This past weekend played host to the annual festivities that take place in New York City each January–GEM Awards and 24 Karat Club of New York’s annual banquet. Normally on the first weekend of the month, this year’s events were moved to the second weekend in January, giving everyone ample time to sort out tuxedos, dresses, and of course, jewelry, to wear throughout the weekend.
On Friday evening, GEM Awards took place at the stunning Cipriani 42nd Street, for probably one of their best GEM Awards yet! Setting the tone for the evening was the event’s MC, Stephen Webster. Anyone who has ever spent even 30 seconds with Stephen can attest to the fact that he just opens his mouth and he’s automatically funny. Maybe it’s his cockney accent, maybe it’s his acerbic wit, maybe it’s his purposefully flamboyant sartorial style…whatever it is, it was working for the 500+ people amassed at Cipriani to celebrate all of the nominees, as well as the man of the hour, GEM Awards Lifetime Achievement recipient, Jim Rosenheim.
Jim, was accompanied by his wife, kids, grandkids, and daughter-in-law, who all came in from Washington DC where his inaccurately named store, Tiny Jewel Box, is based. His award was the last presented of the evening, and he was introduced by his long-time friend and colleague, Jeff Feero, managing partner at Alex Sepkus. Rumor has it that Jim was nervous about what Jeff was going to say on stage, and for good reason–the first part of his introduction was a veritable roast! But at the end of a lot of good-natured gibes, Jeff pointed out, “Amongst the mediocrity and downright criminality of so many businesses, Jim shines for his integrity, his generosity and his penchant for treating his artists and vendors like a loving family….I am proud to be a member of this family.”
Earlier in the evening, Lucia Silvestri, Jewellery Creative Director of BVLGARI, won the GEM Award for Jewelry Design, which was presented by the 2016 GEM Award winner, Temple St. Clair. The other nominees in the Jewelry Design category were Suzanne Kalan of Suzanne Kalan and Arun Bohra of Arunashi. Kay Jewelers took home the GEM Award for Marketing & Communications, which was accepted by George Murray, Chief Merchandising & Marketing Officer. The other nominees were Hearts On Fire® and Monica Rich Kosann. The GEM Award for Media Excellence was given to Grace Fuller, Jewelry Editor of W magazine, while the other Media Excellence nominees were Amanda Alagem and Stephen Watson. In the watch category, Patek Philippe received the GEM Award for Watch Excellence. The award was presented by GEM Award Winner Roberta Naas, founder of atimelyperspective.com, and the other nominees were A. Lange & Söhne and Jaeger-LeCoultre.
On Saturday evening, 24 Karat Club of New York held its annual banquet in it’s long-time venue, The Waldorf Astoria. Sadly, this will be the last year the event will be held in this same venue, and it’s anybody’s guess what that means for the popular “suite-hopping” that takes place before and after the main event! As with all years, the 24Karat event is all about the networking, with no official presentation or awards ceremony before the entertainment of the evening. This year’s entertainment was Kristen Chenoweth, whose spunky personality and musical bandwidth kept the crowds enraptured!
Overall it was a fabulous, albeit exhausting, weekend! Coming together in New York City in January is a tradition we at COUTURE look forward to every year; what a great opportunity to catch up with old friends, make new friends, and toast the coming year in style!