NEW YORK — Sidney Garber is the number-one women’s fine jewelry brand at Barneys New York and the retailer is hoping it will repeat that success with the launch of the company’s first men’s wear collection.
For fall, Sidney Garber will offer a line centered around bracelets, a category that is performing strongly in the men’s market.
“Bracelets are the most important category today in men’s jewelry,” said Tom Kalenderian, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s wear for Barneys. Although the Sidney Garber offering will also include rings, he said those pieces tend to be “very personal” so the offering will instead home in on unique silver, gold, black steel and black diamond pieces that can be worn on the wrist.
The bracelets, which include Sidney Garber’s signature stretch pieces, can be worn alone or stacked to make a personal statement, he said.
“Our customers love watches and there’s no secret that the watch industry is suffering,” Kalenderian said. “So they may replace their watches with a bracelet.”
The Sidney Garber men’s collection will be carried exclusively at Barneys’ Madison Avenue flagship as well as its downtown store, Beverly Hills and online. It will be merchandised in its own case, much like the vintage watch offering, and will be featured in the holiday catalogue.
“We think it will elevate everything we do,” Kalenderian said, adding that he sees “opportunity” to expand the offering into charms and necklaces in the future.
Sidney Garber is owned by Brooke Garber Neidich, whose father created the brand in Chicago in 1946. It is known for its ridged gold cuffs, diamond feather earrings and “rolling” bracelets for women.
Neidich worked for her father as a child, learning the craft, and inherited the business when he died in 2008. There is one store on Delaware Avenue in Chicago and another on Madison Avenue in New York City. The line also has a small wholesale business with a few key specialty store accounts in California and Illinois in addition to Barneys. She donates all her profits to non-profit organizations dedicated to education, the arts and children’s mental health and wellness.
Although Neidich was planning to close the business after she inherited it, she did not want to displace the employees who had worked for the company for decades. So she kept it running and started hosting trunk shows in New York. Those proved successful and led to the opening of the Madison Avenue boutique. Barneys was the brand’s first wholesale account.
“I always wanted to go into men’s,” Neidich said, “and I thought it would be better to launch at Barneys since I don’t have a men’s customer and they do.” She said she worked closely with Kalenderian when designing the collection and said he “shot down some ideas and liked others.”
Russell Westbrook, the NBA player who has a longstanding collaboration with Barneys, was the first to get some of the pieces and chose to wear them on the November cover of GQ. The collection will be shipped to the stores this week.
Kalenderian said, “Men have embraced bracelets more than any other category and Sidney Garber’s pieces are very unique and technically complicated with artisan craftsmanship.”
The pieces will retail for $600 for a black steel bracelet and $2,800 for an 18 carat gold bracelet. A double ID bracelet in silver is $2,900, a black diamond ring is $2,900, a snake bracelet in silver with sapphire eyes is $4,735 and the top-end piece is a black diamond bracelet for $16,000. “The real stars of the show are the flexible bracelets for $4,000,” Kalenderian said.
He noted that Barneys offers very few fine men’s jewelry collections and steers clear of brands carried in other stores. But he believes the Sidney Garber collection will appeal to the man “who never stops wanting, and this is on the level of what he’ll want.”
In 2013, Barneys revamped its accessories area at the Madison Avenue flagship to capitalize on the popularity of the category. Kalenderian said that jewelry has been a popular category, along with small leather goods, sunglasses and optical glasses.