Heart Broken

I always wonder when the next knock off or nak off is going to present itself. Sometimes I get worried that maybe it won’t and designers are actually being creative and original with their designs. It’s usually then when I stumble along a true knock off like I did today.

This time there’s not a question in my mind who knocked off who, it’s blatant. Dana*David a line that continues to astonish me that it’s still around completely reached a new low by knocking off the always original Shaun Leane. Sir Shaun’s thorned heart Shaun Leanehas been a staple in his line and published in every magazine known to man for the past 4 years or so, longer than Dana*David has even been around. Oh sorry, D*D did come out 4 years ago with 3 designs, which have expanded based on other designers collections to about a million designs to date. There is no way this untalented design team could come up with so many ideas so of course they decided to steal from other designers who actually have an original thought. D*D wish they could think of something as hot as this on their own: Dana David

I remember Dana telling me she started designing jewelry because she couldn’t find any jewelry that she liked. Well in this case, I guess she was wrong since the piece she “created” she could have just bought from the real designer, the brilliant Shaun Leane.  

December 4, 2007. Knock Off or Nak Off?. 2 comments.

Stella McCartney Breaks a Leg

Just when I thought that all of the jewelry trends were stale and boring because they have been done a million times before, along comes the new jewelry collection by Stella McCartney inspired by her evil stepmom, Heather Mills. The revenge jewelry is a brilliant idea that we can all relate to and will probably get more press and sell through than any items with the “Monogamy to the 100th Power” tagline. We’re dying to see what the pieces in the collection will look like but for now we’re grateful to Holy Candy for showing us their vision of the collection.

November 7, 2007. Tags: , , . Designer Spotlight. 1 comment.

Stop Whining and Start Selling!

We overhear jewelry designers complaining all of the time about retailers not paying their bills. It’s the same old song and dance year after year, retailers ask for tens of thousands of dollars worth of precious product on consignment and then when it’s sold say they can’t pay according to their original 30 day terms so can they have an extra 60 days which soon becomes 120 days and sometimes longer. My response to designers is, “Have you thought about adding eCommerce to your website?” 99.9% of the time the response is, “NO, THE RETAILERS WOULD BE SO MAD AT ME IF I DID THAT!”

Wake up people, why would you let someone who is not paying their bills or even buying your product outright limit your livelihood? Most of these retailers don’t even have an email account let alone eCommerce websites. Why should they care if you sell online as long as you’re selling at a retail price? By agreeing to do whatever it is the retailers want you to do, you’re letting them decide how much money you can make and how successful your business is. Do you tell them that they are not allowed to carry other jewelry designers or if you have an amethyst in your piece they cannot have any pieces from other collections with amethyst? Of course not!

Mega brands Gucci, Burberry, Coach, Dior, and Louis Vuitton all sell online and in independent retail stores. Fashion designers such as Diane von Fursentberg, Kate Spade, and Ralph Lauren all sell online AND sell in brick and morter retail boutiques across the land. I know they’re in the fashion industry and not the jewelry industry so it’s no the same thing (says the small minded designer) so here are a small list of successful jewelry designers (big and smaller) that have said FU to the retailers BS demands and we applaud them!
David Yurman
Shaun Leane
Kimberly Baker
Alex Woo
Wendy Mink
Alexis Bittar

November 6, 2007. Retail. Leave a comment.

Cheating Hearts

There are jewelry designers who think they’re rock stars (Stephen Webster) and then there are jewelry designers that design for balding men who want to be rock stars. This is the subject of today’s installation of “Knock off or Nak Off?”

We’re not sure which came first the chicken or the egg and that’s exactly how we feel about Lazaro Jewelry in Soho, NY and Chrome Hearts. If you were to take the pieces out of the stores and the packaging and put them next to each other, you’d have a hard time knowing which company made which piece. They’re identical. It goes for everything in the stores, not just the jewelry – the leather goods, the tee-shirts, the candles, they’re all the same. We know that Chrome Hearts has cooler stores, better packaging, and hotter celebs wearing their jewelry but we don’t know if Lazaro was the originator and didn’t have the same cash to put into their branding efforts and this is why Chrome Hearts appears to be the Nak and not the Knock.

Either way it doesn’t really matter to us and only backs up our belief that marketing, store design, media exposure and packaging matters just as much (if not more) than the design.

November 5, 2007. Knock Off or Nak Off?, Retail. 2 comments.

