52 STATE OF THE MAJORS 2018 Social media sharing has made it easier than ever for copycats to target independent fine jewelry brands. Here’s how designers are fighting back. THE STATE OF THE MAJORS THE DIAMOND INDUSTRY JEWELRY DESIGN THE COLORED STONE MARKET INDEPENDENT DESIGNERS, AND THE BATTLE OVER IP INSTAGRAM, BY ASHLEY DAVIS O ver Suzanne Kalan’s 30 years at the helm of her eponymous brand, she’s become familiar with the frustration of seeing her work copied. She recalls that her Vitrine collection, for one, which features clus- ters of diamonds set behind translucent center stones like topaz and amethyst, was once replicated in its entirety by an Italian brand. But the incident didn’t prepare her for the sheer amount of imitation that would follow the success of her Fireworks range, consisting of baguette diamonds set askew in everything from high-wattage chokers and bracelets to edged-up eternity bands. The look has become synonymous with the Suzanne Kalan brand, and is undoubtedly the designer’s most recognizable work today. “Every single type of company is copying our design,” Kalan says, “including people making jewelry with crystals, semi-precious stones, diamonds, brass, anything. There are also companies who are taking our images from our website and Instagram and using them on their websites and social media to sell the copies. It’s never-ending.” Perhaps the most troubling, and confusing, part of the equation is that the Fireworks collection is protected under U.S. copyright. This Azlee 18-karat yellow gold and diamond bracelet is from the “Light” collection, the brand’s first, and still its most copied.