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Carol Brodie is bringing her particular brand of glamour, glitz and style to the masses.
This story first appeared in the June 8, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Brodie, a veteran of the jewelry industry known for her work as a spokeswoman at De Beers and Harry Winston, is introducing her own jewelry line with multichannel retailer HSN.
The line, dubbed Rarities: Fine Jewelry with Carol Brodie, is comprised of red carpet and high jewelry-inspired pieces with diamonds, gemstones, gold, silver and gold vermeil, with prices ranging from $89 to $799.90. Brodie will conduct her debut show June 21, the same day the line will launch on hsn.com.
“Jewelry is my passion and my love,” said Brodie, who has been collecting since she was a child. “I have always been obsessed with fine jewelry and gemstones my entire life.”
Her personal collection includes rare diamonds, signed pieces and notable works from Tiffany & Co. and Buccellati.
The collections are divided into cities where Brodie has traveled and found inspiration. The Palm Beach series incorporates white quartzite cuffs with gold and turquoise; the Rio collection contains faceted amethyst and smoky quartz cocktail rings, and the Capri collection has bright stones echoing the vibrancy of the island.
Through her years in the industry, Brodie counts many influences, but a key mentor was Ambaji Shinde, who spent a lifetime designing jewelry for the Maharajas of India as head designer for Winston.
“He would show me every facet and every groove of a gemstone and explained to me that to make a beautiful piece of jewelry, you have to show the natural beauty of the stones,” Brodie said.
One of her goals is to not only make beautiful jewelry accessible, but also to show women how to style and layer the pieces creatively.
“Rarities is all about confidence,” said Brodie of the HSN collection. “It’s about layering and building a great wardrobe of jewelry.”
Brodie, who has helped outfit celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson and Halle Berry in Harry Winston jewelry for major red carpet events, is recreating such iconic jewelry looks for her line. She has designed a pink amethyst ring with diamonds that recalls Jennifer Lopez’s much-buzzed-about pink diamond engagement ring given to her by then-fiancé Ben Affleck, as well as a citrine ring inspired by a yellow diamond once worn by Hudson.
“The idea is to bring that fine jewelry category at accessible price points in those looks,” said HSN chief executive officer Mindy Grossman. “Luxury is being redefined, to a degree. You can get the take-your-breath-away unique piece…but people are being more discerning. It’s not about amassing a quantity of things.”
Grossman declined to offer sales projections for Rarities, but said fine jewelry is a cornerstone of the HSN business and comprises 16 percent of sales.