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.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
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“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