The JA New York Spring show wrapped Tuesday, and one of the (many) highlights of the show, was seeing just how many of our COUTURE community came out in support of the event. While we always welcome exhibiting COUTURE designers such as Amali, Anzie, Erica Molinari, Gumuchian, Monica Rich Kosann and Zaiken, we were also delighted to see the smiling faces of many of our COUTURE retailers and press come in support of the show.
On Monday, there was a lively panel on “How to Create a ‘yes’ Environment in Your Retail Store,” which was moderated by Elizabeth Anne Bonanno of The EAB Project. Those in the audience benefited from the wisdom of COUTURE retailers Soraya Cayen of Cayen Collection, Adam Gorman of I. Gorman and Jay Hartington of Marissa Collections. Highlights of that panel discussion can be found here. Later in the day, Jim Rosenheim of Tiny Jewel Box and Susan Abeles of Bonhams had an animated discussion about some of the benefits and pitfalls of selling estate jewelry–perfectly tying in to the co-location with the Antique Watch and Jewelry show, Lueur. You can read more about that presentation here.
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the show took place on Tuesday, when 9 brave, emerging designers came out to give “The Big Pitch” to a panel of retailers and press. On the panel was Jennifer Gandia of Greenwich Jewelers, Jeff Badler of Maurice Badler Fine Jewelry, Sorya Cayen, Tanya Dukes of InStrore and InDesign, and freelance writer extraordinaire, Rachel Garrahan. It was so rewarding to hear this esteemed panel give honest and thoughtful feedback to these eager designers (though I was vicariously terrified the whole time!). It also reminded me what a BIG deal COUTURE is and how hard each of our COUTURE designers have worked to get to where they are now. Designer Victor Velyan was in the audience of The Big Pitch (he’d flown in to join in the tribute to Cindy Edelstein) and commented how great it was to see such passion and how much of each of these designers lives were invested in their craft. And hopefully, maybe, fingers crossed, we’ll be seeing some of these designers at COUTURE in the future!