When better to launch new looks than during the biggest market week in America? While making the rounds of the shows in Las Vegas, we spotted numerous new silver collections worth closer inspection. Here are just two you’ll want to consider stocking.
Toronto-based Hera Arkarakas has been making jewelry for more than 30 years: She grew up in a jewelry family, honed her skills at George Brown College in Toronto, and ran a manufacturing firm with her husband in the 1980s. But it wasn’t until 2010, after her husband’s death, that she launched Hera Collection. She abandoned the classical high-end looks she’d previously relied on in favor of more wallet-friendly “fun and spirited” styles. Marquise shapes—inspiration from peacock feathers—are a staple since the bird is the symbol of the Greek goddess Hera. Plus, who doesn’t long for that elongated form? “It’s flattering to a woman’s physique,” she says.
She works in sterling silver and 18k gold with gemstones such as hematite, smoky topaz, mother-of-pearl, and diamonds for accent. Arkarakas sketches each design, then perfects it in CAD, producing most items in a workshop in Thailand. Clasps feature a special locking system and most pieces are cast. Her tag line? Live Life, a motto she immortalized in a tattoo while her husband was ill, but the mantra applies to jewelry as well. “Jewelry puts a smile on our faces,” she says. “And if it’s price accessible, then you don’t have to wait for a man to buy it for you.”
Starting retail price: $295 in sterling; $595 for sterling with 18k gold; $1,595 for sterling with 18k gold and diamonds
Retailer buy-in: Approximately $15,000?
Accounts: Five in the United States, including Isaac Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., and 20 abroad, including Cupido in Ontario?
Trade fairs: Couture 2012 was her first.?
Contact: Hera Collection, Toronto; 866-934-1660; designsbyhera.com
Cuff bracelet in silver; $4,866; Horsecka Jewelry, Warsaw, Poland; 48-66-635-5177; horseckajewelry.com
Onetime judge Anna Horsecka started making jewelry seven years ago as a hobby. Eventually she gave up the gavel and opened a wholesale business in 2011. She acquired her fabrication skills partly through instruction, but largely via trial and error. Resulting collections—Prison, for example, featuring chains and cuffs, some with flame motifs—nod to her old life at a different bench. That line is less about the law than it is “a message against wearing small jewelry,” Horsecka insists. (Message received! That was her massive Prison 11 necklace on JCK’s July–August cover.)
Large sculptural sterling forms are her signature style, and the artist uses “cast elements only when it is absolutely necessary—for example, the skulls in the Be Like McQueen line,” she says. “I make all the sample items myself…and we don’t use premade elements in our projects.” Pearls and gemstones are used, but aren’t a focal point. “Metals are the most important material in our designs,” says Horsecka.
Starting retail price: $350 in silver
Retailer buy-in: None?
Accounts: At press time, only a showroom in Warsaw, Poland ?
Trade fairs: JCK Las Vegas 2012 was her first.?
Contact: Horsecka Jewelry, Warsaw; 48-66-635-5177; horseckajewelry.com