After canceling its annual in-person event in 2020 due to COVID-19, the Couture jewelry show — the U.S.’s preeminent trade show for fine and high jewelry and timepieces — returns under a new space at the Wynn luxury resort with a renewed focus on the jewelry market’s tight-knit community of designers, buyers and creatives.
Las Vegas reopened in May and while the Delta variant is still a concern, events and shows have resumed, following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines with indoor mask mandates.
“We are very excited to reveal our new event space at the Wynn,” said Gannon Brousseau, Couture director and executive vice president of the creative services and jewelry group and organizers Emerald, of the recently opened meeting and convention expansion, which more than doubles the meeting and convention space at the resort property.
“The space allows for the majority of our designers and brands, both jewelry and timepieces, to exhibit within one primary ballroom, Cristal, with select designers and brands exhibiting in private ballrooms and villas,” he added. “The new space is stunning. It overlooks the golf course and includes an incredible terrace and an expansive outdoor event pavilion in which we’ll be hosting our special events.”
According to Brousseau, the theme of reuniting will be prevalent throughout the 2021 show, explaining another focus of the space was creating two experiential lounge areas within the main ballroom. These are “designed to bring people together and foster networking, conversations and simply to enjoy reuniting with one another in person,” he said.
The 2021 edition, albeit smaller due to the ongoing pandemic, is expecting 200 brands, Brousseau said, adding, “We anticipate a strong showing of highly motivated retailers who are eager to discover new talent and replenish their stores in time for holiday.”
Last year not only saw a pandemic but also, in the U.S., a reckoning on racial equity, a movement reignited after the murder of George Floyd. Brousseau explained that Couture addressed the issue in June 2020 by launching the Diversity Action Council, comprised of designers, retailers, press, industry professionals and members of the Couture team, “all of whom are passionate and committed to creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive industry,” he said.
“The DAC was started in response to the death of George Floyd and the resounding and collective showcase of support for Black Lives Matter from many in the Couture community,” Brousseau said. “It also sparked a moment of reckoning for many of us, and highlighted the many inequities, inequalities and the lack of diversity that exists in our industry. Recognizing that one company or organization was not capable of singlehandedly driving the systemic, foundational and sustainable changes that are required, we decided to leverage the power and influence of its tight-knit community with the creation of the DAC.”
While there won’t be anything specific to the Diversity Action Council at the 2021 event, “apart from ongoing conversations about how we can move our initiatives forward,” Brousseau explained that the organization is proud of its inaugural mentorship program.
“We’re thrilled that 11 of our 15 mentees will be joining us at Couture this year. We’ll be giving the group tours of the show floor, and they will be joining us for some of our special events. One of our primary goals with the program was to foster a sense of community among the mentees, and Couture’s environment is the perfect opportunity to do just that.”