Power Rules: Editor’s Letter, April 2015

Every January, as JCK’s editorial team contemplates the next iteration of the magazine’s attention-grabbing Power List franchise, we use the prior year’s list as a jumping-off point to brainstorm all the people we think deserve a mention this year. Then, we slowly whittle the names down to the most newsworthy among them. The exercise is fun, provocative—and not without some interoffice squabbling.

If the comments we’ve received in the past are any indication, we expect the squabbles aren’t over. Before you see whom we singled out in 2015, however, here are a few things to keep in mind:

The power package is composed of two parts. The first part changes year to year: In 2013, we profiled 20 power brokers under the age of 40; last year, we spotlighted 15 of the industry’s most powerful groups; and this year, we take on the trade’s Power Designers.

The second part is the Power Base, an alphabetical rundown of 50 (or so) movers and shakers without whom, it’s safe to say, the jewelry business would be a less cohesive, progressive, and profitable place.

When we first envisioned the Power Base, we assumed the list wouldn’t change much from one year to the next, and we worried about the pages feeling stagnant. As you’ll see, our worries were misplaced. Corporate hierarchies are prone to more change than we expect (No. 28), decision-makers are less predictable than we imagine (No. 34), and new channels of communication have made influencers out of unlikely personalities (No. 4).

At last year’s JCK Las Vegas, managing editor Melissa Rose Bernardo and I went in search of power…lunches.

Another thing to keep in mind as you read the cover package—and especially the Power Designers list—is what we mean by the word power. By ­deeming ­someone powerful, we’re saying that he or she, besides being immensely talented, also wields a high degree of influence and has a noticeable effect on ­jewelers’ bottom lines. Please be aware, however, that talent alone is not enough to warrant inclusion—which should help explain why your favorite designer with the fresh, funky style didn’t make the cut.

If, however, fresh and funky is what you’re after, check out “Super 8,” senior editor Jennifer Heebner’s snapshot of eight men’s jewelry collections riding the wave of interest in the once-moribund category. Follow that up with a look at our bold and beautiful men’s jewelry still life (“Male Spin”), an homage to the best men’s pieces on the market today.

All of the hoopla over new lines is, of course, a precursor to what you’ll find in Las Vegas, when you head there at the end of May for the JCK show and its sister events, LUXURY, Elite Enclave, and Swiss Watch. We’re saving our big product previews and show news for the May and June issues, so for now, sate yourself with “Strip Tease,” contributor Kristin Young’s exhaustive survey of the new dining, nightlife, and wellness options that will greet showgoers this year.

If you consider yourself a contender for next year’s Power Base, be sure to register for the JCK show at lasvegas.jckonline.com—no self-respecting power broker would miss it!