The Lap of Luxury

What a difference a year makes! After the last 18 months of retailers’ paring down inventory, vendors were back to writing orders and attendance was up 20 percent at the 2010 Luxury by JCK show.

High-end firms have felt the pinch of the bad economy as much as the rest of the jewelry industry: The number of wholesalers and manufacturers has dropped 4 percent in three years, according to the Jewelers Board of Trade.

But in June, sales reports were upbeat among many of the 130 exhibitors. On day two of the show at the Venetian, Chad Allison staffers boasted that they had the most packed appointment book ever at a show, and Steven and Richard ­Billig, owners of S & R Designs, of Marlton, N.J., dished on some of their more impressive show orders, including 24 new agate and 18k gold styles retailing for $2,000 apiece.

Parade Design displayed intricate 18k gold and gemstone crown rings inspired by Russian architecture (starting at $5,000 retail), while diamond house Ritani revealed bridal and fashion pieces from its new Floral collection in 18k gold (starting at $2,000).

Other collection highlights included blackened silver jewels from Le Vian in a metal with a dark inky hue that is proprietary to the brand. “It’s the deep black color I’ve been looking for,” said CEO Eddie LeVian of the metal made for him in Germany. On the higher end, Jack Kelége unveiled an entire fashion collection in yellow gold (starting at $5,000), and Chad Allison also showed more styles in yellow gold (starting at $3,350). “We’re getting back to our roots,” explained Debbie Son, Allison’s marketing manager.

Colored stone jeweler Lush, run by the Jain ­family in New York City, debuted its line at Luxury by JCK. And select retailers were invited to see the Ivanka Trump collection, which just went wholesale.

Luxury by JCK moves with the JCK Las Vegas show to Mandalay Bay next year. Reed Exhibitions officials report it’s nearly sold out. Luxury by JCK 2011 runs May 31–June 2, 2011.