French Jewelers Go to California; Join Forces To Help Boost Exports
Paris, France—Seven top French jewelry brands will travel to California for two special trunk showings at luxury jewelers here. Shreve & Co. in San Francisco will host Beaux Bijoux, a special trunk show featuring the brands, on Ocotber 14-16, before it moves to Jewels by Nasrin Imani in Beverly Hills October 18-20. Featured will be French jewelry brands Aveva, Damoiselle D, Edeenne, Valerie MacCarthy, Mathon Paris, Pacoma, and Poiray. The event is being held in conjunction with UBIFrance, the promotion agency of the French trade commission in the United States.
Mathon's Iceberg ring, below, and Damoiselle D's Rosa coral watch, left, will be among the pieces in the French jewelry trunk show going to California later this month.
Separately, 220 companies in the French fine jewelry sector have signed a new charter aimed at improving the industry’s competitiveness and boosting business in emerging markets.
The French Jewelry Charter aims to improve collaboration and information sharing between the various players in the segment, many of whom are small companies lacking capacity to compete on the international market. Increased cooperation under the new charter is expected to boost competitiveness for all.
The charter will promote the transmission of knowledge via training, improve shared intelligence, and invest in ethics and sustainability. It was signed by members of the Union Française de la Bijouterie, Joaillerie, Orfèvrerie, des Pierres et des Perles (UBJOP), includes jewelry designers and manufacturers, stone traders, metalsmiths and retailers.
New Luxury Jewelry B2B Search Platform Launched
Los Angeles, CA—Luxury Jewelers Network announces the launch of a new private, direct, and immediate B2B communication platform for luxury jewelers and vendors. Retailers can expand their resources to search for jewelry and vendors can expand their visibility and distribution.
Buyers enter details about any kind of jewelry they need—pieces, stones, metals, prices, certificates, styles, and more—and may select any number of participating vendors from one to all to receive their request, says founder Vatché Shirikjian.
“It’s on a banking platform like Lending Tree.com,” he explains. “Lending Tree doesn’t offer anything itself; users punch in what they’re looking for and see what results come up.” In this case, users are looking for jewelry instead of loans. “It reduces the time it takes a jeweler to find a specific piece for a customer from days to minutes,” says Shirikjian.
Requests are incoming only; vendors do not upload or list any merchandise for sale. Because the “calls” are initiated by retailers, vendors are assured they’ve been chosen specifically to receive any request, creating unprecedented confidence for the transaction, says Shirikjian. Additionally, he says, the network is comprised exclusively of high-end retailers and vendors who are, if not already doing business together, at least familiar with each other’s brands and stores.
All communications between vendors and retailers is private and direct; there’s no clearinghouse or middle station. Answers are in real time email and the site also has IM (instant messaging) capacity. Use of the site is free for retailers; vendors pay to be included.
At press time, the site was been in beta testing for 22 days, and Shirikjian says already it’s got 45 retailers and 35 vendors participating, it’s been receiving between one and three calls a day, and business already had been transacted. For more information, log onto http://www.luxuryjewelersnetwork.com or contact Vatché Shirikjian, (213) 445-7888; email email@example.com
Two Jewelers Named To Interbrand’s Top 100 for 2011
New York, NY—Cartier and Tiffany were the only jewelers to be named to Interbrand’s Best Global Brands 2011 list. Coming in at number 70, Cartier’s ranking this year rose seven places from its position at number 77 last year, while Tiffany, at number 73, also rose three points from its ranking last year of 76. Gucci and Hermes, which both make watches and some jewelry, also made the list, as did Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and a host of luxury car companies including BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Ferrari, and Audi.
The top seven brands on the list—Coca Cola, IBM, Microsoft, Google, General Electric, McDonald’s, and Intel, respectively—did not change ranking from last year, but Apple soared from number 17 last year to number eight this year. Disney and HP (Hewlett-Packard) rounded out the top 10, also maintaining their respective positioning from 2010.
