Marrying Calvin Klein’s modern and clean philosophy with the often ornate tendencies of jewelry seems an impossible proposition. But the house is clearly up for the challenge.
CK Calvin Klein jewelry, which started rolling out in some countries this month with licensee Swatch Group AG, features clean lines and an abundance of sensually curved metal surfaces for a sexy but simple design aesthetic.
“We wanted to do something casual, something easy to wear that’s fun and emotional,” said Nadja Zerunian, a designer at Calvin Klein who worked on the jewelry.
The collection consists of up to 40 pieces, and Zerunian said the company deliberately stuck to stainless steel as the core metal.
“We chose stainless steel conscientiously because many people are allergic to silver,” Zerunian said. “In terms of production, precision was really important. The pieces are sleek and so precise, and because they are so highly polished, they have a soft, tactile feeling when you touch them.”
There are four groups — Yoyo, Precious, Ellipse and Liquid — comprised of rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, cuff links and pins, some set with diamonds. The jewelry retails from $60 to $400.
The line will be distributed to 60 countries in three phases, hitting select U.S. department and specialty stores in time for holiday selling. The company did not disclose sales projections.
“Jewelry represents a significant opportunity for Calvin Klein Inc.,” said Tom Murry, president and chief operating officer of CKI. “Jewelry is the logical next step based on the success of our watch collection and our successful relationship with Swatch Group Ltd.”
Swatch Group has been making CK watches since 1997.
“These agreements represent a long-term commitment, positioning the brand for success within both the watch and jewelry categories,” said Arlette E. Emch, president of CK Watch Co. Ltd.
The launch will be supported by a print advertising campaign for which Glen Luchford was the photographer. The ads are expected to break in the United States this fall, but the media buy has not been finalized yet.
The images are dreamy and ethereal in nature and show model Natalia Vodianova half-immersed in water, her face and jewelry reflected on the water’s still surface. “The feel of the jewelry campaign is moody and warm and romantic, but it’s still sexy, which is in keeping with the perspective of the things we do here,” said Kim Vernon, senior vice president of global advertising and communications for CKI. “[Natalia] being alone, and her beautiful skin with the jewelry against it, highlights the jewelry and still shows the beauty of [her]. Neither really overwhelms the other.” — Marc Karimzadeh
Who needs a watch strap?
At least that’s what Burberry is thinking with the recent release of its charm bracelet watch. Part of the signature watch collection, the charm bracelet watch is in silver and features 10 dangling Britain-inspired charms, plus the watch itself, which has a champagne dial and ruby cabochon crown.
“The idea behind the Burberry charm bracelet watch was to express all the British icons, such as Big Ben, the London buses, the Burberry trench coat and an umbrella, with a whimsical, feminine piece of jewelry,” said Christopher Bailey, creative director of Burberry. “It’s a piece that functions as a Swiss-made watch — representing Burberry’s British heritage of functionality and high
quality — with a touch of humor.”
The watch will be in stores starting in mid-October, and will retail for $450.
In addition, Burberry has launched a stainless steel, check-inspired logo bangle, with a caffe latte-colored watch dial. That will retail for $275. Both watches are made by Fossil, Burberry’s watch licensee. The cases are stamped with the Burberry Equestrian Knight, and each bears a unique serial number. — Samantha Conti
It’s a Wrap
For years, Diane von Furstenberg’s wrap dresses were all a woman needed to feel instantly and easily chic. But let’s face it, a few diamonds couldn’t hurt either.
Now, with the launch of the Diane von Furstenberg by H. Stern collection, those diamonds will be Diane von Furstenberg-designed, too. She has been trying to lure the Rio de Janeiro-based jeweler into a partnership for years, and in April, von Furstenberg finally got executives to sign on the dotted line.
The two brands do share a customer base. “We make jewelry for the powerful, independent, modern woman who buys for herself a few times a year,” said Andrea Hansen, director of marketing for H. Stern. Purchasing a $3,000 ring may be a stretch from a $300 dress, but keep in mind von Furstenberg’s best clients buy in bulk.
It’s likely the partnership will bring a new customer to H. Stern — a younger one who perhaps wouldn’t have sought out the brand before. However, they insist that’s not their overriding motivation. Rather it’s about keeping the design team fresh and continuing to move the brand forward.
“The search for inspiration in a totally unrelated area is nothing new at H. Stern,” Hansen said. “It’s in the company’s blood.” In the past, Catherine Deneuve and Brazilian musician Carlinhos Brown have been muses to H. Stern.
But whereas past artists have brought more abstract inspiration to the table, von Furstenberg came armed with concrete ideas. “Having collected jewelry all these years has made me quite an expert,” she said via e-mail. Her private coffers, with her antique and Indian finds, inspired the debut collection, which will bow for fall.
Roberto Stern, president and chief designer of H. Stern, incorporated 18-karat yellow gold, diamonds and other precious stones to create the line and based it on the different stages of von Furstenberg’s varied life — as business woman, Studio 54 socialite and matriarch. Or as the woman herself said it, “All that I am and that other women get inspired by.”
Full production and design details have yet to be finalized for the 50-piece collection. Items will retail from $600 to $30,000.
The collection will hit H. Stern’s New York flagship in October. Next spring, the line will be brought to H. Stern’s 160 stores in 12 countries, and von Furstenberg will hold trunk shows in her own boutiques.
Personal appearances are not a bad idea. How else would she be able to impart her philosophy to customers? “Jewelry should fascinate, be ornate and bring good luck,” she said. Here’s hoping. — Emily Holt