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New designers, education abound at JA NY Summer

By Hannah Connorton

July 28, 2014

The JA New York Summer show kicked off at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Sunday morning.

New York--A busy show floor and a positive attitude among attendees marked the kickoff of the JA New York Summer Show, which began Sunday at the Javits Center.

A part of the summer show is the New Designer Gallery, and 10 jewelry-makers who never before have exhibited at a fine jewelry trade show are comprising this year’s pavilion. Later today one will be recognized with the Mort Abelson New Designer of the Year Award.

This is the first trade show in the United States for Greek designer Myrto Anastasopoulou, who is based in Athens. She said many show attendees on Sunday spent time asking questions and getting familiarized with her work.

“It’s the first time I’m bringing my jewelry to the U.S., so it’s important for me to be here since it’s a big show and I can see how people react to my product,” Anastasopoulou, who works primarily in silver with some 18-karat gold pieces, said. “It’s a good place to gauge reactions.”

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Dharmesh and Namrata Kothari, the duo behind Syna, a staple exhibitor at both the JA New York and Couture shows, is displaying its new Jewel Chakra brand at their booth. Jewel Chakra, which first launched in May at Couture, is a brand within Syna and is made of 18-karat yellow gold necklace and bracelet chains with gemstone charms.

The charms are available in ruby, emerald, opal, sapphire and other precious and semi-precious gemstones, which start at $295 retail for the charm only. The charm and chain together start at less than $500 retail, and the Kotharis said the line is meant for smaller stores, boutiques and spas.

Amie Guarino, designer and stylist at Pittsburgh-based Louis Anthony Jewelers, said she’s at the show on the hunt for basic gold pieces that are “classic but stylish,” as well as ear climbers, a trend spotted at the Couture show earlier this year.

“At the bigger shows in Las Vegas, it’s hard to get around to seeing everything,” Guarino said. “JA makes it easy to focus on more specific trends, and it’s a great way to tie up loose ends before the holiday season.”

JA New York also is hosting another buyer giveaway for the summer show. Via a random business card drawing, four buyers won $2,000 open-to-buy each for any exhibitor at the show. Open to retailers and wholesalers only, the giveaway continues today and Tuesday, where another six people each day will win a $1,000 open-to-buy.

The show’s Educational Conference also kicked off Sunday, led by American Gem Trade Association CEO Doug Hucker’s discussion on trends and issues within the colored gemstone marketplace, as well as presentations from the Diamond Development Initiative and the Diamond Empowerment Fund. The seminars continue through Monday afternoon.

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“I’m very pleased with the show energy on the first day, feedback’s been positive from both the exhibitor and the retail community regarding the show look, feel and ease of doing business,” JA Show Director Drew Lawsky said. “We’re looking forward to more productive days for the industry.”

The JA New York Summer Show will run through Tuesday, July 29.