“Jewelry is the ultimate gift in metal,” says Michael Aram, famous for his iconic handmade metal houseware that in the last decade has become a favorite for gifting.He may soon be just as recognized for his jewelry. “I’ve been working fast and furiously on new collections,” he told WWD during a stop to meet customers in Dubai last week at Bloomingdale's in Dubai Mall. Aram was heading off to India and Bangkok where he'll be working on the new collection, which he will present at The Couture Show in Las Vegas in June.The jewelry line first launched in 2014 through a license agreement with Jacmel. But Aram said after the license expired in January, he has taken the jewelry back in-house. And he is spending a lot of time on the category.“Jewelry is very exciting for me because it’s a different scale, a different league. It’s a whole new customer I can talk to.” It is also a category the artist and designer sees as having huge potential for growth. “I could just see the jewelry business one day even surpass the home business,” he said. “There is a visibility attached to a fashion business. It’s the difference between being on the main floor versus being on the third floor.” The company’s chief executive officer, Terri Eagle, joined the company two years ago. She previously held positions at David Yurman and John Hardy, working in strategic experiences for the company.[caption id="attachment_10889591" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Jewelry from Michael Aram.[/caption]Jewelry has long been an area of interest for Aram. “I had worked on the jewelry for 10 years just as a hobby. Then we were approached by someone who wanted to license us and we took it because I was anxious to get jewelry out into the market.”Aram said having long-standing partnerships with retailers like Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus helped elevate awareness for the jewelry quickly. “We have been able to get incredible real estate on the floor.” This has given him the opportunity to go from the third floor of department stores to the main area. “There are many thousands of talented jewelry designers, but we hear about the same 15, who are all my neighbors on the floor. So in terms of visibility and market share, even though we are babies in the business we have been able to get incredible real estate so far.”Michael Aram housewares rank among the top bridal registry resources for Bloomingdale's. Aram said that lends itself to a natural segway toward jewelry. “If a client puts the brand on her registry it means she’s already aware of it, might be a collector and will transition to the jewelry very easily.”The brand’s look has evolved in the new collections. “Our earlier jewelry collections were more sculptural,” explained Aram. The pieces now will have more movement to them. He says he’s focused on “how things feel on the body and capturing the sensuality of movement.” Working with stones has opened up a whole new world.[caption id="attachment_10888775" align="aligncenter" width="454"] Designer Michael Aram[/caption]Aram says he wants his pieces to be durable and worn often. “Like my objects for the home, I’m really focused on creating things that are really beautiful but also functional. With the jewelry, it’s stuff that you can either dress up or dress down. I hesitate to call things fine jewelry for that reason.” The pieces range in price from $200-$90,000.
Michael Aram is currently across home categories from metal and crystal to porcelain. He also is expanding further in furniture, lighting, textiles for the home and carpets. Eventually, the designer says he would like to have his own stores. “Our next great opportunity is to do stand-alone retail.”
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia