NEW YORK — Fine jewelry isn’t the hot ticket it was a year ago.
Buyers and new styles were scarce at the JA NY Winter Show that ended a three-day run at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Jan. 20.
Brands didn’t offer much freshness in their lines, seeking to avoid building up more inventory of gold, diamonds and other materials in the troubled economy. However, that didn’t stop some new designers, such as Ana Cavalheiro and Kir, from exhibiting.
Camille Hull, a buyer and merchandiser at London Jewelers, said her presence at the show was more for research than to place orders.
“I didn’t do any buying,” Hull said. “Without knowing where we’re headed in 2009, we feel like we have enough inventory to get us through these quiet months.”
But she said the retailer is still hopeful and plans several initiatives.
“We’re hoping when the weather breaks, people will be ready to shop again,” Hull said.
Janet Goldman, founder and chairman of Fragments, which has a showroom and two stores in New York, lamented that show traffic was slow.
“Customers that did attend the show were nervous about spending,” Goldman said. “They have inventory from the holidays and are extremely cautious about committing to dollars. Notes were taken and paper was barely left. Price was the big issue.”
Some of the brands at the Fragments booth offered lower-priced options or silver selections to appeal to buyers. Emily & Ashley did silver disks with engraving starting at $45, and Margaret Ellis showed hand-forged silver pieces with touches of gold at $120. Outside the Fragments booth, Gurhan expanded on its silver collection that launched last year.
Dana David, a seven-year-old brand based in Middletown, N.J., offered charm jewelry at competitive prices. Initial necklaces retail from $170 to $360 and the firm started a 14-karat gold collection.
“People are really into personal expression jewelry,” said Dana Melnick, owner and designer of Dana David.
Ana Cavalheiro, whose namesake firm is based in Santa Monica, Calif., offered architectural-inspired gold pieces with color-saturated gemstones such as tourmalines at her first trade show. Prices start at $45 at wholesale for a small silver piece and climb into the tens of thousands of dollars for a gold and diamond piece.
Kir, a new line founded by designer Kirsten Boedecker, was focused on silver jewelry with gold details. Prices range from $200 to $1,600 and all production is done in Bali.
“For Kir, the show was mostly about developing relationships,” said Boedecker, who picked up several independent boutiques as customers, such as Gilded Lily in Woodbury, Conn., and Jems Jewels & Gold in North Wales, Pa. “Our goal is to build a brand, so we are in it for the long haul. We’re taking things slowly and anticipating the future.”
“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