By  on September 20, 2007

At least one fine jeweler doesn't want to endure the crush of competition on Madison Avenue.

When Manfredi the Milanese jeweler decided to open a store in New York after shuttering its Madison Avenue boutique in 2004, it had to be Park Avenue, taking a different route than brands such as Chopard, Graff, Kwiat, Ivanka Trump, Stephen Russell and Kentshire, which plan to open their first or larger stores on Madison.

"Manfredi [jewelry] is for people who are elegant and sophisticated," said Giulio Manfredi, founder and designer of the 34-year-old firm, who said he opted for Park Avenue because, "We really wanted to keep the exclusivity."

Manfredi jewelry was popular in the Eighties at the same time Manfredi himself designed Gucci fine jewelry. He is known for his amorphous shapes juxtaposed with clean geometric lines and his use of gemstones with bright hues.

The brand, which has boutiques in locations such as Milan and Rome, opened a store in Shanghai earlier this month. There are plans to open two to three additional stores in the U.S. in cities including Los Angeles and Chicago. The company also has franchised stores in Belgium, Germany and Japan.

The 2,000-square-foot Manhattan flagship at 470 Park Avenue will open with a private party tonight. The store has walls of hand-hewn slate and polished blackened steel. The floors are a combination of slate and specially crafted silvered leather, and the jewelry display cases are made from black oak. There is also a private viewing room.

Key styles include a gold link necklace set with garnets and peridots, polished gold cocktail rings embedded with stones and geometric lever-back earrings with colored stones and diamonds. Prices range from $2,500 for a pair of earrings to $300,000 for a rare, numbered gold and gemstone necklace.

The company will also offer an edited selection of watches. Down the line, Manfredi plans to launch an accessories line, including leather handbags.

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