NEW YORK — Monique Lhuillier is launching fine jewelry,beginning with engagement rings and wedding bands, in a licensing dealwith Blue Nile, the Seattle-based online jeweler.
Thecollection, called Monique Lhuillier Fine Jewelry, will be availableexclusively at Blue Nile in October. It marks a milestone for bothLhuillier, who launched her bridal business in 1996, followed byready-to-wear in 2002, and Blue Nile, for which this is the company’sfirst designer-branded partnership.
“It’s a naturalprogression,” said Lhuillier, who has kicked her business into expansionmode recently, introducing shoes for spring, with a Madison Avenuestore opening this month. “We reflected on how we wanted to grow ourbusiness and our company. It just took us a while to find the rightjewelry partner.”
Lhuillier designed 40-plus setting stockkeepingunits, which reflect her signature lacework via engraving and micropavé details. Prices range from $2,500 to $5,000. Many of the rings areset with a pink sapphire, hidden in most cases so only the wearer knowsit’s there. Stones are sold separately and range in price from a fewthousand dollars up to $1 million, but cuts and sizes are suggestedbased on the chosen setting. “Usually the bride gets her dress after theengagement ring,” said Lhuillier. “With the rings, we’re getting infront of the bride earlier in the process.”
She noted that today athird of brides steer their fiancé toward the ring of their choice, apractice that has evolved since Lhuillier married her husband andbusiness partner, Tom Bugbee, 18 years ago. “I have a very classicemerald cut stone with four prongs and two triangles on each side,” shesaid of her own engagement ring. “I was a very young bride and didn’thave much say. Now the trend is women are getting married when they’reolder. She knows what she wants and she’s aware of my brand.”
BlueNile launched in 1999 under the direction of founder Mark Vadon. HarveyKanter, who took over as chief executive officer in March, called thecompany “the biggest online jewelry retailer in the world,” doingbusiness in 48 countries with 2012 sales projected at $384 million to$417 million. Engagement and bridal jewelry represents between 65 and 75percent of the business. As part of Kanter’s new strategy, the companywill be moving into fashion jewelry for 2013, including a collection byLhuillier that extends beyond bridal. Partnering with Lhuillier is thefirst step in that direction.
“Monique is one of the hottestbridal designers out there,” said Kanter. “So we went out and looked fora partnership and she made a lot of sense. It’s all part of ourcontinued pursuit to continue to take advantage of and create aninteractive experience with the woman who comes to our site but doesn’tfind the level of fashion she’s looking for.”
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)