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JCK Preview: Glittering in Vegas

A multitude of launches will greet retailers amid the shine.

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At the upcoming JCK show, all that sparkles isn’t just gold — diamonds and colored stones also figure prominently into the mix, too.

Several established jewelry brands will unveil a multitude of pieces and collections for retailers buying for the upcoming holiday season, along with more than 350 first-time exhibitors among the 2,500 brands at the show, which runs Friday through Monday at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

Brazilian jeweler Jack Vartanian, known for his edgy fashion pieces and classic colored-stone jewelry, will unveil a collection called Brilliant that mimics the shape of diamonds with 18-karat gold-plated silver. “I wanted to do maxi-sized earrings and I was searching for a design that would make sense without being too heavy or too expensive,” he said.

Vartanian, whose family works in the diamond industry, came up with the idea of creating a brilliant-cut diamond-shaped piece out of silver, then designed some larger pieces mimicking the faceted shapes with a cagelike design.

“I always try to keep earrings around 10 or 11 grams in weight, but to do the same designs in gold would cost 10 times more and weigh about 40 percent more,” he said. The pieces are priced from $380 to $600.

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Victoria Tse is returning to JCK after parting ways with husband and designer Christian Tse to showcase her new V.Tse brand, a color-intensive collection of rare, fanciful gems.

“I’m focusing on beautiful and unusual cuts and intense colors,” she said. “I’m not just going with the mainstream rubies, sapphire and emeralds. A stone really has to jump out at me.”

Among her showstoppers is a 50-carat sphene ring for $100,000 that she said reminds her of a candy-pop ring. Most of the collection, however, will range from $10,000 to $25,000.

Diamonds are still king for many, and companies like Le Vian and Forevermark that deal in the precious stones will have strong presences at the show. Le Vian, which will present its red carpet, bridal and color forecast on Sunday, invested tens of millions of dollars in creating on-trend designs to help guide retailers.

“It’s designed to be tied in with fashion trends and commercially viable for a large scale, and viable in terms of the materials,” said chief executive officer Eddie Le Vian. Among the major runway-to-red carpet trends in jewelry are tribal and geometric shapes, translating into chevron and houndstooth patterns in jewelry, as well as floral lacelike details.

For the Year of the Horse, pieces are inspired by bits, saddles and stirrups, in addition to classic horse heads and horseshoes. Le Vian also named tanzanite as its Gem of the Year and predicts shades of blue and orchid will trend strongly.

Forevermark will unveil a 20-piece collection with House of Waris for holiday, as well as partnerships with new manufacturers and proprietary Forevermark cuts. Precision Set will collaborate with Forevermark on the Pure Collection, which will exclusively feature ideal-cut Hearts and Arrows Forevermark diamonds. The collection offers a total of 37 styles covering engagement rings, wedding bands, line bracelets, classic studs and fashion jewelry.

Later this year, Forevermark will launch a line of yellow diamonds exclusively by Norman Silverman.

At Simon G, Zaven Ghanimian, director of marketing at the family-owned company, said the vintage influence will continue in the firm’s bridal and fashion collections, but with a cleaner look and less milgrain and beading details in the metals.

Like Vartanian, Simon G is trying new ways to offer bigger fashion looks without bigger prices. Diamonds are set in mosaic designs, or a grouping of several stones, to give “a 4-carat diamond look with a 1-carat diamond price,” Ghanimian said. He also noted a big call for rubies and sapphires, soft and stacking bangles and rose gold. “Our retail sweet spot is $2,500 to $3,500 and up, and in the $10,000 to $15,000 mark for bigger pieces, which has been a surprising category.”

While Simon G’s business is about 60 percent bridal and 40 percent fashion, Dallas-based Sylvie Collections is an 80 percent bridal business that has slowly incorporated fashion collections into its line.

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Sylvie Levine has expanded her vintage-style collection to include 45 new styles for JCK as well as a half-dozen new fashion styles. Trending are rose gold accents and mixed metals.

“That is definitely a big trend,” she said. “The younger generation is comfortable with mixing metals and styles, such as stackable weddings in different colors and wedding bands with colored stones.”

She also noted a 30 percent uptick in special platinum orders, as a sign that the economy is recovering. “With metal prices, there used to be a huge gap between gold and platinum but now we’re at about $1,300 an ounce for gold and $1,500 for platinum, so people are happy to spend a bit more to have a pure metal.”

Both Sethi Couture and Tacori will introduce marketing campaigns at the show. Sethi has repositioned its tag line as “Elevate the everyday.”

“A person who has an affinity for those types of pieces should be able to celebrate it on a more regular basis,” said designer Pratima Sethi. Among the new collections are Silhouette, which uses diamond baguettes to create geometric modern shapes, and Plume, which used to be an all-diamond collection but now offers sapphires and tsavorite for a take on feathers and fans.

At Tacori, which will reveal its first face in a new campaign with model Emily DiDonato, the bridal and fashion sides of the business will come together to show one lifestyle.

“The traditional wedding image didn’t feel very us,” said Michelle Adorjan, senior vice president of marketing at the family-run firm. “We wanted to show something more effortless. It’s beautiful but also attainable.”

The two new fashion collections are Golden Bay, which includes yellow gold for the first time, paired with sky-blue topaz cabochons over hematite doublets; and Ivy Lane, a basics layering collection in yellow, rose and white gold. “Last fall, we unveiled Moon Rose, which was our first rose gold fashion collection. We had been nervous about the price point to move back to gold. But consumers loved it, so we wanted to move into yellow gold too.”

In watches, Bedat & Co. will unveil nine novelty styles not seen at Basel. A dial inspired by a wrought-iron table lamp is either digitally printed onto the face or worked in mother-of-pearl. The styles are around $11,000 to $12,000, about $1,000 more than the top of its regular range.

On the events front, the Diamond Empowerment Fund will hold its inaugural Diamonds in the Sky event on Thursday, featuring a performance by Chaka Khan; De Beers Group ceo Philippe Mellier will address retailers in his keynote on Friday, and Grammy-award winning singer and songwriter, Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20 will headline the JCK Rocks the Beach event on Sunday.

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