By Hannah Connorton
From Annoushka’s Dream Catcher line, which will be offered at the brand’s counter at Saks Fifth Avenue, these 18-karat rose gold earrings feature mother-of-pearl and diamonds and retail for $19,900.London--Fine jewelry brand Annoushka has expanded from its London roots to enter the U.S. market, debuting this week exclusively with Saks Fifth Avenue in its New York and Beverly Hills locations.

Annoushka was established in 2009 by Annoushka Ducas, the same designer who founded Links of London in 1990. She sold the latter company to fashion jewelry company Follie Follie in 2006, and has since focused on her eponymous business, which has boutiques in London and also is carried in luxury department stores in the city, including Harrods and Selfridges.

Annoushka, which offers one-of-a-kind and limited edition pieces in 18-karat gold with diamonds and gemstones, garnered attention from U.S. consumers who saw the brand’s pieces on international stars.

“We have a strong celebrity following, anyone from the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton) to Rihanna, and this has resulted in an extraordinary growth in web sales to U.S. customers,” John Ayton, chairman and co-founder of Annoushka, told National Jeweler. “So we have entered into an agreement with Saks to have two counters, one at its Fifth Avenue location and one in Beverly Hills, and we have given them exclusivity to sell Annoushka pieces in these locations.”

Ayton said the brand chose to retail with Saks for two reasons: first, it has the “full backing” of the store’s president, Marigay McKee. McKee worked closely with Annoushka when she served as chief merchant at Harrods, where the jewelry company has a “successful” shop-in-shop. 

“We’re also excited about future plans for fine jewelry in Saks--there’s a whole program of reinvention going on, and we’re excited to be a part of it,” Ayton said.

Annoushka now has two collections exclusive to the two Saks locations: “One of a Kind,” which offers pieces boasting color-intense semi-precious gemstones, and “Annoushka/24,” which encompasses three lines--Arabesque, Cloud Nine and Dream Catcher--made in limited editions.

Annoushka designs are “not suited to be mass produced,” Ayton explained.

“We’re very happy to be launching in just two locations in Saks and give that exclusivity to them. (Annoushka) is not suited for 50 doors in the U.S.; it’s not where we want to be. We may expand to West Palm Beach, but we’re not expecting to go nationwide,” he said. “Still, our jewelry remains available on the website.”

This is a plus for consumers outside of Beverly Hills and the U.S., as well-known stars accessorizing with the brand’s jewelry has garnered much attention. 

“We have been selling a lot to American customers, who have seen the jewelry worn by celebrities, and we now have a strong following, receiving a lot of orders through (our website),” Ayton said. 

Retail prices for Annoushka jewelry at Saks ranges from $600 to $20,000. 

“It’s very different from the jewelry that’s currently available in the U.S.,” Ayton said. “It appeals to women between 30 and 50 who are buying their own jewelry and are confident about color.” 

Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.