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Harry Winston is toasting its hometown.
This story first appeared in the July 27, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The diamond jewelry and watch firm’s latest collection, called Made in New York, translates the city into a language in which it is well versed — diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and the like.
The house’s vice president of design, Sandrine de Laage, formerly located in Paris, came up with the idea to do a collection based on New York landmarks after her many intercontinental trips to New York for work. Laage cited the “melting pot, savoir fair and energy” of New York as obvious sources of inspiration. She found inspiration in things ordinary and not.
“My vision of New York is the glamour, the creativity and the night life,” said Laage. “All the energy and creativity inspired me.”
The Guggenheim pendent is a swirl of pavé diamonds echoing Frank Lloyd Wright’s spiraling architectural masterpiece and Skyscraper resembles the top of the Chrysler building with its curving Art Deco arcs — except Winston’s ring is topped with a blue cabochon sapphire. Some other standout pieces include Central Park, an oblique arrangement of diamond baguettes offset with a 7-carat emerald representing the park, and the Sunset series, which contains a necklace of graduated padparadscha sapphires divided by diamond baguettes. There are also jeweled and complicated watches in the collection.
The line consists of 40 pieces and, according to Thomas J. O’Neill, chief executive officer of Harry Winston, it will be a significant source of sales, although he declined to project how much.
“In these sorts of times, creative companies will thrive,” said O’Neill, who said luxury goods are still relevant and selling, but that it’s “more muted than in the past few years. There’s not a lot of noise about it.”
Winston, which launches a large high jewelry collection every two years or so, plans on marketing the Made in New York collection through print advertising. The collection will travel through Winston’s store network across the U.S., Europe and Asia in the coming months.
Prices start at $2,200 for a white gold and diamond pendant and go up to $2.5 million for the padparadscha sapphire and diamond Sunset necklace.
In June, Harry Winston Diamond Corp.’s reported operating losses at the Harry Winston chain more than doubled to $5 million from $2.4 million a year earlier, as sales fell 30.4 percent to $52 million.