Publisher’s Letter, May 2016: New York! Hong Kong! Basel!

Welcome to the annual preshow May issue of JCK, aka our “September Vogue,” as we like to (humbly) say! This year’s edition is one of our most beautiful to date, with nearly 300 pages of compelling editorial, stunning photography, and (of course) spectacular advertising.

The past few months are traditionally the busiest of my year, and this spring was no exception, with back-to-back events in Hong Kong, New York City, and Basel, Switzerland. Thank goodness for earplugs, eye masks, and Ambien.

First up was the March HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show. It’s no secret that many national economies are suffering, and you could definitely feel it at this year’s show. The word on the show floor, however, was all about the United States’ current place as the best economy in the world, so we at JCK found ourselves busily working with international manufacturers to strategize ways to brand them to U.S. retailers. In an election year, when all we hear is how “bad” America is, it was amazing to hear the rest of the world singing our praises.

As always, it was a blast seeing friends from around the world. Once again, I was lucky to rent a terrific place with a huge outdoor terrace in the Wan Chai neighborhood. There’s something wonderful about hosting friends like VicenzaOro’s Stefania Fin and Ada Tessaro on the other side of the planet! I was also thrilled to host a small “family” night on the terrace, with JCK staffers Emili Vesilind, Quentin Chan, Mirek Kraczkowski, and Dominika Olejnik.

Fast on the heels of my return, I participated in the first Jewelry Industry Summit at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Focused on responsible sourcing, the summit was an “appreciative inquiry” exercise, which required nonstop participation for two and a half days. I’m not going to lie: There were times I felt like quitting and going home to my family, but I’m glad I didn’t. By the end of the summit, nearly every participant raised his or her hand to commit to moving the ball forward on this topic (precisely what appreciative inquiry is designed to do).  

For my part, I teamed up with iDazzle’s Monica Stephenson to create a new group of jewelry bloggers committed to getting the word out about responsible sourcing throughout our industry. We hope to get things started at this year’s JCK Las Vegas. I have to say, it feels great to play a small role in improving the consumer perception of our industry. Here’s hoping our influence runs far and wide.

Before I could catch my breath (or get over my jet lag), it was off to Basel for the annual Baselworld watch and jewelry show. Baselworld is a sight to see, with its famous multimillion-dollar booths for brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe. The convention center itself is stunning, having recently been redesigned by the world-class (and Basel-based) architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. Wow.

As always, Basel (especially the nightly beer fests outside the main hall) offers a chance to see old friends from around the globe and to make new friends. Many thanks to the JCKers who worked so hard at this year’s show: Mirek Kraczkowski, Lars Parker-Myers, and Jennifer Heebner. You all represent us well!

After a few weeks’ rest at home (thankfully), it’s off to the American Gem Society Conclave in Washington, D.C., and the Smart Show in Chicago. Then, it’s time to gear up for Vegas. See you along the way!

Top: Enjoying an evening on my Hong Kong rooftop with JCK’s Dominika Olejnik, Quentin Chan, and Emili Vesilind

(Inset: Photograph by Michael Falco)

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