NEW YORK — David Yurman has named Evan Yurman chief design director.
This story first appeared in the October 14, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The move, to some, signals a slow evolution toward a changing of the guard at the jeweler, as the 31-year-old Yurman grabs a high-level spot at his parents’ company, headed by founders and chairmen David and Sybil Yurman.
“It really is an evolution,” said chief executive officer Glen Senk. “Coming from other companies, it’s such a nice thing to see. Evan is 31. He’s going to be 32 in four months. I look at it like a 30-year apprenticeship. On the one hand, it does signal some changes, on the other, it’s an evolution.”
Most recently the design director at Yurman of men’s, timepieces, fine jewelry and wedding collections, Evan Yurman has essentially grown up in the company. He officially joined the family firm in 2004 in that role and, according to Senk, has helped expand and “significantly” grow the business.
The ceo said that Yurman has “played an integral role” in the design direction of the brand’s wedding collection since its inception in 2005. In 2009, he heralded a new chapter in the company’s watchmaking business with the launch of The Classic timepiece collection, a more innovative and complicated timepiece for the brand. In 2010, Evan established Yurman’s fine jewelry business.
Yurman will report to Senk and will now oversee all of the design teams, while his father, David, and mother, Sybil, will continue to work on product design. Senk explained that the design process would continue to be “collaborative” between the Yurman trio. The main difference is that Evan will play a main role in all of the brand’s collections, and that he will be instrumental in the firm’s international expansion efforts, the ceo noted.
While the company has two shops-in-shop in Printemps in Paris and two in Holt Renfrew in Canada, Senk said in the long-term, he believes Yurman’s international sales could account for 60 to 70 percent of the business.
Addressing whether the Yurmans plan to sell the company, take it public or bring on new investors, Senk said that the brand’s focus is to grow as an independent business. In addition to expanding abroad, other projects include refining the in-store experience in North America, growing its vendor base and relaunching the Web site.
“The brand is wholly owned by the Yurmans and by me. Their interest is that the brand is here,” Senk said. “David and Sybil described this as a lifelong art project. This is a wonderful thing.”