Beyoncé is the latest star to bring on the bling.
This story first appeared in the August 25, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The songstress and her mother, Tina Knowles, are expanding their two-year-old junior label Deréon by adding a fashion jewelry line titled Deréon Jewelry. Produced in partnership with Carolee, Deréon Jewelry features edgy, black leather cuffs as well as necklaces, charm bracelets and hoop earrings in metal, glass and enamel. Retailing from $16 to $68, the collection is targeting the same department stores that sell Deréon apparel and accessories, such as Macy’s and Dillard’s, as well as contemporary specialty stores.
“I love accessories and we’ve always used a lot of accessories, so it was a natural thing for us to do,” said Tina Knowles, creative director. “For the first collection, I wanted to do a lot of things taken from the street. One of the things I love to do is walk on the streets of New York or Brooklyn and see what the kids are doing, and that goes with our mantra — catwalk meets sidewalk. I saw a lot of filled hoops and charm bracelets, that’s what the kids are wearing these days.”
Beyoncé is one of a flock of female celebrities who have delved into the category recently. In June, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen unveiled a partnership with Robert Lee Morris, while Heidi Klum and Nicole Richie have each partnered with The Mouawad Group on collections. Tori Spelling and Iman launched jewelry collections with HSN and Jane Seymour matched up with Kay Jewelers.
“What we were impressed with was that Tina and Beyoncé are building a brand based on their fashion sense and design, not the fact that they’re both world-class celebrities,” said Joel Fivis, president of Carolee, based in Stamford, Conn. “So there’s a longevity here that may not be among other celebrities who are simply looking to get their name out.”
In addition to Deréon, Carolee produces collections for brands such as Lauren by Ralph Lauren, A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz, Adrienne Vittadini and Brooks Brothers.
“All of these businesses complement each other,” Fivis said. “The Carolee brand is obviously our family jewelry, it’s who we are. But we also want to maintain avenues for our own growth. There are places Carolee will never be but we can sell to those places with other brands. That’s the strategy for any brand going into licensing.”
In 2005, the Knowles introduced House of Deréon, a contemporary women’s apparel line, followed by Deréon, which made its debut in 2006. Last August, the brand partnered with HSN on the Miss Tina collection, a clothing and accessories line.
House of Deréon and Deréon are named in honor of Tina Knowles’ mother and Beyoncé’s grandmother, Agnéz Deréon, a seamstress who influenced Tina’s love of fashion.
“She was a dressmaker and she loved jewelry,” Tina Knowles said. “I have some of her brooches from the Forties, during her time of fashion. She was an accessories person as well and it’s great to carry that on.”