By Ashley Davis
Piercing parties aren’t just for consumers. Kismet by Milka brought one to the trade at the recently concluded Couture show in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas—At Couture this year, Istanbul, Turkey-based brand Kismet by Milka decided to amplify the typical trade show booth interaction and create an experience.

Transforming shopping into an experience is a major trend in retail, but seen far less in the business-to-business space.

That didn’t stop Kismet by Milka designer and founder Milka Karaağaçlı from thinking outside the box.

In addition to the brand’s regular booth in the Wynn’s Latour ballroom, Karaağaçlı rented one of the hotel’s luxurious villa suites for a piercing party.

The two-day event saw more than 100 retailers, buyers, writers, and even other jewelry designers and their teams get pierced with a line of delicate 14-karat gold and diamond piercing jewelry Karaağaçlı created, including several styles from a new baguette diamond collection as well as updated versions of existing Kismet by Milka earrings.

The villa suite was transformed into a luxurious piercing salon, with industry folk milling about as they chose their piercing jewelry (offered at special industry pricing) and waited for their turn with celebrity piercer Brian Keith Thompson of Los Angeles’ Body Electric Tattoo.

Walking the show, freshly-pierced Couture exhibitors and attendees were Kismet by Milka’s best advertisement, eager to show off their new jewels.

The experience helped draw attention to what Kismet by Milka had to offer this year, including the 10th anniversary of the brand’s best-selling evil eye collection, its take on the talisman so integral to Turkish and Mediterranean culture.

Expanding upon the motif, Karaağaçlı had an array of tiny evil eye studs perfect for (what else?) multiple piercings, as well as more elaborate cocktail rings and pendants.

Kismet by Milka also offered a totally new range, “Innerland,” inspired by travels through sub-Saharan Africa.

Karaağaçlı created pendants, bracelets, earrings, and rings depicting African masks and abstracted wildlife like lions, snakes, and birds. The collection had a distinctly tribal feel that fit in with the brand’s wide oeuvre through the incorporation of black and champagne diamonds.      

Ear cuffs started as low as $250, with the vast majority of “Innerland” retailing for less than $5,000.

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