in August 2011. The Privé concept is predicated on creating a relaxed yet upscale environment to encourage vendors and retailers to build relationships that will pay off over the long term.

“South American retailers love the fact that ­something has been organized for them,” said Paolo Novembri, founder of Ambio, a jewelry and fashion consultancy that helped identify retailers from the region on behalf of JCK Events. “Because in the past, they’ve been neglected.”

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