NEW YORK — Circa, a global buyer of jewelry, watches and diamonds from the public and trade, announced this week that Winona Capital Management has made a minority investment of $13 million in the company.
“Circa has been really rapidly growing and we weren’t really looking for money,” said chairman and chief executive officer Chris Del Gatto. “We met with a lot of firms over the past two years, but it was because of the relationship I formed with Winona that made me feel very good about this partnership. They really understand the business, and they want the business to grow the same way that I do.”
According to Del Gatto, who founded the company in 2001, Circa provides a liquid market for accessories for both the general public and trade industries. He divides the business into two distinct parts, describing the first “engine” as the one that buys gently worn jewelry from the public and the second part as a corporate leg that buys branded watches and jewelry directly from manufacturers and sells to discount retailers, including TJ Maxx, Costco, Sam’s Club and Loehmann’s and flash sale Web sites such as Gilt Groupe, Rue La La and HauteLook.
With respect to the former, Del Gatto said: “We provide a luxury service that never existed before, without all the stigma of what a liquid market meant. Whenever people thought about selling jewelry, you thought of a pawn shop. This shouldn’t be the case. With us, if you have a 3-karat diamond, you should be able to walk into a beautiful office and work with someone that’s an expert to get a check and a price that you couldn’t get anywhere else.”
This is the largest portion of the business — averaging about 65 percent — and Del Gatto maintains that a large part relies on advertising the company’s services in major publications such as The New York Times and Town & Country.
Circa currently operates offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, Palm Beach, Hong Kong and Barcelona, but as part of the new deal inked with Winona, plans include opening four to six new offices over the next four to six years — both domestically and internationally in locations such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Dallas, Madrid, Paris and Milan.
Additionally, the company announced last month that it finalized a long-term distribution deal with Milan-based watch brand Sector No Limits as an exclusive partner. Del Gatto said that Circa — which has been aggressively looking to sign a long-term deal with a specific brand in the category — will be responsible for building the timepiece company’s distribution in the U.S. and Caribbean, in both department stores and independent watch and jewelry retailers.
“I have focused on building on the strength of a brand and the power of the brand at retail,” said Phil Schwetz, director of Sector USA. “With its Italian design and influence, it’s truly a global brand. Using assets unique to Circa, we will create the resurgence of Sector No Limits in the U.S. market.”
The watches retail from $300 to just under $2,000 and will launch domestically for the first time at the JCK Las Vegas trade show next month.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye