COUTURE 2016 wrapped just over a week ago. In many ways, it feels like yesterday, and in many ways, it seems like a long, long time ago! I always start to get a little nostalgic when thinking about the show–I miss hanging with my friends, I lament not spending enough time with other friends and, of course, I miss all of the amazing jewelry and timepieces (but I don’t miss what Vegas does to my skin)! As with years past, I thought I’d take this opportunity to take you on a photo tour of COUTURE 2016 and point out some of the many, many highlights of the week!
Once again, we were thrilled to partner with our friends at Platinum Guild International (PGI). They, in turn, partnered with American Jewelry Design Council (AJDC) on that organization’s annual “theme” design challenge. This year’s theme was “Transformation” and about 30 AJDC artists brought their concept of “Transformation” to life in stunning, platinum jewelry creations that were on display throughout the show in the Sunset Hallway.
Another great partner we’ve been lucky to have the past few years is The Kingswood Company! Kristie and her team are amazing, and they’ve taken the art of jewelry cleaning to new, and stylish, levels! They completely trick out their corner space in Lafite to create a lounge-like atmosphere that I’d hang out in all day if I could!
Our Opening Night Event is always a highlight of the week, and this year was no exception. After the UNLV marching band got the crowd’s attention, TV On the Radio gave us a stellar performance. Guests mingled and drank and ate and got re-acquainted in the relaxed atmosphere of the Sunset Terrace and pool…it always feels a bit like a family reunion!
Friday was a busy busy day when we kicked off the morning with two special celebrity guest appearances! In Brahms Ballroom at Encore, Steve Wynn dropped by to officially kick off the launch of COUTURE time! He noted the similarities between the COUTURE community, and his Wynn properties, reminding the audience that COUTURE was the first event ever to be held at the Wynn when it opened in 2005. “We all cater to people with a choice who demand the best.” Of his staff’s famously high-level of customer service, Mr. Wynn explained, “We had to develop a culture, not just a staff.”
Also on Friday, TUDOR hosted an event featuring a presentation by Instagram’s authority on small businesses, Kati McGee, followed by a Q&A with the head of TUDOR Watch USA, Russell Kelly, and the Head of Market Development at Facebook, Matt Jacobson. The evening closed with a presentation by Ben Clymer and Will Holloway of Hodinkee.
That same evening, Rio Tinto hosted their “Champagne Diamonds with a Story” cocktail event on the Sunset Terrace. Six gorgeous models showcased the commissioned collection of six designers while artfully created “story boards” gave attendees insight into the artist’s inspirations.
And in another part of the Encore…Baume&Mercier showcased their popular Capeland Shelby Cobra watch while the legendary race car driver himself, Carroll Shelby, was on hand to sign autographs and chat with people. Guests were even allowed the opportunity to sit in this rad, Shelby Cobra!
There were countless other events on Friday, including a Hearts On Fire anniversary party at Brooklyn Bowl featuring a performance by Andy Grammer that everyone is still raving about, but a girl’s gotta sleep sometime!
Saturday was also a big day and for me, it’s really the most important morning/day/evening of the year! I get to bear witness to the judging of the Design Awards Saturday morning, which was spectacular this year. Then I get to inform all of the finalists that they’re finalists, which is always a fun job, and then, of course, is our Design Awards celebration in the Encore ballroom.
In addition to celebrating all of our finalists and winners, as most of you know, we also showcased a tribute to Cindy Edelstein and we renamed the Human Spirit Award in her honor. It was sad, of course, I’m pretty sure the entire room was in tears, but the video ended on a note of hopefulness that Cindy will continue to live on in our lives and in our industry. Seeing how poised and beautiful her daughter Remy was on stage, accepting the first Cindy Edelstein Award in her mom’s honor, I am confident that she will.