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Fan Club: Adel Chefridi

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Fan Club: Adel Chefridi

Anne Sportun raves about Adel Chefridi’s fresh take on old-world styles.

BY BETH BERNSTEIN

 

Published in the January0-February 2013 issue

Adel Chefridi launched his jewelry collection in 1998 in New York. Born in Tunisia, he increasingly draws inspiration from his multicultural background, resulting in an attempt in his work to reconcile past and present, nostalgia and hope. His designs are crafted with natural gemstones and recycled metals, and they emphasize simplicity, wearability and durability. Regarding his collection, he explains, “The colors of natural gemstones are the best complement to the natural beauty of people. My work attempts to present the innate beauty of both the gemstones and the wearer.”

ANNE SPORTUN ON ADEL CHEFRIDI

“I MET ADEL CHEFRIDI at a trade show and noticed almost immediately that his work is not only well designed but well finished, with just the right amount of details and nuances and that made it truly stand out for me.”

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“There exists an element of old-world uniqueness to his work that is presented in a fresh, easy-to-understand and easy-to-wear way, which is a winning combination!”

“I respect Adel’s goldsmith training background; it shows in the quality of his workmanship.”

“Many of the designs in the various groupings are well merchandised so that they can cross over. They can be worn layered, or a woman can wear a ring from one line and a pendant from another, and it all coordinates beautifully.”

“Retailers can shop his designs at the price point best suited for their store. He offers sterling silver, high karat gold, and a combination of the two. All are finished with the same attention to detail.”

“Having spent time talking with Adel, I am further impressed with what a warm, kind and generous person he is.”

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ANNE SPORTUN: In 1987, Anne Sportun launched Experimetal Jewellery Works, which grew into a retail store in Toronto in 1992 with the help of business partner Barbara Kelly. A second store opened 12 years later, and today, the Anne Sportun Collection has a staff of 25. Sportun describes jewelry as “not bound by words, geography, or ethnicity, but nurtured by a universal language of shapes, symbols and form.” In 2003, she had the honor of having the image of her hands on a Canadian 65-cent postage stamp.

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Fan Club

Fan Club: Lene Vibe

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Fan Club: Lene Vibe

Megan Thorne praises the witty, enchanting designs of Lene Vibe.

BY BETH BERNSTEIN

 

Published in the September-October 2013 issue

Danish designer and goldsmith Lene Vibe’s collection, called Vibe’s, offers an edgy take on the childhood memories of fairies, exotic flowers and the creatures one might find in the most enchanting of tales. She translates this with elegance and wit into wearable one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry in which the golden, magical motifs are surrounded by sumptuous handpicked South Sea, keshi and freshwater pearls, as well as antique and rough-cut natural colored diamonds. Vibe started as an apprentice at Georg Jensen in 1995, and in 2002, she opened her own store and wholesaling business in Copenhagen. Her work is sold throughout the U.S. by fine retailers, and she has recently expanded the collection to include colored gemstones.

MEGAN THORNE ON LENE VIBE

“FROM THE MINUTE I SAW one of Lene’s pieces, I was awestruck. It was a pearl ring with the most delicate three-dimensional floral motif, and as I looked at it from different angles, I kept discovering new things: A snail climbing up the side, a diamond bezel underneath with a mix of white and yellow gold in the tiniest of flowers. The combination of the metalsmithing and detail and the wearability of it was something that only a true artist could accomplish.”

“Lene’s talent and rare ability come through in each and every piece she designs.” “I particularly love the way she offers an irreverent and witty take on feminine pieces. Her pieces are pretty but are the opposite of girly or sweet. Their beauty lies in the unexpected, like mixing skulls and guns with intricate flowers, snails, leaves and thorns. It is this juxtaposition that gives her pieces their distinctive character.”

“I didn’t meet Lene until about a year after I began seeing her pieces. After meeting her and getting to know how lovely, straightforward and charming a person she is, her jewelry became even more special, if that could be possible.”

“Working with different types of pearls and imbuing them with something that felt so new, original and modern is yet another part of Lene’s sensibilities that sets her apart and has created a unique identity for her as a designer.” “I also admire the way she can take both classic materials, such as pearls, and materials that are more on-trend, such as rough and rose cut diamonds, and never waver from her vision or perspective. Yet, with that said, when a customer puts on one of her pieces, it becomes about them and their style. As clear as her vision is, there is a subtlety that allows the wearer to tell their own story.”

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ABOUT MEGAN THORNE: Megan Thorne’s jewelry has become synonymous with feminine designs that recall the delicacy and graceful fluidity of her first career as a fashion designer. After discovering and mastering the art of metalsmithing, Thorne launched her jewelry collection in 2007. Her intimate knowledge of working hands-on with each piece — from the model through fabrication and finishing and setting each style — has created a loyal following among retailers and consumers alike. Thorne’s bridal line has emerged as the go-to collection for today’s women who desire engagement and wedding rings that exude the character, presence and fine details of heirloom pieces, while also allowing the wearer’s personality to shine through.

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Fan Club: Naomi Blumenthal

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Fan Club: Naomi Blumenthal

“Naomi Has a deep appreciateion for nature, which come through in the way she interprets her floral elements .”

