More jewelry makers are joining forces with apparel designers to accessorize spring runway shows.
Fashion week always generates plenty of buzz and media attention, and now more watch and jewelry firms are looking to get in on the action.
Most fine jewelry and watch firms have traditionally stayed outside the realm of 7th on Sixth, choosing instead to showcase their creations at industry trade shows and high-profile award ceremonies. This season, however, more companies are working with apparel designers to show their products and make their presence felt at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. And for some of them, it’s their first taste of the runway scene.
"Jewelry has to be part of fashion," said Henri Barguirdjian, president of London-based Graff Jewelers, which is slated to have its diamond jewelry worn by models at the Badgley Mischka show. "And this is a good way for us to get our name out more."
Among other jewelry and watch companies taking part in fashion week are Verdura, Piaget, Baume & Mercier and Elara Diamonds, which is producing diamond jewelry created by apparel designer Cynthia Steffe.
Swarovski, the crystal accessories company which has a rich history working with apparel designers, is sponsoring Zac Posen, Miguel Adrover and Elisa Jimenez. There’s also a new show called Afridesia, sponsored by South Africa-based gold company AngloGold, featuring apparel and gold jewelry from three of that country’s designers: Clive Rundle, Julian Smith and Malcolm Kluk. The Afridesia show is slated for 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21 at the N.Y. Public Library.
And jewelry trade organizations including Perles de Tahiti, the Tahiti-based promotional group, and the Diamond Information Center, the promotional arm of De Beers Group’s Diamond Trading Company, are holding events and activities timed to coincide with the week.
Diamond Information Center is also for the first time showcasing diamond jewelry at the Vanity Fair Atelier which will be held at the Bryant Park Hotel throughout fashion week. Among companies whose work will be displayed there are Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels, H. Stern and Leslie Greene.
This season marks the first time Piaget is involved in fashion week. The company, best known for its watches, is playing host to designer David Rodriguez’s spring runway show, which will be held at Piaget’s Fifth Avenue boutique on Tuesday, Sept. 17. In conjunction with the show, Piaget will kick off its new pearl, gold and diamond jewelry collection called Pearlissima, said Sue Garvey, the company’s marketing director.Watch company Baume & Mercier is working with designer Carmen Marc Valvo to have its watches accessorize runway looks.
"Our customers, especially for our Linea line, are interested in trends and fashion," said Edward Wright, president of Baume & Mercier North America. "I think this sort of collaboration heightens visibility for our product and it’s important for us to reach out to our customers in different ways."
Meanwhile, for her show, designer Cynthia Steffe sketched her own diamond jewelry designs, being produced by diamond firm Elara Diamonds.
"Last year we supplied diamond jewelry for her show, and this year we broached the idea with her about her creating the jewelry and she was interested," said Sarah Young, Elara’s director of marketing. "It is a good fit for us, because she has feminine clothes which work well with our jewelry."
Verdura, the luxury diamond and jewelry company, is partnering with designer John Anthony, who is having an event the evening of Sept. 18th to celebrate the opening of his new Atelier on 57th Street.
Pamela Eldridge, Verdura’s director of advertising and promotion, said: "It’s a more intimate setting and guests will be able to look up close at the jewelry."
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