“Jewelry is the ultimate gift in metal,” says Michael Aram, famous for his iconic handmade metal houseware that in the last decade has become a favorite for gifting.He may soon be just as recognized for his jewelry. “I’ve been working fast and furiously on new collections,” he told WWD during a stop to meet customers in Dubai last week at Bloomingdale's in Dubai Mall. Aram was heading off to India and Bangkok where he'll be working on the new collection, which he will present at The Couture Show in Las Vegas in June.The jewelry line first launched in 2014 through a license agreement with Jacmel. But Aram said after the license expired in January, he has taken the jewelry back in-house. And he is spending a lot of time on the category.“Jewelry is very exciting for me because it’s a different scale, a different league. It’s a whole new customer I can talk to.” It is also a category the artist and designer sees as having huge potential for growth. “I could just see the jewelry business one day even surpass the home business,” he said. “There is a visibility attached to a fashion business. It’s the difference between being on the main floor versus being on the third floor.” The company’s chief executive officer, Terri Eagle, joined the company two years ago. She previously held positions at David Yurman and John Hardy, working in strategic experiences for the company.[caption id="attachment_10889591" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Jewelry from Michael Aram.[/caption]Jewelry has long been an area of interest for Aram. “I had worked on the jewelry for 10 years just as a hobby. Then we were approached by someone who wanted to license us and we took it because I was anxious to get jewelry out into the market.”Aram said having long-standing partnerships with retailers like Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus helped elevate awareness for the jewelry quickly. “We have been able to get incredible real estate on the floor.” This has given him the opportunity to go from the third floor of department stores to the main area. “There are many thousands of talented jewelry designers, but we hear about the same 15, who are all my neighbors on the floor. So in terms of visibility and market share, even though we are babies in the business we have been able to get incredible real estate so far.”Michael Aram housewares rank among the top bridal registry resources for Bloomingdale's. Aram said that lends itself to a natural segway toward jewelry. “If a client puts the brand on her registry it means she’s already aware of it, might be a collector and will transition to the jewelry very easily.”The brand’s look has evolved in the new collections. “Our earlier jewelry collections were more sculptural,” explained Aram. The pieces now will have more movement to them. He says he’s focused on “how things feel on the body and capturing the sensuality of movement.” Working with stones has opened up a whole new world.[caption id="attachment_10888775" align="aligncenter" width="454"] Designer Michael Aram[/caption]Aram says he wants his pieces to be durable and worn often. “Like my objects for the home, I’m really focused on creating things that are really beautiful but also functional. With the jewelry, it’s stuff that you can either dress up or dress down. I hesitate to call things fine jewelry for that reason.” The pieces range in price from $200-$90,000.
Michael Aram is currently across home categories from metal and crystal to porcelain. He also is expanding further in furniture, lighting, textiles for the home and carpets. Eventually, the designer says he would like to have his own stores. “Our next great opportunity is to do stand-alone retail.”
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion