After taking the first couple months of 2019 off to care for my newborn son, Niko (who arrived the day before Thanksgiving), I’m thrilled to be back at JCK for this all-important pre-show issue. There is no end to my appreciation for managing editor Melissa Bernardo, who covered for me while I was away, with the help of seasoned magazine editor Kathy Henderson. The flawless March–April issue that hit your mailbox about a month ago is proof of how beautifully they work together.
Speaking of perfect pairings, you won’t find a better combination of fine and fashion jewels than the baubles that adorn our impeccably on-trend cover model in “The High-Low Country.” Once you see how chic she looks in stacks of bangles—some precious, some plated—you’ll no longer question the urge to mix faux and fine.
Longtime contributor Venessa Lau’s engaging “Fall Fashion Faves” offers an astute analysis of the trends that fuel this mixing. “As much as fashion aches for the shock of the new and novel, there’s a savvy in embracing the familiar,” she writes. “And for the fall 2019 shows, many of the best collections—and trends—did just that: return to what we know, with subtle subversion.”
Our reporting from the jewelry retail trenches suggests Lau’s predictions are on point. In “Party of Five,” contributor Kristin Young singles out the five styles that buyers headed to JCK Las Vegas are coveting, and—wouldn’t you know it—old-but-new-again chain-link styles top the list.
Elsewhere, we examine the jewelry trade’s growing devotion to all things earthy. That includes a burgeoning retail boom in crystal and wellness products (see “Rock Therapy” by Martha C. White), as well as the sudden ubiquity of the cannabis-leaf motif (check out The Look opener).
Even more important is the widening conviction that a jewel’s journey to market—how it was made, and who benefits from its sale—is as important as its looks. On this note, “Reliable Sources” is a must-read. With photography by the talented Joel Stans, jewelry curation by JCK’s trusted market editor, Rima Suqi, and an incisive companion piece by Stephanie Vozza, the feature on ethical and sustainable jewelry practices is JCK at its finest: timely, well-informed, and gorgeous.
Finally, don’t miss the third installment of our year-long “150 Years, 150 Voices” series, marking the magazine’s sesquicentennial. JCK contributing editor Brittany Siminitz spoke to 25 industry heavy-hitters about the magazine and the jewelry biz in general. Provocative, thoughtful, and often hilarious, their comments are a mini master class in the history of the American trade. Sign me up!
Top: This $16,400 18k gold joint pendant from L.A.’s Sapphire Collective gives new meaning to the term high style!
(Gomelsky photograph by Nicholas A. Prakas; hair and makeup: Claudia Andreatta/Halley Resources)