Monday, July 8, 2013

SUMMER 2013, THE FIRST THREE CHAPTERS. CHAPTER 1: We're Having a Moment......

It's been a glorious Spring and start of Summer, and if I could just bottle it up to capture it forever, I would. The moment is so surprising, I honestly don't know who to thank. 

Truth be told, we receive double issues of JCK Magazine (to the Jewelry Trade what Vogue is to Couture Designers) and the first thing I do is toss the 2nd copy in the recycling bin. Charles was flipping through the April issue when he stopped, went "Wow" and caused me to make a dive to retrieve the discarded duplicate copy from the trash. 

I was floored to be included in the "Power List" of the 50 Most Influential People in the Jewelry Industry which also included the CEO's of LVMH, Cartier, Tiffany, Harry Winston, & even Michelle Obama. Charles has promised to pull my head out of the clouds and keep me grounded, and he knows how to do it -- Practice makes perfect!

As if that weren't enough to make my day, my month, my year, Ylang 23 was named in the July Issue of Town & Country to a select list as one of America's 50 top Independent Jewelers. We have always adored Town & Country's brilliance in showcasing the top talent in Designer Jewelry, and under the stewardship of editor Jay Fielden the magazine has now set a new standard as the see-all be-all of luxe living.
And lastly, a nomination by the Women's Jewelry Association, the Award for Excellence in Retailing under 15 stores... well, let's just say that life is sweet. If you're going to the event July 29, hope to see you! 

But let's give credit where credit is due. We are only as good as the collection of designers we carry, and we are in awe of their talent. A highlight of my year is seeing, inhaling, applauding, visiting, and buying from the most exceptional jewelry designers in the world in Las Vegas at the June shows, most notably Couture. Truth be told, some of our favorite designers do not show in Vegas, or anywhere else but their Studio. It would certainly make life easier, but we still love them! This year was exceptional and we suggest that you fasten your seat belts for a season of 'shock and awe'. 

SUMMER 2013, CHAPTER 2: Brilliant Design and the Fun of Buying in Vegas

It was a simple question by Couture, the Show, posted on their Facebook page:

" Now that the dust has settled on Couture 2013...what was your favorite part of this year's event?!?"

My answer of "camaraderie and the explosion of so many new designers & creative work" did not even begin to scratch the surface.

Don't tell Charles that I could actually spend more than four days in Vegas buying jewelry at the Couture Show. His achy feet were yearning  to head home to Dallas after a couple of days. But it's true. Despite a ridiculously tight appointment schedule due to the addition of new designers, we fell behind as we greeted old friends who have been showing at Couture for years, and met those who were new to Vegas.

It was one dizzying day after another with So. Much. New!

We were dazzled as always by Irene Neuwirth's new gemstones featuring emeralds, left speechless by Arunashi's couture pieces (we were thrilled that he won a major design award!), and couldn't scoop enough  of Jamie Joseph and Todd Reed's new one of a kind rings. While color was clearly driving the season (think juicy opals from Gurhan), there was beautiful new gold with and without diamonds from Laurent Gandini, Janis Savitt and Adel Chefridi.

Arman Sarkisyan reminded us why we love him so much and his Fall collection just soared! We were enchanted by Jemma Wynne's gem tipped bangles (coming soon!), and adored Armenta's tiny mosaic masterpieces. Erica Molinari's new magnifying glasses are amazing, and the new rings from Ila & I, Yasuko Azuma and Megan Thorn were irresistible.
We took a break to attend friend and editor Beth Bernstein's event  to preview her new book, Jewelry's Shining Stars, and are delighted that six of our designers are included among those profiled with beautiful double page spreads:  Todd Reed, Arman, Jamie Joseph, Megan Thorne, Jemma Wynne  & Adel Chefridi.

SUMMER 2013, CHAPTER 3: It's All About Our Designers...

Behind every great design is a talented Designer. And behind every talented Designer is a story, a family.

The amount of preparation it takes for a designer to get a collection ready for Vegas is crushing. It takes creative juices, discipline, reinvention, production management, mental toughness, fearlessness and maybe an occasional therapy session with whomever is willing to listen. 
Seriously, we thought everyone would need a drink by then, so we hosted a reception honoring our designers, spouses, and key staff who we had worked with and included a few favorite Couture and press friends.

Marion Fasel brought her entire InStyle team which livened up the party; Women's Wear Daily's Roxanne Robinson-Escriout surprised us by showing up with a close friend of hers from Vegas who is a client of ours we had never met!
It was fun introducing some of our younger designers to the veterans and Press friends. And we loved hosting the spouses of Rosanne Karmes (Sydney Evan) and Kim Carpenter (Todd Reed).

Dana Colby (formerly assistant to Cathy Waterman and now working with Andrea Fohrman) was skillfully navigating her first trip to Vegas with 'Bebe on Board'.
Afterwards, we all tumbled out to the Couture Welcome Party and an electric performance by Neon Trees.
Friday we attended an event hosted by Town & Country and Gemfields, where we viewed a major one of a kind collection of emerald and ruby jewelry designed by the world's leading designers, including Jemma Wynne. It was also a wonderful opportunity to connect to Stellene Volandes, Town & Country's Style Director.  
The last evening was awards night and we loved meeting Andrea Fohrman's husband Syd who had just flown in and seeing Arun Bohra (Arunashi) win a big design award. I love the picture I took, Arun with his award and his wife Ashita with her own, a stunning pink Hermes Birken bag. Way to go Ashita!

No show is complete without Tipsy, Fiona's 4-legged constant companion (Gurhan). I wish I could bring my pups Eddie and Tuey, but they not so people friendly. 
And in case you think that Couture is all about the jewelry, Jamie Joseph debuted a sexy Lanvin dress in this year's color sensation -- green.

After so many years of working with our designers, we have formed friendships based on loyalty and mutual respect. It only took four days to get pumped up for the season, and I promise it will be a wild one.