Ippolita is extending its reach globally, and it’s starting with the Middle East.
A year after opening its flagship on Madison Avenue in New York, the fine jeweler is adding seven doors to its fleet in the Middle East, and one in the Philippines.
According to chief executive officer Joe Cavalcante, Ippolita saw strong returns from its pre-existing Middle East locations, of which there are three in Dubai and one in Bahrain. The strong consumer feedback there has spurred the jeweler to bring in some fresh blood with experience in the region to shore up demand.
This fall, Ippolita scooped up Akram Eldemachki as its vice president. The executive, who had worked as managing director of international sales at Cole Haan and as director of international trade sales at Tiffany & Co., has helped Ippolita to execute on its international business strategy, the ceo said.
“He’s helped open up the Middle East,” Cavalcante said of his new hire. “We have a large-scale launch strategy in the region in marquee locations.”
Those locations will include two stand-alone stores, one in the United Arab Emirates set to open this month, and the other in Saudia Arabia, both of which will open by early November. Ippolita will also open shops-in-shop by December in Kuwait, Qatar and Saudia Arabia. The brand also plans to open additional shops-in-shop in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and in the Philippines by early 2014.
According to the ceo, Ippolita’s success in a region known for its wealth is “ironically” linked to its attainable price point and fashion-forward design.
Most of the competition in the region constitutes old-school, high-end European brands, he said, adding that for the consumer, Ippolita, with its use of colorful, semiprecious stones and easy-to-wear designs, is something of an anomaly.
“There are more of the Place Vendôme jewelers [in the region] like Chaumet, Van Cleef, Cartier. They are significantly bigger and have a big retail presence,” Cavalcante said. “There’s more high jewelry there. That’s why we have a good opportunity. Ippolita is more everyday, easy-to-wear jewelry. That’s not really there.”
The ceo added that Ippolita, which has had a presence in Harvey Nichols and Bloomingdale’s in Dubai since 2012, was encouraged by demand from locals and ex-pats living in the area.
“The customer there doesn’t differ that much from the U.S. customer,” he said. “They want colorful, easy-to-wear fine jewelry. They have the big diamond, expensive stuff. They don’t have colorful fine jewelry.”
What’s more, the average shopper in the Middle East tends to shop in a “similar fashion” to the American consumer, opting to buy several pieces, such as multiple bangles for layering, he said.
Ippolita’s strength is linked to the diversity of materials used, such as leather, sterling silver, rose gold and 18-karat yellow gold, as well as diamonds and semiprecious stones. The pairing of those materials can alter the price by thousands of dollars, but the similarity of the designs remains consistent. This has served as a strong branding tool for Ippolita in a region where the brand is not as well known, Cavalcante said, noting that Ippolita will most likely expand to South America, Mexico and then Japan next through retail partners.
“We’ve been very fortunate to have double-digit, year-over-year growth ever since the recession,” the ceo offered. “I think next year, growth is going to be even more robust.”
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty