By  on July 23, 2007

TV retail, no stranger to celebrity lines, is now tapping well-known and on-the-cusp designers.

On July 31, a new fine jewelry designer will join the mix. Austin, Tex.-based fine jewelry firm Anthony Nak will try TV with the launch of the Atelier Anthony Nak collection on QVC.

The line is similar in aesthetics, but different from the fine jewelry brand, which uses 18-karat gold and precious gemstones and has been worn by many celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Sarah Jessica Parker and First Lady Laura Bush and her daughters, Jenna and Barbara. The firm is known for wrapping gemstones in gold chains.

The line for QVC has more than a dozen styles and sells for $40 to $190, with silver and gemstone earrings, rings, bracelets and necklaces.

"As the business world has expanded, we want to become more accessible," said Anthony Camargo, who cofounded Anthony Nak with women's wear designer Nak Armstrong.

Camargo said it was important for the firm's steady customers who spend thousands of dollars on their products to not feel the brand has become diluted. A sales estimate wasn't available, but an industry source said the line could do $750,000 in the first hour on air.

"Everyone in design, sales and marketing is looking for alternative selling points that have credibility in front of consumers," said Andrew Jassin, managing director of the Jassin O'Rourke Group, a New York consulting firm. "There are some risks. You can cheapen the brand and turn off the normal retail trade and specialty shops."

Judith Ripka and Robert Lee Morris have thriving businesses selling their jewelry on QVC, while Faraone Mennella co-founder and designer Amedeo Scognamiglio sells his separate cameo jewelry business M + M Scognamiglio on HSN.

The networks also seem willing to make a designer out of the tabloid celebrity du jour, as is the case with Tori Spelling, who will hawk her 12-piece line of jewelry on HSN on Tuesday, to coincide with her 30th birthday celebration, according to a statement from the network.

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