Kwiat’s new signature Harmony ring and setting.

Offering a handful of engagement ring styles is how bridal jewelry was done in the days when weddings were small and, unless the bride was Lady Diana Spencer, not televised. But today, weddings involve so much more, and fine jeweler Kwiat is offering...

Offering a handful of engagement ring styles is how bridal jewelry was done in the days when weddings were small and, unless the bride was Lady Diana Spencer, not televised. But today, weddings involve so much more, and fine jeweler Kwiat is offering the bride more, too.

The company has included engagement rings in its collection since it was established in 1907. But this month Kwiat is introducing a more comprehensive collection of rings and settings, as well as bracelets, earrings and necklaces for the bride, her mother and the bridal party.

“What’s new is the cohesion and organization of the category,” said Greg Kwiat, senior brand director. “We’re really approaching it now from more of a marketing standpoint.”

Kwiat’s design director, Janice DeBell, who joined the firm in August from Tiffany & Co., created a signature ring, Harmony. It features a round-cut diamond set in a modern platinum band with a “K” incorporated into the mounting. The Promise collection includes princess- and oval-cut diamond rings with pavé bands.

The platinum necklaces, bracelets, and earrings have a “light and lacy” feel, DeBell said. “They almost look like the detailing or embroidery that would be taken from a wedding dress.” The collection will be in 50 doors starting next month, and prices retail from $7,000 to over $1 million.

Kwiat’s approach to building this new collection stems from competition rising between brick-and-mortar retailers and the Internet.

“The Internet has created such an intense price competition that often when a customer walks into a retail store, the retailer’s playing catch-up,” Kwiat said. “As a regular high-end retailer, if you’re trying to compete on price you’re going to lose more than you win. So you need to win on the intangibles, like the trust and reputation the retailer builds with his customer and its own reputation in the market.”

To support the collection, Kwiat is launching an ad campaign in bridal books and a comprehensive Web site, which will offer men a step-by-step guide to buying the ring, as well as features like proposal stories and tips from beauty leaders and bridal designers. The company will not sell products on the site, and Kwiat declined to disclose wholesale projections for the bridal business.

This story first appeared in the October 11, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

— Emily Holt

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