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“Love appears to be untouched by the credit crunch,” says Guy Leymarie, CEO of De Beers, the diamond jewelry firm.  Like other firms fighting the downturn in luxury buying, De Beers is focusing in on the bridal market, particularly in the United States.  This is a traditional market, and it is a dependable one, jewelers contend.

 

There are 2.3 million marriages in the US each year, and approximately 1.9 million engagement rings are sold.  According to the American Wedding Survey, the average price of an engagement ring is $4,435.

 

TIFFANY IS LAUNCHING a new engagement ring collection this May, called the Tiffany Bezet.  It is a grouping of modern rings with a heart, pear, radiant-round, or princess-cut diamond set in platinum. It is simple, with no further decoration, the firm says. People will buy a diamond ring when they won’t buy other luxuries, jewelers assert.  They see diamonds as an investment.

                                          

WANT SOME TIFFANY-CHIC STYLE FOR YOUR WEDDING?  TRY THESE:

 

                                  

De Beers is also introducing a new diamond collection with a low starting price of just $1,450.  The idea is to make marriage more economical. Called the Forever Ring Collection, the De Beers rings will be branded and recorded in the firm’s diamond registry.

 

De Beers’ marketing program emphasizes variety.  “A very wide selection ensures we have something for everyone,” Leymarie says.  Apparently the idea works well.  The company had a 50% increase in sales over the past 12 months.  Not bad!       

 

 

       IRISH JEWELRY DESIGNER IN NEW GREENWICH VILLAGE SHOP

 

 

MAVERICK JEWELRY DESIGNER Tom Binns opened a new store last month on New York’s off-beat Perry Street, in the heart of Greenwich Village.  The shop, a tight 300 square feet, is clean and minimal with white walls and countertops that Binns says act as a blank canvas for showing off his works.

—-“It’s like wearing a plain white or black dress – one piece of jewelry really pops!”  he says. “You feel good when you are minimally dressed and the jewelry is very grand.  It makes you feel empowered.”

 

FEEL-GOOD JEWELRY DOESN’T HAVE TO COST A FORTUNE.  LOOK HERE:

  • Clear and iridescent crystal spider brooch is gorgeously realistic with its amber stones and silver and gold plating.

  • A grand brooch featuring a green heart-shaped simulated stone crowned with lacey silver-plated filigree work and sparkling crystals.

 

Over 30 collections of Binns’ jewelry are on display in the new store.  Prices run from $180 to $25,000.  Apparently, retailers like Binns’ cutting edge designs and his big, colorful fun fashion.  Some call him the father of the layered look, the “more-is-more” jewelry idea that so many younger customers have bought into.  He also appeals to a wide segment of the population, including Amy Winehouse and Michele Obama.  

 

Some of Binns’ most successful designs have included identification tags shouting out four letter words. Other designs are “an irreverent play on the classics,” as Henri Bendel’s fashion director puts it. But this is no lightweight designer.  Among other things, the Fashion Directors of America named him Accessory Designer of the year in 2006.

 

 

                  HOT ROCK HONEY HEADING INTO USA

 

 

SHE’S CUTE, SHE’S SASSY, and she has a thing for wide cuff bracelets, big cocktail rings and long, long necklaces with plenty of hang-off pendants.  At just 17, Australia’s sensational Gabriella Cilmi is also a singing spectacular. 

 

The performer/song writer calls her music “pop-blues, glam-rock,” and already has a runaway hit in Australia and Europe in her up-tempo single, “Sweet About Me.” Cilmi’s album, “Lessons to be Learned,” includes the hot single, and was launched in the United States last week.

 

WANT SOMETHING SWEET TO WEAR?  WE’VE GOT IT!

 

Last year, the teenage wonder literally swept Australia’s Grammys. Cilmi is known to be flamboyant on stage, where, she says, “you like to make more of an impact.”  Off-duty, she is more low-key. Still, she says, “Even if I am wearing jeans and a t-shirt, I’ll just chuck a load of jewelry on, like a thousand rings.  You can’t have too much bling.”

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Saturday, March 21st, 2009


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