Imberman, the granddaughter of Kentshire founder Benson Imberman, worked in costume design, styling and even floral design before joining the business three years ago to focus on the company's estate jewelry category.
Kentshire was founded in 1940 as a dealer of antique furniture and accessories. It is owned by Imberman's parents, Marcie and Frederic, and her aunt and uncle, Ellen and Robert Israel. The men, including Carrie's brother, Matthew, head the furniture side of the business. The women run the antique period and estate jewelry, which launched in 1980.
The firm recently supplemented its East 12th Street location in New York with a 3,500-square-foot, three-story boutique in a town house at 700 Madison Avenue. Jewelry is on the main floor and furniture and objects are showcased on the upper levels. The firm also has a leased space for jewelry in Bergdorf Goodman.
Imberman's goal in working with her family is to introduce a new client to estate jewelry, which can seem stodgy and inaccessible. Imberman, 31, who was raised in Brooklyn and described her style as "downtown," is associated with the fashion and celebrity crowd. She counts Chloë Sevigny and designer Benjamin Cho as friends and sometime muses.
"Every dealer says they're surprised to see a young person involved in the business," she said. "I've always been a thrift store junkie and this is the ultimate thrifting — but with a much larger checkbook."
One initiative that Imberman believes will help draw a younger and perhaps a shallower-pocketed customer is a nascent costume jewelry department at the Madison Avenue boutique. She has sourced vintage costume jewelry by the likes of Christian Dior, Chanel and Miriam Haskell that ranges from $300 to $3,000 for a rare or intricate piece. One of the most in-demand designers is Chanel from the Eighties and Nineties.
"We don't have a lot of occasions to wear a big diamond necklace," Imberman said. "And the price point is more forgiving than fine jewelry."
She is also at work on a trunk show of vintage handbags.
"In the last five years, there has been a renewed interest in estate," she said. "Hollywood has been having a romance with all things vintage and one-of-a-kind and all of my friends are completely into antique jewelry. Buying estate is a great way to get pieces that are no longer out there and it's likely that no one else will have it."Fine estate jewelry is a hot seller, as well. Prices for fine jewelry start at $2,000 and go as high as $600,000. One standout piece Imberman recently acquired is a Rene Boivin gold collar that has a segment with pavé diamonds that are reversible to wear for day or evening.
"We sought out signed pieces of brands that were at the height of their powers, like Rene Boivin, Fouquet, vintage Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Boucheron," Imberman said. "There was a time where we never carried vintage Bulgari, but now that the look has swung to a more graphic Seventies look, we are sourcing more of it."
“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