BY BETH BERNSTEIN

 

Published in the March-April 2013 issue

Naomi Blumenthal’s educational background is in sculpture and garden design. In 2002, after the birth of her son, Blumenthal opened a garden design consultancy and started making jewelry for herself as a hobby. Her clients asked if they could buy her pieces, wearing them to charity balls and some to red carpet events. In 2008, with the help of her husband, Ron, she launched the Naomi Blumenthal collection, and it has since blossomed to include all her passions — the natural world combined with the art of sculpture into a alluring, feminine and completely wearable collection.

ROBIN ROTENIER ON NAOMI BLUMENTHAL

“I FIRST SAW Naomi Blumenthal’s jewelry briefly at the Summer JA show. Her feeling for organic textures and motifs that were all hand carved completely intrigued me. She has a true eye for detail but understands completely how to translate this into wearable jewelry.”

“The jewelry is, at the same time, sculptural and feminine. You can tell the workmanship that goes into each style and how well thought out every single piece in the collection is.” “I especially like the flow of her designs. My sensibility has always been not to overdesign, so I am always attracted to simple yet strong shapes and visions.”

“A good design also lies in the correct use of space for proportion and scale, and Naomi seems to execute that with a simple elegance.”

“It is clear that Naomi has a deep appreciation for nature, which comes through in the way she interprets her floral and sea life elements. She explained that she does farming and that connection is vivid in her work.” “As her work evolves, it will be exciting to see how her new pieces layer and complement her stunning original collection.”

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ROBIN ROTENIER: A third-generation designer, and the first in jewelry, Paris-born Robin Rotenier founded his namesake line in 1993. Rotenier attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Gemological Institute of America. In 2006, FIT awarded him the Mortimer C. Ritter Award, one of the highest honors given out by the alumni association. Rotenier carves all his models, and each piece is finished by hand and produced in New York City. His passion for design and attention to detail give each piece a distinctive character. Objects and architectural details are at the core of each new design, and his creations range from tongue-in-cheek and fun to ultra sophisticated and elegant. His attention to his retailers’ needs is unparalleled and a testament to his business acumen.

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Fan Club: Brooke Gregson

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Fan Club: Brooke Gregson

Monica Rich Kosann describes the compelling combination of macramé and cut gemstones in Brooke Gregson’s collection.

BY BETH BERNSTEIN

 

Published in the September-October 2012 issue

Brooke Gregson travels extensively to handselect the most unique stones. She combines the highest craftsmanship with a desire to balance modern shapes with stones that have an earthy quality.

 In her new collection, Gregson focuses on handmade macramé style friendship bracelets with one-of-a-kind stones in painterly colors as well as complementary drop earrings, rings, and delicate and bold necklaces in gems that range from slices to rose cuts and natural colored diamonds to tourmalines.

Gregson began her jewelry career after designing knitwear for fashion brands including Louis Vuitton and Marni. She draws inspiration from her textile background, and this expertise continues to inform the colors and sophistication of her latest collection, entitled “Silk Woven.” Born and raised in Los Angeles, Gregson currently resides in London. She has been making jewelry with the help of master craftsmen in both Los Angeles and London since 2004.

MONICA RICH KOSANN ON BROOK GREGSON

“I MET BROOKE at the recent Couture Show in Las Vegas this past June, and I really loved what she did with various cuts and colors of stones as macramé bracelets. There was something effortless yet chic about them. I liked that they were mostly one-of-akind, depending on the cut and color of the stones, and I appreciated the stone choices and the various colors. The moonstones, labradorites and opals all looked incredible, whether surrounded by diamonds or left in a simple bezel. I also thought there was a good selection of shapes: rectangles, ovals, longer ovals, and three stone styles that were all very flattering on the wrist.”

“THESE are also pieces that women of any age could easily be attracted to and want to wear, from my daughter to myself. The ability to mix these easy to wear and very comfortable on-the-wrist styles with my charm bracelets, larger links or thinner bracelets is a real draw.”

“BROOKE’S collection is also great for the retailer because you can’t stop at one. You need to have more to layer together or wear with different pieces.”

“WHILE I do think the bracelet is the ‘item’ that drives this collection, I think Brooke did a good job in merchandising in earrings and pendants, and it’s important for a store to show an entire collection, even if they focus more on the pieces that are sure to make for multiple sales.”

 

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MONICA RICH KOSANN: The creative director and founder of Monica Rich Kosann Fine Jewelry, Kosann started creating 18K gold and sterling silver lockets, charm bracelets and a broad collection of other fine jewelry because of her belief that every woman has a story to tell. Kosann’s pieces are modern classics that weave together luxurious materials including 18K gold, diamonds and other precious stones.

Kosann’s first career was as a black-and-white portrait photographer. The personal nature and heirloom quality of her portraits were an ever-present inspiration for her interest in jewelry design, and along the way, she started creating lockets and charm bracelets to hold special photographs or personal messages.

For Kosann, the jewelry design process is driven by one question she always asks herself: “Can a woman give this piece of jewelry to her daughter in 20 years?”

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