On Sunday, I was part of the jury that decided the WJA Gem Diva Award winners for 2015. A competition sponsored by the American Gem Trade Association as part of the annual Spectrum Awards, Gem Diva recognizes superior jewelry design created by women and using colored gemstones. I had the pleasure of being locked away in a sun flooded Manhattan loft with hundreds of pieces of incredible jewelry and some of the most knowledgeable (and gracious) people you could hope to debate with: Andrea Hansen, founder of branding and business development showroom LuxeIntelligence; jewelry designer Gurhan; Dawn Hendricks, owner of Peridot Fine Jewelry; and Cindy Edelstein, president of Jeweler’s Resource Bureau.
In an industry sometimes hidebound by tradition, Ritani is breaking barriers all over the place. Two years ago, the engagement ring and fine jewelry company introduced a “clicks-and-bricks” model that united a brand-driven e-commerce website with its brick-and-mortar retailers. This summer, I reported on their incredible new user-friendly iPad software for jewelry retailers and their sales associates. And now, just two weeks ago, Ritani announced its Ritani Designer Collections initiative, which allows designers to sell through Ritani’s clicks-and-bricks web platform. More than that, Ritani promotes the designer lines on its website.
As if there aren’t enough worries in the world, turns out our phones can be hacked. Yesterday’s news, you say? Not your cellphone; we all know that. I’m talking land lines.
On Monday, when I checked my Instagram, I saw this post from fine jewelry designer Simon Alcantara: “Rest in peace. You will be missed. Our Dominican Treasure who inspired us every day. I’m grateful and honored to have known him. Oscar de la Renta.”
One of the great luxuries of working on INSTORE and INDESIGN is seeing new, fresh-from-the-bench pieces and meeting with their designers. The kicker is that often I don’t have to leave the office to meet with them (or their proxies); they’ll come to me. These meet-ups (“desksides” in the lingo of the editorial world) have many advantages, not least among them is the chance to talk outside a busy trade show setting. Last week my calendar was full of deskside appointments, and I’m sharing a few of my favorite things.
This fall, in my blogs, I’ve pointed to three key jewelry trends taking shape at this time, which are sure to be big for spring: big hoop earrings, modern tribal designs, and seventies inspired styles—pretty much in that order, too. Well . . . thank you, Angelina—this morning, in my e-mail inbox, I saw a photo of Ms. Jolie, at an event several weeks ago, wearing a gigantic pair of thin gold hoops, which really epitomizes all three trends.
Summer has gone and taken the prime dates for weddings with it, but that only means it’s time to start planning for next year’s nuptials. Bridal runway shows for fall 2015 have been in full swing for the last week, and the latest frothy white dresses fall into categories that are likely jewelry trends, too. Don’t be surprised if couples come looking for engagement rings along the following lines.
A study released this week by Emory University economics professors Andrew M. Francis and Hugo M. Mialon determined that men who spent between $2,000-$4,000 on an engagement ring were 1.3 times more likely to get divorced than men who spent between $500-$2,000. (The study also showed that spending less than $500 on a ring led to higher divorce rates.)