“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.”
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.