Move Over Diamonds, There’s a New Pearl in Town

Tiffany’s new Iridesse stores opened this fall to sate the appetite of consumers hungry for pearl jewelry. Not unlike De Beers, which focuses exclusively on diamond jewelry, Iridesse offers only pearls. The goal, according to a company release, is not only to showcase and sell pearl jewelry but also to educate consumers about this often overlooked category.

In a move likely to push pearls into a trendier position in the market—and in keeping with contemporary pearl designs that many designers have been hawking for several years—the retail stores commissioned several top designers to create exclusive designer lines for the store. But unlike De Beers—and many other big retail brands—credit is being given to these designers, and their collections complement Iridesse’s private-label collection.

The designers onboard for this initial launch of Iridesse are Anthony-Nak, Erica Courtney, Chrissie Douglas of Coleman Douglas Pearls, Christian Tse, and Gabrielle Sanchez.

Iridesse opened its first store (approximately 1,300 sq. ft.) in October at Tysons Galleria Mall in McLean, Va. Signature Iridesse highlights include a Pearl Bar for customer consultation and apothecary-style drawers that house the brand’s large selection of pearl strands.

The initial design assortment ranges from the classic and elegant styling of the traditional pearl strand to edgier and more casual silhouettes that take a creative, contemporary approach to a gem frequently seen as nearly stodgy. Featuring a wide variety of cultured pearl shapes and colors, the collections incorporate various cultured pearl types including South Sea, Tahitian, akoya, and freshwater. Prices range from under $100 to $40,000,

Iridesse will open its second store at The Mall at Short Hills in Short Hills, N.J. Within five years, the company expects to open about 20 Iridesse stores in the United States.