As the newly installed president of Beekman New York, Keith Rosen is a big believer in melding the luxury sector and the sharing economy.
Prior to taking on the role, Rosen worked as managing director of DeGrisogono for The Americas. Further back, he spent nearly 18 years at Piaget North America. And Rosen had a “really great experience before then” at Tourneau in its original family-run days.
Launching a site in February 2020, just before the pandemic took hold, proved to be a challenge for Beekman New York, but the company’s collection of jewels distinguishes it from competitors, Rosen contended. Optimistic about the potential of post-pandemic jewelry sharing and recent site traffic, he said, “I look at it as the beginning of a new brand.”
Launched by Christian Keesee with the help of private investors, Beekman New York offers fine jewelry from Bulgari, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., David Webb, Verdura and others. The company has 1,000-plus pieces in what Rosen described as a historical and important collection. A few in-house stylists schedule video appointments with clients. A subscription is available for $69 a month or daily rentals are offered without memberships. Rates range from $25 a day to $1,500 a day.
If members borrow a piece a few times and then decide they would like to purchase the item, they have the opportunity to do so. Many of the pieces were curated from major auction houses like Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips, as well as through private estate sales. Many of the pieces are not available through traditional retail, Rosen said. “One of the nice things [about the service] is being able to borrow jewels that are hard to access,” he said.
The recent death of Tiffany jewelry designer Elsa Peretti has sparked interest in Beekman New York’s pieces by her. “With the pieces that we possess, we find that quite often when there’s a story regarding the history of one of the designers, we do get additional interest.”
Rosen succeeds Sharon Novak, who had been the founding president since 2018.
His plans include creating collaborations within the luxury space outside of jewelry. “Sharing today is a big part of the retail landscape. You have air [carriers] and hotels. Certainly, there are great opportunities as well as opportunities within the space. This is a new way to offer a service to a client that maybe supports brands and other brand building within the jewelry landscape,” Rosen said.
As the pandemic eases in the U.S. and globally, there is the potential for clients to seek out great experiences, Rosen said. “We will be on the list as one of those types of experiences. The first thing that I think is coming back are weddings. They have been postponed over the course of the past 14 months. And bookings for the next two years are incredible. These latest inquiries that we have been receiving are from mothers of the bride and brides to be. It makes perfect sense. Everybody has gone through what they have individually or as families. There’s a lot of potential to make up for lost time.”
Rent the Runway, for example, has seen an uptick in orders for April and May in the U.S. with people booking styles for special occasions among other reasons, according to a company spokeswoman.
As the pandemic made videoconferencing more routine, Beekman New York saw that earrings were a big trend in jewelry. “That’s not going to go anywhere. The advent of videoconferencing for business and also social is here to stay for a while. So earrings make a lot of sense,” Rosen said. “For weddings, it could be necklaces and bracelets as well. We see, of course, a lot of color, which is a big trend. Some of our pieces are very artistic and you can see a lot of really amazing colors in our collection.”
In the months ahead, the team will be taking a closer look at the design of its site and customers’ experience. Through his experience in dealing with the most discerning clients at the highest level of luxury, Rosen said, “You have to offer that level of experience to back it up. We want to make sure that we are offering that. Technology plays a big part in it, and technology moves fast. We have to stay on top of that, and that’s been exciting to have a number of meetings. There are so many players in the digital space today that can improve how you’re presented.”