GEM OF A NIGHT: The Jewelers of America last week marked the annual Gem Awards event, back in person after being held digitally in 2021 due to the global pandemic.
The evening honored designers, retailers, editors and executives for their contributions to the jewelry industry over the last year. Winners included Lorraine Schwartz for Jewelry Style and Stephen Lussier, DeBeers Group’s executive vice president for brands and consumer markets, for Lifetime Achievement as well as awards for jewelry design, media excellence and retail excellence.
“Being with her is like coming home,” explained Blake Lively, who kicked off the night in a Sergio Hudson look to giving a heartfelt speech about working with Lorraine Schwartz. Along with Lively there were videos from Tina Knowles, Pharrell Williams, Heidi Klum and Kim Kardashian, each praising the designer’s work.
“Yes, she cares about the jewels, but what she cares about more are the people, the humanity, the connectivity,” Lively continued, recalling her initial meeting with Schwartz for Lively’s first Met Ball.
Her speech underscored a theme of the night: the deep sense of community within the tight-knit jewelry community. The excitement in the room was palpable, with guests marking the 20th anniversary of the event by expressing gratitude about being able to gather in person.
“This is an amazing industry and we can do much together,” Schwartz, a third-generation diamond dealer, said while giving thanks to her family and team. She also spoke to the Black, Indigenous and people of color designers who are part of the program she spearheads with the Natural Diamond Council, remarking, “I’m so proud of you and I’ve got your back. One day I hope you too will be up here.”
Next up was the award for media excellence, given to Melanie Grant. The journalist pointed out that she grew up in a council estate in the U.K. and never thought the luxury world was open to her, but she explained that she has been welcomed in. “I’m very privileged to be able bring people like me along for the ride,” she said.
Marissa Collections took home the win for retail excellence, beating Muse and Saks Fifth Avenue. Jewelry Design was awarded to Lauren Harwell Godfrey, who was brought to tears by her win. “It’s been such an honor to be a part of this category,” she remarked, highlighting her team and all those along the way who have helped her.
“While this is an award about the past year, to me it’s about the future. I want make you proud,” she said, explaining a big part of her work is also being able to give back to causes she cares about. “By shining a light on these causes, the support, it’s only going to grow,” she said, closing by asking for a bottle of tequila to be brought to her table to celebrate. — THOMAS WALLER
Aimed at promoting a more conscious consumption, the new initiative is to offer exclusive pieces and capsule collections crafted from deadstock fabrics.
To feed this section, the e-tailer will partner with a series of international designers, the first of which is Caterina Gatta. For Yoox, the Rome-based indie talent has developed a focused capsule collection including 10 tops and 10 skirts crafted from colorful fabrics recovered from Italian artisanal laboratories.
Launching on Tuesday, the range is priced between 150 euros and 240 euros.
Holding a degree in fashion and costume sciences from La Sapienza University of Rome, Gatta started her career by collecting vintage fabrics across Europe with the mission to breathe new life into retro items. To focus attention on the textiles and prints, Gatta designs basic, clean silhouettes, sometimes made quirky with the unconventional use of origami-inspired, three-dimensional details.
The Yooxygen social and environmentally conscious platform launched on Earth Day 2008 to promote sustainable fashion practices through education and collaborations.
Brands and products showcased in this area are selected for representing one or more of four attributes: being better for people; the planet; animals, or being innovators by pushing the boundaries of sustainable design with the application of innovative technologies, new materials and cutting edge approaches to manufacturing.
The e-commerce’s initiatives reinforce Yoox Net-a-porter Group’s overall 2030 strategy for sustainability, named “Infinity.” This 10-year plan is underpinned by 12 measurable commitments that connect to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, focusing on four areas — Circular Business, Circular Culture, Planet Positive and People Positive — each of which is designed to advance the company’s ambition of providing circular and long-lasting luxury fashion. — SANDRA SALIBIAN
The two brands are teaming on their latest sneaker collaboration for the Converse Chuck 70 shoe. The collaboration includes hi and lo versions of the Converse 70 sneaker in white and black featuring Comme des Garçons’ well-known heart-and-eyes logo, as well as a red sole and foxing.
For the collaboration, the brands partnered with creative directors Ronnie Cooke Newhouse and Karl Bolander as well as fashion photographer Craig McDean for the campaign. In the campaign, the styles are photographed against a sleek red backdrop stacked on top of each other.
The brands’ most recent collaboration came out during the holidays and included a restock of eight different Chuck 70 iterations, such as original pairs with the heart motif as well as others in a blue and gray colorway.
Converse has regularly teamed with various fashion brands and designers for collaborations over the year. Last year alone, the shoe brand teamed with Rick Owens for a collection of chunky sneakers and partnered with Kim Jones for his own versions of the Chuck 70, which both debuted last April.
The new Converse x Play Comme des Garçons Chuck 70 collaboration will be available for purchase starting March 24 at Comme des Garçons and Dover Street Market stores globally, as well as select retailers. The styles all retail for $150. — LAYLA ILCHI