OLD IS NEW AGAIN
IN BUSINESS MORE THAN A CENTURY, CINER MOVES WITH THE TIMES.
Byline: Holly Haber
Ciner Fashion Jewelry, a 109-year-old company, has introduced an updated collection made with colorful semiprecious gems and entered the Dallas market for the first time by showing at Carol Quist in room 4G63.
Ciner is well known for ladylike styles that mimic fine jewelry, but are made of gold electroplate, Austrian crystals, pave rhinestones and enamel. The new pieces have the same luxe feeling, but more contemporary styling.
“It’s the look of the times,” explained Pat Ciner Hill, co-owner and vice president. “With all the color in fashion continuing, it’s a wonderful way to project that, because nature does a much better job of color than we do. Even though we are 109 years old, we try to be current and want to stay with the times and with fashion, and even help lead it.”
Ciner’s design team worked with aquamarine, peridot, amethyst, colored freshwater pearls, citrine, smoky quartz, tiger’s eye, blue topaz and coral to create the new looks.
Like the core collection, which numbers about 1,000 pieces, Ciner’s semiprecious styles are substantial pieces of jewelry.
A bestseller has been a green and purple ombred choker with 12 strands of aquamarine nuggets, faceted amethyst, peridot beads and blue freshwater pearls. It wholesales for $285. Ciner also offers a six-strand matching bracelet for $115 and chic goldplated hoop earrings with aquamarine nuggets for $25.
Other hot styles are a 16-strand peridot necklace for $195 and a 13-strand blue topaz, blue freshwater pearl and aquamarine necklace for $205 with matching goldpated amethyst and aquamarine tassel earrings.
The new looks generally wholesale from $25 for earrings to $300 for multistrand chokers with a variety of stones.
“For spring we will be going forward with color but we are thinking more in ombre shades of color,” Hill noted. “Shading is very important.”
The core collection ranges from $10, to $500 for a heavy pave crystal necklace.
“The pins are predominately $85, $90 and $125,” Ciner noted. “They have handset Austrian crystal or cut-glass cabochon, and some have cubic zirconia. They are not semiprecious yet — that is the next step.”
The company does more than $3 million annually, and Hill claimed that business is “exploding” with the semiprecious styles.
“More and more people are discovering us because of this whole new look,” she said.
Ciner’s key accounts are Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Jacobson’s, as well as independent specialty stores in the U.S. and abroad.
Until last August, Ciner had never before shown outside New York City, where its headquarters and production are on 37th Street.
“The line is so big that it’s difficult to have it in different showrooms so it was something I had resisted,” Hill explained. “I met Carol at a show and was very impressed with her and decided it was time. We took [to Dallas] primarily the semiprecious pieces and the pins and a few other things, but it’s not the complete line. August market was excellent. We were tremendously busy.”
Ciner started out as a fine jewelry firm founded by Hill’s grandfather, Emanuel Ciner. He switched his focus to fashion jewelry during the Depression.
“We believe we’re making a fine piece of jewelry; it’s only the materials that are not,” Hill noted. “One of the things we do is if you want a necklace an inch longer or with a different clasp, we will do that because everything is made to order. Nothing is picked from inventory. Or a customer will come in with a swatch of fabric and ask for a pin to match a suit. We’ll figure out a way of doing it. We’ve had people order necklaces for dogs.”
Hill does not plan to be at market here in October, but expects to visit for the January show. She also exhibits the line at ENK Accessorie Circuit in New York.
Mused Hill, “We’re probably the last of the old-time fashion jewelry companies to have survived to the 21st century.”