The list ranks brands in terms of financial performance of their products or services, the role of the brand in the purchase decision process, and the strength of the brand to continue to secure earnings.
Celebrity Spotting: Kirsten Dunst in Platinum
Actress Kirsten Dunst, below, was spotted at the New York Film Festival premiere of Melancholia, wearing vintage platinum and diamond swirl earrings by Fred Leighton.
Jewelry-Only Flash Sale Site Shutters
New York, NY—Ajaline.com, the upscale jewelry-only flash sale site launched less than a year ago, has closed. Co-founded by Jim Conte, a veteran of eLuxury.com among others, and Meeling Wong—with management stints at both David Yurman and John Hardy—the site featured close-out discounts on high-level jewelry names such as Lagos, Temple St. Clair, and Buccellati. An article in JCK prior to Ajaline’s launch last February said the site’s brands were carried at stores like Saks, Neiman Marcus, and Bergdorf Goodman.
On September 30, the site sent this message to subscribers, announcing with regret the lack of additional funding to continue to operate at the same level customers had grown to expect. In the letter, Wong says Ajaline will strive to bring new and exciting developments in jewelry and watches via email to customers who opt-in. Its URL, www.ajaline.com, was not operational at press time.
Separately, another jewelry and accessories-specific flash site, www.luxprivate.com, appeared operational at press time, though no merchandise was posted and a sign said deals are coming soon. It’s billed as invitation-only, but a simple sign up form also will grant access.
Chippenhook Announces New Website
Lewisville, TX—Chippenhook, the display company headquartered here, announces its new website, viewable on mobile devices, at www.chippenhook.com. The site will feature the firm’s custom fixtures, displays, and packaging.
Cartier Launches New Bridal Jewelry Shopping App
New York—Cartier is the latest luxury jeweler to target engaged couples with a new mobile app for iPhone and iPad. It follows the footsteps of Tiffany & Co., which launched its mobile bridal app last year, and supplier Lazare Kaplan, which launched its Four C’s diamond app earlier this year.
Cartier users can browse the jeweler’s collections of engagement rings and wedding bands, or choose the “Set for You By Cartier” option to mix and match components and design their own ring. Prices range from less than $5,000 to more than $75,000 says this article on LuxuryDaily.com. When users finish selecting or creating their ring, it’s shown life size, and they’re encouraged to save it to a wish list and make an appointment at a Cartier boutique for more information.
Separately, the jeweler reportedly is getting ready to launch a line of luxury handbags, reports this article in Women’s Wear Daily. A renowned Florentine weaver is said to be developing a range of fabrics incorporating precious metal thread—gold and silver—to the weave. The jeweler also recently launched its new Sortilège de Cartier collection of 70 one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces set with emeralds, diamonds, pink and purple sapphires in a Mediterranean garden theme. The launch was held in Rome; the collection will travel in 2012.
Sortilège de Cartier bracelet set in white gold with diamonds and pink and purple sapphires. Photo: Women’s Wear Daily.
Montblanc Honors Princess Grace With Collection
Monaco—Montblanc will be launching a new limited edition of fine jewelry, watches, and writing instruments honoring the late Princess Grace of Monaco. The collection, which bows in November at Montblanc boutiques, also will be on view at the Princess Grace Foundation-USA’s 29th annual awards gala November 1 in New York. Montblanc is donating $1 million to the foundation as part of the affiliation.
Prices for pieces in the collection start at $690 for a ballpoint pen, according to an article in Women’s Wear Daily, and go up to $226,100 for a diamond and sapphire necklace. Earrings and bracelets are priced at $73,200 and $79,800 respectively, says WWD. The Grace de Monaco pink rose, above, will be a recurring theme in the collection, which will incorporate petal-cut diamonds, pink sapphires, and topazes.
The writing instruments will be available for distribution in select retail accounts.