Taking inspiration from physics to architecture,these new watch and jewelry brands are making their mark on the industry.
Three years after creating his brand, Jerome DeWitt continues to build his firm with quality and exclusivity as his guidelines. A descendent of Napoleon, DeWitt makes watches that are engineering marvels, giving a modern twist to the Swiss tradition. He has recently focused more on watches geared to women, including pieces with diamond bezels.
“Luxury should be more than words,” said DeWitt. “It should be real. We want to be a product linked to quality.”
DeWitt produces about 1,000 pieces a year with prices starting at 28,000 Swiss francs, or $23,000 at current exchange. Though he’s only referenced his Napoleonic pedigree obliquely for the moment, De Witt is thinking how to do so in the future.
“We won’t do a watch celebrating a battle,” he says. “But I’m sure there’s something Napoleonic that we can do.”
— Robert Murphy
It wasn’t a shot in the dark when finance guy Mattia Cielo ventured into jewelry to start his namesake company. Gems run in the blood of this 35-year-old Italian — his father, Sergio, founded Cielo Venezia 1270, a leading jewelry company known for its Miluna, Nimei, Arkano and Kiara brands.
To design his baubles, Cielo wanted something completely novel and revolutionary. So he tapped Massimiliano Boni, who has a background in
“We want to rewrite the rules of jewelry by bringing back to life ancient manufacturing techniques melded with modern technology,” said Cielo.
His industrial design-inspired pieces liberally mix gold, diamonds and stones of all types to create pieces that sparkle with light and movement. From afar, a dome-shaped diamond ring looks smooth, but close up 220 diamonds (18 carats) can be seen resting atop gold springs that add explosive movement. The line is sold in select boutiques, such as Bergdorf Goodman in New York, in addition to stores in locales such as Dubai, Hong Kong and Germany. Prices range from $6,000 to $100,000.
— Alessandra Turra
Carolyn Rodney has always been the artistic type.
For 15 years, she split her time between New York and Los Angeles as a sculptor, painter and set designer. But it was on a life-changing trip to India that she realized her true calling lied in another art form — jewelry.
“I had always had a huge fascination with precious stones and seeing traditional Indian jewelry inspired me to start making my own pieces,” said Rodney.
Now the British designer lives between New York, London and Jaipur, India, where she designs and manufactures her signature peacock bangles, gold earrings and Eastern-inspired necklaces ensconced in rubies, diamonds and sapphires. Most of Rodney’s pieces retail from $2,000 up to $45,000 and are available on a private basis in London, as well as at select Neiman Marcus stores in the U.S. While she still considers herself a novice of sorts, Rodney said this endeavor was simply “meant to be.”
“I could have never foreseen this happening, I never even made jewelry before,” Rodney said. “But I put a pen to paper and it manifested. Everything happened by magic.” — Caroline Tell
When Badollet, the watchmaker founded in 1655, closed its doors in 1924, it was the end of one of Switzerland’s most storied manufacturers. But in an era of Lazarus luxury, it was only a matter of time before a savvy entrepreneur resurrected the name. It was revived last year by Robert Pferdmenges, a German investor who is a watch collector.
Now, the company, which manufactures 50 to 80 pieces a year, wants to beef up its presence in America. With watches that start at 150,000 euros, or $189,000, with complicated movements like tourbillons and minute repeaters, the key to the future is exclusivity, according to chief executive officer Aldo Magada. One of Badollet’s marketing ploys is its ability to personalize watches.
“We can customize everything,” said Magada. “From the color of the face to the material of the watch. No two watches are the same.”
Magada said the firm’s objective was to sell 150 to 200 watches a year.
“That would be extraordinary,” he said.
For Ana Guity Stein, jewelry making is similar to constructing buildings — but the scale is a tad different.
The designer and founder of Anahita jewelry incorporates her background as a residential architect into gold and gemstone drop earrings with curving volutes echoing a building’s cornice, and pendant earrings with mint tourmalines, sapphires and mandarin garnet that have a skylight affect.
“I’m an architect by trade, so I was always interested in design,” says the 39-year-old Tehran, Iran, native who grew up across Germany, England and the U.S., and now resides in Manhattan. “I love sculpture and I wanted a line that has sculpture combined with movement for a sensual feel.”
Anahita is sold privately through the designer who can be contacted through her Web site, anahitajewelry.com.
Stein, who counts artist Dale Chihuly as a key inspiration for her jewels, uses color in novel way. She pairs unlikely stones such as a blue-gray moonstone ring set with rubies or a show-stopping necklace made of white gold with yellow beryl, pink tourmaline and diamonds. Prices range from $2,000 to $63,000 for the necklace. — Sophia Chabbott
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews