SPARKLE PLENTY: Shortly after the opening of his first European store in London’s Mayfair, the Brazilian fine jeweler Ara Vartanian is partnering with Harvey Nichols to open a concession at the retailer’s new jewelry space.
A miniature version of the Mayfair boutique, the 110 square feet shop-in-shop concept features signature architectural elements, such as wooden panels and concrete-backed displays that evoke the intimate luxury for which Vartanian’s eponymous label is known.
The concession will stock a selection of jewelry, including a new line to launch for the holiday period, with prices ranging from 500 pounds, or $620, for entry-level pieces to 30,000 pounds, or $37,000, for one-of-a-kind items. Vartanian is known for sourcing rare stones that are often challenging to set, from iridescent opals to large tourmalines and rubellites. His rock ‘n’ roll two- and three-finger rings allow him to set these bigger stones without creating pieces that are too heavy.
“I’m still understanding the customer, so we are going to have a combination of all flavors in the Harvey Nichols space. I want to have an accessible price point, because being a new brand, I don’t want people to feel intimidated by my one-of-a-kind pieces with the crazy stones and crazy prices,” Vartanian said. “It’s like going to a restaurant, in the beginning you want to nibble on something. As a new label in Europe, I think it’s fair to do something that people can buy into to introduce themselves to the brand first.”
The designer said he hopes to catch passersby and people browsing in a more relaxed atmosphere. By contrast, his Mayfair boutique is located on a quiet corner on Bruton Place, off of Berkeley Square, and is more geared toward an intimate, one-on-one experience.
“Harvey Nichols was a great option as a second home for my jewelry,” Vartanian said, adding that he was drawn to the new concept of the renovated Harvey Nichols jewelry space, which is located on the ground floor between the new beauty and accessories departments. It will include shops-in-shop from jewelry brands, including Lebanese jeweler Selim Mouzannar, Annoushka and Kojis, known for its antique pieces.
“I thought they curated the space very delicately and tapped brands that speak to different customers. Someone can come and discover or buy a piece from my neighbors, then buy something from me, we will all be helping each other,” the designer said.
Jo Osborne, head of concessions and buying at Harvey Nichols, said that Vartanian’s pieces will appeal to customers looking for off-beat, individual pieces. She added the new space reflects the consumer’s evolving taste and will bridge the gap between the accessories department and the new beauty lounge, refurbished earlier this year.