Moda Operandi is hoping to do for fine jewelry what it did for fashion: give clients early access to preorder the upcoming season’s collections of emerging and established designers through live trunk shows held at five global venues.

First up is Moda Operandi x Couture, beginning June 3 during the Couture show, a trade venue in Las Vegas that begins on June 2.

This is the first time the collections will be shoppable during the event. Moda Operandi is working closely with the Couture Show, but is not an official sponsor.

Other fine-jewelry stops on Moda Operandi’s world tour will include Paris, Milan and New York during the fall ready-to-wear season; Vincenzaoro, the fine-jewelry boutique in Vicenza, Italy in January 2018, followed by Baselworld in Basel, Switzerland in March, and “high jewelry” in Paris in July, during the couture collections.

It’s no surprise that Moda Operandi wants to maximize jewelry, which has seen sales explode with a 200-plus percent gain year-to-date over 2016, while the category’s average order value of $3,000 is 60 percent higher than other categories.

“We’ll curate trunk shows that present a collection in the spirit the designer intended,” said Deborah Nicodemus, Moda Operandi’s chief executive officer. “We’ll feature 30-plus designers during the Couture show, starting with 10 on Day One. Each day we’ll be presenting 10 new lines. We’ll have a full crew, photographers, models and editors to bring the show to life so you feel you’re experiencing couture as you would from a fashion runway.”

Moda Operandi will launch brands including Bayco, Silvia Furmanovich, Marie Mas, Yeprem, Sutra, Hueb and Nikos Koulis.

Nicodemus believes the symbiotic relationship between fine jewelry and fashion hasn’t been fully exploited by retailers and sees an opportunity to gain market share. “We’re going to tie trends for upcoming seasons directly into ready-to-wear and galvanize the connection between jewelry and fashion,” she said. “Retailers [compartmentalize] jewelry and fashion into departments, creating a disjointed experience for clients. We know the client purchases the total look just as it’s seen on the runway. We’re solidifying the connection between fine jewelry and fashion by making that personal statement that is her look. We’ll merchandise to the look rather than the department.”

Nicodemus noted that Moda Operandi with its trunk shows, offers a designer’s entire collection, versus department stores, which “just share the commercial aspects, about 25 percent. We’ve built our business through fashion runways. Our customer shops with us seven times a year. She’s looking for the unique.”

Data showed that the Moda Operandi customer buys both apparel and nonapparel items, which gave Nicodemus the confidence to execute her fine jewelry plan. “She’s willing to purchase fine jewelry when it’s final sale,” Nicodemus said, adding that the company’s business is balanced between trunk show preorders and immediate shipping from its boutique.

“Self purchase is on the rise and it demonstrates her confidence in purchasing fine jewelry online,” Nicodemus said, adding that Moda Operandi’s overall business was up 65 percent for the first quarter of 2017 and is ahead 70 percent year-to-date.

Besides the full collections, a new Jewelry Salon will feature trends distilled from the Couture trade show to introduce more than 30 designers for an immersive shopping experience. “We’re solidifying the collection between fine and fashion making that personal statement that is her look,” she said. “We’re also launching a dedicated look book featuring the best of couture fine jewelry trends that can be preordered now. Luxury brands move very slowly and fine jewelry may be slower. We’ve broken down the notion that you can’t sell fine jewelry online.”

Nicodemus said the price range for fine jewelry was between $10,000 and $100,000 when Moda Operandi launched the category. For the last two years, $5,000 to $10,000 has been the best-selling price range. “The success of trunk shows segued into in-season boutiques and our physical showrooms,” she said. “We ring a bell when we sell something for $75,000 or more.”

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