NEW YORK — The hot contemporary jewelry category will be the focus of an exhibition that opens today at the Forbes Galleries on Fifth Avenue.
Although demand for estate jewelry remains high, contemporary jewelers — including Lorenz Bäumer, Adria de Haume and Stephen Webster — are rocking the market with edgy designs and craftsmanship.
"What makes great contemporary jewelry great is that it has its own unique style and will stand on its own," said Judith Price, president of the National Jewelry Institute, which is celebrating contemporary jewelers in its 2008 Designer Showcase.
The institute is a six-year-old nonprofit organization with a mission to preserve, research and exhibit fine jewelry from around the world. The organization holds two exhibitions each year in locales such as New York, London and Paris. The latest runs through June 20 and will move to the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh from July 23 to the end of the year.
Ralph Esmerian, the jewelry and antiques collector and owner of Fred Leighton, curated the exhibit along with guest curators Beth Rudin DeWoody, Saks Fifth Avenue and World Gold Council. Among the 40 brands are Cinta by John Hardy, Mia Fonssagrives-Solow, Graff and Cartier.
"Jewelry, like fashion, changes," said Price, who noted that firms such as Gucci and Giorgio Armani heard about the show and contacted her to be part of it. "That's what this show tried to do."
The institute also will help fledgling designers sell their pieces through the show and trunk shows, but will not take a profit.
"My goal would be that we get more international designers, so the NJI will be a platform for individual designers to show off what they're doing," Price said.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast