March 27, 2014
Business Insider posted a slideshow online earlier this month that showed the websites of major companies in 1990s as compared with their domains today.
March 26, 2014
Since I’m still getting acclimated with the fine jewelry industry and trying to expose myself to as many brands and people as possible, I decided to join National Jeweler Editor-in-Chief Michelle Graff and check out the collections of Buddha Mama two weeks ago. Based on the name and the buzz behind the brand, I was intrigued.
March 24, 2014
“Delicious.” “Decadent.” “Luscious.”
March 18, 2014
When I attended the Women’s Jewelry Association’s “In the Know” conference for the first time two weeks ago, I was blown away by all the speakers and the knowledge they had to share with the crowd.
March 13, 2014
In early February, we ran a story about a new program called Sustainable in Style. Created by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based diamond company Avilan, the program pairs independents designers--Sofia Kaman, Toby Pomeroy and Megan Thorne among them--with Avilan’s “eco ethical” Storied Diamonds, which are recycled, or previously owned, stones.
March 7, 2014
Designer Sylva Yepremian is the female half of the husband-and-wife design team behind Sylva & Cie. She lived in Lebanon and Paris before coming to California as a teenager, counts English as her fifth language and likes to run, work in her vegetable garden and throw large dinner parties in her spare time.
Read on to learn more about what inspires Yepremian and her husband Raffi in this interview conducted by guest blogger Marissa Collections, a retailer of fine jewelry and high fashion in Naples, Fla.
Marissa Collections has begun conducting Q&As with new designers as the store adds them, and shares these with National Jeweler exclusively before posting the interviews on its jewelry blog at MarissaCollections.com.
Marissa Collections: Your father was a master jeweler for Cartier. Tell us about his history and what he taught you.
Sylva & Cie: He began his apprenticeship early on in our native Lebanon, where he learned jewelry-making techniques that date back hundreds of years. It’s rare to find craftsmen who still practice them. He taught me the balance between creativity/beauty and craft/engineering--both sides must be synchronized in perfect harmony for the piece to work.
MC: Does he still work in the business?
S&C: Yes, even at the age of 76 he comes in every day. My family works in the same building in downtown L.A., but on separate floors so we stay sane. He’s especially helpful regarding technical aspects. I’ll come to him with a problem such a designing a hinge or creating alloys that are a major component of my work. It isn’t just about surrounding a stone with diamonds and boom!
MC: What brought your family to L.A.? Did you experience culture shock?
S&C: It’s even more complicated. We’re Armenian and moved to Paris from Lebanon when I was little. My father decided to go on his own from Cartier and thought it would be better to start completely fresh so we moved to L.A., where we had family. I was distraught to be uprooted at the age of 16 but ended up loving California’s climate and convenience. It was a difficult adjustment though since English was my fifth language--I always thought I’d become a UN translator.
MC: What do you miss most about living in Paris? How often do you return?
S&C: I miss the culture and high attention to aesthetics. Everything the French do is about maximizing beauty from a fruit plate to an outfit just to run errands. You don’t see a lot of Uggs there. I visit at least once a year and have probably been to the Louvre 25 times.
MC: Your mother’s also in the industry. What’s her niche and what did you learn from it?
S&C: My mom and aunt strung pearls, onyx and jade for a major department store. To earn extra money, I helped and learned all about beading. Their business exploded into a retail operation that has become one of the city’s premier bridal jewelry destinations to this day.
The diamond ring on the left is 18-karat yellow gold set with two rough diamonds weighing a total of approximately 6.02 carats and 0.70 carats of single-cut diamonds ($14,375 retail). The ring on the right features two pear-shaped stones, 3.04 and 2.01 carats, surrounded by 0.72 carats of old European cut diamonds set in oxidized sterling silver with an 18-karat yellow gold band. It retails for $103,750.
MC: How does your exotic heritage inspire your work?
S&C: I’m drawn to old things with a patina and ornate details from being surrounded by Arabic architecture. I could never be a minimalist. It’s just not in my DNA.
MC: How would you describe your jewelry?
S&C: Vintage influence meets rock ’n’ roll edge that appeals to a modern sensibility.
MC: How could someone spot it?
S&C: I customize oxidized alloys for a warm, antique effect, which I also achieve with reclaimed diamonds in a range of colors from soft white to champagne. Their softer refraction is more interesting than super-shiny diamonds. My imperfect cuts show the hand of the jeweler.
MC: You’re inspired by Art Deco. Why and do any other periods appear in your work?
S&C: Because jewelry was handmade then as opposed to being produced with mass-production molds. Each piece reflects the unique skills of its maker, and the magic comes from their inconsistencies. I’m also fond of Georgian jewelry.
MC: Do you collect antique jewelry?
S&C: I’m a hoarder, to my husband’s dismay. I shop antique shows and auctions all the time. Recently I bought a tiara, which I wear upside down on a silk ribbon as a necklace. I’m obsessed with tiaras now and designing one of diamond birds.
MC: Your collection focuses on women’s jewelry. Do you plan to expand?
S&C: I’m launching bridal since the market is limited to traditional looks. Many women are already using my stackable rings as wedding bands, so I’m creating a capsule collection of engagement rings in vintage diamonds. It will be ready this year.
March 6, 2014
While I was in Tucson, I managed to sneak in a few extra seminars at the AGTA GemFair for fun, and one of them was a presentation about the Cheapside Hoard, which I think is fascinating.
March 3, 2014
When it comes to educational sessions at jewelry trade shows, I am usually in the audience, scribbling notes furiously for a future story.