Katherine James launched her eponymous jewelry collection in 2005. She died earlier this month.
Los Angeles—Jewelry designer Katharine James died earlier this month. She was 60.

Born December 30, 1958, the California native studied fashion merchandising at Brooks College, then worked for department store I. Magnin at its San Francisco flagship, using “her merchandising talent to further the vision of the multi-million-dollar grossing [fashion] department,” her website states.

The self-proclaimed “lover and collector of books” was inspired to turn her merchandising eye to fine jewelry upon seeing the debut issue of Martha Stewart Weddings and its bridal jewelry content.

She went on to work for Tiffany & Co. at its Beverly Hills store before joining Michael B. jewelry as the company launched its first bridal collection.

“We kind of grew up in this design world together,” said Aida Bogosian, wife of the late Michael B. Jewelry designer Michael Bogosian, who called James her husband’s “right-hand man.”

James was vice president of marketing and sales at the company, and spent over a decade running operations.

“She has been part of my life for quite a while. We’ve been friends [even] after my husband’s passing, so she meant lot to me,” Bogosian said. “She was amazingly creative, very focused and very strong in her opinions about the fashion and the visuals of jewelry and style.

“She had a good, good eye, so she and Michael really got along. She was very artistic.”

In 2005, James launched her eponymous bridal label, which was the pinnacle of her creative career.

James died on July 6. She is survived by her mother, Maria Chester; brother, James Chester; and sister, Denise Kay.

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