ONE NIGHT GEM: Jewelers of America marked the annual Gem Awards event last week, returning in-person after taking place digitally in 2021 due to the global pandemic.
The evening honored designers, retailers, editors and executives for their contributions to the jewelry industry over the past year. Winners included Lorraine Schwartz for Jewelry Style and Stephen Lussier, DeBeers Group Executive Vice President for Brands and Consumer Markets, for Lifetime Achievement as well as awards for Jewelry Design, Media Excellence and retail excellence.
“Being with her is like coming home,” explained Blake Lively, who kicked off the evening with a look from Sergio Hudson to give a heartfelt talk about working with Lorraine Schwartz. Along with Lively, there were videos from Tina Knowles, Pharrell Williams, Heidi Klum and Kim Kardashian, each praising the creator’s work.
“Yes, she cares about jewelry, but what matters most to her is the people, the humanity, the connectedness,” Lively continued, recalling her first encounter with Schwartz for Lively’s first Met Ball.
Her speech underscored a theme of the evening: the strong sense of community within the close-knit jewelry community. The excitement in the room was palpable, with guests marking the 20th anniversary of the event by expressing their gratitude for being able to gather in person.
“It’s an amazing industry and we can do a lot together,” said Schwartz, a third-generation diamond dealer, while thanking his family and team. She also spoke to the Black, Indigenous and People of Color creators who are part of the program she leads with the Natural Diamond Council, remarking, “I’m so proud of you and I’m here for you. One day, I hope that you too will be here.
Next, the Media Excellence Award went to Melanie Grant. The reporter pointed out that she grew up in a council estate in the UK and never thought the world of luxury was open to her, but explained that she was welcomed. “I’m very privileged to be able to take people like me along for the ride,” she said.
Marissa Collections took home the win for Retail Excellence, beating out Muse and Saks Fifth Avenue. The jewelry design was awarded to Lauren Harwell Godfrey, who was moved to tears by her victory. “It was such an honor to be in this category,” she said, acknowledging her team and everyone who helped her.
“Although this is an award for the past year, for me it is about the future. I want to make you proud,” she said, explaining that a large part part of her job is also being able to give back to causes that are close to her heart. “By spotlighting these causes, the support will only grow,” she said, ending by asking for a bottle of tequila to be brought to his table to celebrate.—THOMAS WALLER
UPCYCLING STRENGTH: Yoox has launched a new project called “Rethink with
Aiming to promote more conscious consumption, the new initiative is to offer exclusive pieces and capsule collections made from unsold fabrics.
To feed this section, the e-merchant will join forces with a series of international designers, the first of which is Caterina Gatta. For Yoox, the Rome-based indie talent has developed a targeted capsule collection featuring 10 tops and 10 skirts crafted from colorful fabrics salvaged from Italian artisan labs.
Launched on Tuesday, the range is offered between 150 euros and 240 euros.
With a degree in Fashion and Costume Science from La Sapienza University in Rome, Gatta began his career collecting vintage fabrics across Europe with a mission to breathe new life into retro items. To draw attention to textiles and prints, Gatta designs basic, clean silhouettes, sometimes made quirky by the unconventional use of origami-inspired three-dimensional details.
The social and environmentally conscious platform Yooxygen was launched on Earth Day 2008 to promote sustainable fashion practices through education and collaborations.
The brands and products featured in this area are selected to represent one or more of four attributes: being better for people; the planet; animals, or be innovators by pushing the boundaries of sustainable design through the application of innovative technologies, new materials and advanced manufacturing approaches.
The e-commerce initiatives reinforce Yoox Net-a-porter Group’s overall sustainability strategy for 2030, named “Infinity”. This 10-year plan is underpinned by 12 measurable commitments linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, focusing on four areas – Circular Business, Circular Culture, Planet Positive and People Positive – each designed to advance the ambition of the company to provide circular and sustainable luxury fashion. —SANDRA SALIBIAN
ALL ABOUT THE CHUCK: Converse and Comme des Garçons are teaming up again for a sneaker collaboration.
The two brands are teaming up on their latest sneaker collaboration for the Converse Chuck 70 shoe. The collaboration features hi and lo versions of the Converse 70 sneaker in white and black featuring Comme des Garçons’ famous heart and eyes logo, as well as a red sole and fox.
For the collaboration, the brands teamed up with creative directors Ronnie Cooke Newhouse and Karl Bolander as well as fashion photographer Craig McDean for the campaign. In the campaign, the styles are photographed against a sleek red background stacked on top of each other.
The brands’ most recent collab was released over the holidays and included a restock of eight different Chuck 70 iterations, such as original pairs with the heart motif as well as others in a blue and gray colourway.
Converse has regularly teamed up with various fashion brands and designers for collaborations over the year. Last year alone, the shoe brand teamed up with Rick Owens for a collection of chunky trainers and teamed up with Kim Jones for its own versions of the Chuck 70, both of which debuted in April. last.
The new Converse x Play Comme des Garçons Chuck 70 collaboration will be available for purchase from March 24 at Comme des Garçons and Dover Street Market stores worldwide, as well as at select retailers. The styles are all $150. — LAYLA ILCHI