Unfortunoff

I was walking along the delicious stretch of Fifth Avenue this chilly afternoon doing some window shopping and stumbled into Bergdorf Goodman’s jewelry department. It’s always such a pleasure to be in there among some of our favorite jewelry designers: Yossi Harari, Kara Ross, Buccellati, Siegelson, as well as peek at what the knock off artists Jude Frances & Jill Alberts are doing (which of course we already saw at Leslie Greene & Christian Tse’s booth in Vegas 3 years ago.) After I put together my wish list and passed it on to my husband we exited the store at the 57th street exit next to the soon to be new home of Fortunoff.

I was horrified to see the “Coming Soon” window graphics in the Fortunoff’s window. It was most likely produced by one of the two industry marketing companies known for their multiple pieces of shitty looking jewelry with terrible photography placed next to each other on a boring background with no attention to good graphic design. I might as well have been looking at a Kay’s Jeweler or Zale’s window, not the new Fortunoff that will be housed next to the always impeccable, must stop and look, en vogue Bergdorf windows. I know that the consumer who shops at Fortunoff will probably never step foot into Bergdorf and vice versa, but the least Fortunoff could do is take a look at what their new neighbors are doing and take some hints from them. Who knows maybe they’d fool the BG customer to come in the store and even buy something. If the people who make the marketing decisions for Fortunoff took the time to walk up Madison Avenue they’d see the mouth watering “Coming Soon” artwork for the new location of one of the cities most spectacular collections of fine jewelry, Stephen Russell or they could see the plain but still well done Graff marketing or why not take a cue from Tiffany, Cartier or Winston? Anything would be better than making your window look like it belongs in National Jeweler Trade Ad or hanging from the ceiling at the JCK Show.

November 4, 2007. Retail. 1 comment.

Lack of Preperation on Your Part…

We love magazines. We love reading them we love contributing to them we love cutting out pictures from them and turning them into wallpaper. You should see our bedroom, it is completely decked out in pictures of semi-mounts torn out from the pages of jewelry trade magazines. But what we don’t love is working with people who seem to think it’s okay to call and request product at 4:45pm on a Friday for Monday delivery. Did you FORGET that we’ve been here ALL WEEK? In fact, we’ve been here for many many years. We’re the ones whose calls and emails you ignore on a weekly basis. Remember us? The ones you pretend you’ve never met even though we’ve known you for years and in fact, we’ve had dinners and cocktails and lunches together. We figure you’re too busy kissing somebody else’s ass (or your head is too far up your own ass) to remember us. But eventually you’ll realize that the very same people whose asses you’ve been busy kissing are the ones that aren’t going to come through for you. THEN, and only then, do you think of us, the reliable guys who always come through for you in a pinch. And guess what? We WILL come through. Not because we like you, in fact, we see right through your vapid, transparent attempts at being cool. And not because a lack of preperation on your part constitutes an emergency on OUR part, because it doesn’t. No, we’ll come through because we are nice. And we’re good at what we do. And we have a little goddamn integrity, a quality that seems to be sorely missing in this particular world.

Have a great weekend! I’ll be here pulling together product for Monday delivery.

November 2, 2007. Blind Items. Leave a comment.

Luncheon Ladies

Okay, this is definitely not a jewelry specific rant, but we have to rant nonetheless.  We just don’t understand how people can practically BEG for a meeting, tap your brain for an hour to get ideas for FREE and then not even flinch when the check goes down.  Not even a fake effort?  And this from a woman who’s been in business for at least 20 years longer than us!  This isn’t a date, lady.  But even if it was, you could at least PRETEND to reach for the check (like we do on dates).  We didn’t ask for this meeting, YOU did.  Get a friggin’ clue….

July 3, 2007. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Vivaaaaaaa Las Vegas!

Like everyone else in the industry, we’re busy gearing up for the Las Vegas trade shows.  As with every year, we’re equal parts looking forward to and dreading the two taxing weeks in Sin City.  Heretofore is our list of things we’re looking forward to and things we’re dreading:

We’re especially keen on seeing friends from around the world that we only see in Vegas, namely our West Coast Social Director; from across the pond, the king of platinum in all his British glory, and the rock star jewelry designer Shaun Leane and his lovely companion, Olivia; our favorite designing couple, Christian and Victoria Tse; all the girls from TanzaniteFoundation; Daniela Swaebe fresh from Miami; and countless other friends and colleagues who make this industry such a fabulous family to be apart of. 

