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JA New York Show Announces Expansion Of New Designer Gallery Into Spring Event




(Press Release)
New York, NY — In 2017, the JA New York Show’s popular New Designer Gallery is entering its 40th year. In celebration of this banner year, and due to increased popularity of the New Designer Gallery among designers, retailers and press, JA New York has announced that it will extend the initiative to both the Spring and Summer shows. What began as an unprecedented vision by its founder, Mort Abelson, has evolved since 1977 as the launch pad for a number of the world’s most highly respected designers.

“Mort had an idea that was considered radical at the time, and based on this idea, he encouraged those first pioneering designers to leave the comfort of their craft and gift-focused worlds and enter the world of a true fine jewelry environment,” said Drew Lawsky, group show director of JA New York Shows. “By giving those first designers access to traditional fine jewelry stores, what Mort essentially accomplished was a total transformation of the industry as a whole. These designers placed a premium on creativity and craftsmanship and not just the weight of the materials they used. By launching and nurturing the New Designer Gallery, retailers, and ultimately consumers, started to identify and demand designs with a distinct, individual point of view.”

The first New Designer Gallery showcases came at a time when the zeitgeist could never have conceptualized a jewelry designer becoming a widely recognized brand. However, that’s exactly what happened with artists like David Yurman, Penny Preville and Barry Kiselstein-Cord, who exhibited in the New Designer Gallery in 1977, 1978 and 1979 respectively. They, along with their fellow exhibitors, turned a world of gold-by-the-weight and stones-by-the-carat into a world of art, feeling and eternity — a world that continues to thrive today. By championing jewelry artists as commercially viable, Mort Abelson broke down barriers for generations of designers to follow.

“Designers accepted into the New Designer Gallery have a very unique opportunity to enter into an established, fine jewelry exhibition,” said Liz Kantner, an independent consultant who works with the JA New York team to select the section’s designers. “The friendships they develop with their fellow artists, the knowledge that they gain from others in the industry, and the relationships they form with retailers and press are invaluable to the future success of these brands. I am honored and excited to be a part of curating this incredible section of the JA New York Show, and I’m thrilled to be able to showcase this amazing, rising star talent at both the summer and spring shows!”

Just as they have since that first section on the balcony of the Hilton Hotel in 1977, JA New York continues to celebrate designer talent with their New Designer Gallery. Traditionally only held during the Summer show, as an homage to the initiative’s 40-year legacy, the New Designer Gallery will now take place during both the Summer and Spring shows, beginning at the March 2017 event (March 12-14). Open to any designer who has not yet exhibited in a fine jewelry show, JA New York provides participating designers with additional promotional opportunities and ongoing support throughout the show and beyond.

For more information about the New Designer Gallery, contact Michelle Orman at (646) 302-5521 or via email at To submit an application to exhibit in the New Designer Gallery, contact Liz Kantner at




When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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