We’re looking forward to seeing what gossip develops….who will be the vicitm of a celebrated magazine publisher’s advances?  Will a certain jewelry scribe be able to stay faithful to her young n’ tender boyfriend while in the presence of her married jewelry designer lover?  Will a well respected, married, online jewelry retailer be able to withstand the temptation of hiring an Asian hooker for the night?  See folks?  Whatever happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas, not if you’re not careful. 

We’re looking forward to dipping our heads under the inevitable chocolate fountain, knowing that one wrong turn on the JCK floor will help us burn off all those extra calories. 

We’re looking forward to several big meals supported by big expense accounts and judgement altered by lack of sleep and excesive alcohol intake.

We’re NOT looking forward to: Dodging countless people in the halls of any of the shows because we hate them and they hate us; ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding; feeling that every time we’re not partying, we’re missing out on something; ding ding ding ding ding ding; fat, Midwestern tourists who have no clue that someone is in a hurry behind them trying to push past their fat assess; designers, manufactureres, editors or industry “consultants” that think it’s cool to pretend they don’t know us, even if we’ve met 8million times before; foot numbing walking on the hardest floor in the world (that thin layer of carpet over the concrete isn’t fooling anyone). 

And of course, we’re looking forward to the work.  And seeing fabulous jewelry.  And seeing new, fabulous watches.  And any stolen moment we can tilt our faces to the sun and revel in the fact that, while drowing in work, we’re sort of having a good time, too. 

May 8, 2007. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Suzy F Does TomKat

suzyphoto_150-2.jpgfab-model-2.jpgWe just read in last week’s Us Weekly that Suzy Fabrikant donated the gifts to the bridesmaids at the famed TomKat wedding. She gave them Gallic crosses from her diamond thread collection….thread indeed! Our inside sources tell us Fabrikant is hanging on by a very precarious financial thread, and the outlook gets grimmer every day. We don’t like to speculate (okay, fine, we love speculating, it’s one of the things we do best), but it’s entirely possible that ole’ Suzy herself may have single-handedly run that venerable company into the ground. The first sign of danger was when she told everyone to start calling her “Suzy” instead of Sue, nomenclature she’d used since, well, birth. But I became personally terrified when she changed her last name from Fortgang to Fabrikant. Then came, as we all knew it would, the “Suzy Fabrikant Couture Collection” which I’m sure she had daddy dearest sink a butt load of money into. With all of the advertisements featuring a model that looked like Suzy (sorry, Miss Model, but it’s true), the enormous trade show booth, seemingly limitless inventory and Suzy’s new “look,” it was the most expensive fine jewelry start-up ventures we’ve ever witnessed. Next thing you know, Fabrikant, which had been rolling along profitably for the last 50 years or so, is (reportedly) declaring Chapter 11.

Now, we’re all for creating designer lines out of existing diamond companies, but it seems as if “Suzy” has let her ego block her brain. With her bills unpaid, vendors attempting to sue, and rapidly dwindling respect in the industry, it seems as if Suzy isn’t going to be left with much beyond her new, ill-fitting frilly collars and a whole lot of jewelry to unload at wholesale.

November 22, 2006. Designer Spotlight. 1 comment.

She Suri is Beautiful in PINK Diamonds!

Well, we finally received our copy of the infamous Vanity Fair in which TomKat offer up a 22 page photo album of their new offspring Suri.  It seems VF is the only magazine of the 200 we subscribe to that feels its subscribers should be given the LAST look at the mag (the October issue hit the stands weeks ago and we got ours YESTERDAY!), but anyway….

Of course, other than the helmet of hair on baby-Suri’s head, the thing that caught our attention were all of the close up shots of Katie’s jewelry.  She said she knew she was having a girl because she was “…craving pink the whole nine months,” and apparently Tom satiated that craving with pink DIAMONDS–a pair of light-pink diamond drop earrings, a gift after Suri was born, and an engagement ring of a diamond surrounded by pink diamonds.  Nicely done, Katie.  Maybe next time around you’ll “know” you’re having a boy due to your BLUE cravings.  Tell Tom to give us a call, we’ll know right where to send him to pick you up a few blue diamonds!   

September 19, 2006. Celebrity Scoops. 1 comment.

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