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Opinion

Just in Time for Holiday—RE:FINE at The Store at MAD Is Back, With Even More Fab Designers

NEW YORK. The Store at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in Manhattan knows a good thing when it sees it. That’s why it brought back a jewelry sale event featuring contemporary designers that struck a resounding cord with shoppers last fall, and again in spring 2017. Franci Sagar, vice president of brand and retail development, already had a strong fan base for eclectic store gifts like sculptural ceramics, and decided that fine jewelry, too, should get a present-day boost. So after success with her first two RE:FINE (initially dubbed Redefining Fine Jewelry) sales events in The Store, she enlisted the help of Beth Bernstein, a seasoned jewelry figure—and most important, my friend—and editor of BeJeweledMag.com to co-curate the designers for the holiday 2017 selection.

Like me, Beth is a jewelry editor with a passion for modern design and a desire to help emerging artists succeed. Unlike me, Beth has inked several books on jewelry (she keeps asking me when I’ll write mine!) and is a familiar face in the MAD museum since she lives near Columbus Circle, where MAD is located. Living at the mouth of the Upper West Side, Beth knows something about the neighborhood that may come as a shock to those outside of the city: there’s a dearth of jewelry stores there with forward-thinking inventory mixes. So, when Franci asked her to team up to help curate an event full of some of the industry’s brightest modern masters, it took but a moment for Beth to say, ‘”Yes!”

“Due to MAD’s commitment to championing designers who challenge traditional notions of jewelry, it’s the perfect outlet for designers because there are mainly only conventional jewelry stores on the Upper West Side,” Beth explains.

Leather bracelet with gold ornament and gemstones from Moritz Glik<br /> For purchase: Visit The Store at MAD, call 212-299-7777, or email info@madmuseum.org

Leather bracelet with gold ornament and gemstones from Moritz Glik
For purchase: Visit The Store at MAD, call 212-299-7777, or email info@madmuseum.org

 

And since The Shops at Columbus Circle—across the street from MAD—and the Museum itself are such tourist destinations, it makes sense to have a store with cool, uncommon jewels.

“MAD attracts people who are really into art and design, so they love the jewelry options brought in for this event, and so do the neighborhood residents,” she adds. “The concept of the event is to blur the lines between what was once considered precious and what is precious today in fine jewelry. When guys buy jewelry for their wives and girlfriends, they’ll buy something like diamond studs because they’re a safe choice, but the pieces in this sale are expressive, often colorful and meaningful—pieces that women would buy for themselves.”

Gemstone earrings in gold from Loriann Jewelry<br /> For purchase: For purchase: Visit The Store at MAD, call 212-299-7777, or email info@madmuseum.org

Gemstone earrings in gold from Loriann Jewelry
For purchase: For purchase: Visit The Store at MAD, call 212-299-7777, or email info@madmuseum.org

 

Some 32 international artists and designers (think Alberian & Aulde, Moritz Glik, and Loriann Jewelry, among many others)—including eight jewelers with strong alternative wedding jewelry options—will have collections in The Store through the end of January 2018. Some works may stay on after that time, depending on patron interest, but a robust presentation is on hand now through the holidays and New Year.

Engagement rings in gold with colored gemstones from Ruth Tomlinson<br /> For purchase: For purchase: For purchase: Visit The Store at MAD, call 212-299-7777, or email info@madmuseum.org

Engagement rings in gold with colored gemstones from Ruth Tomlinson
For purchase: For purchase: For purchase: Visit The Store at MAD, call 212-299-7777, or email info@madmuseum.org

 

RE:FINE officially kicked off last night in an invitation-only VIP affair with MAD members, and a press preview happens today (I’ll be there!), where I’ll be able to mingle with most of the artists. For sure, these collections are not ones you’ll see in mainstream jewelry stores, and that’s a relief given that much of what is sold today looks the same. Stay tuned for photos of available pieces on my Instagram account, and look for another story on the event that will appear tomorrow.

Jennifer Heebner LLC

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@benjaminsmithee was our brilliant emcee, from whom we learned about gamification. Attorneys Mary Kate Brennan of Epstein Drangel LLP and Sara Yood of the JVC taught us about trademarks and copyrights, followed by an insightful conversation about knockoffs. Laura Urquizu educated us on the groundbreaking new firm @red_points_solutions, a firm that protects brand assets. And Jennifer Shaheen the @techtherapist offered us a deep dive into data mining!
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We are so grateful for our speakers sharing their time and talent with us. And I’m so proud of our board for pulling together such a powerful event at such a great venue!
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Mark your calendars next for Jewelry Night Out on Thursday, Sept. 13, when guest speaker Julie Zerbo @thefashionlaw will join us to carry on a smart conversation about the intersection of law and fashion. Plus, become a member or renew your membership and gain admission to a super upbeat members-only event taking place in the city on Sept. 25: Arnaud Collery, @standupforpassion otherwise know as Mister Happiness! He will address a limited number of our members in an intimate Midtown setting—but you must be a member to attend!
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I know I have your attention.
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Wednesday, July 18 from 1 pm to 5 pm is the @wjanewyorkmetro In The Know event called The Evolution of Jewelry in the Digital Space.
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I am SO GEEKING out because of the expertise we have coming to talk tomorrow!!
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First, @techtherapist Jennifer Shaheen will speak about “Understanding Analytics and Data and How to Use Them to Grow Your Brand Online.”
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Then the JVC’s Sara Yood and Mary Kate Brennan, associate, Epstein Drangel, LLP, will speak about “Making Sense of Trademarks and Copyrights and How Emerging Brands Can Protect Their Intellectual Property.” The SLIDE YOU SEE IS FROM THEIR TALK ABOUT ALLEGED COPYCATS!!!! It’s going to be GOOD, people!!!
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And finally, Laura Urquizu, CEO and partner of Red Points—a company founded by IP attorneys—will talk about technological solutions to Intellectual Property (IP) infringements online. You will be BLOWN AWAY by the work @red_points_solutions is doing for brands online!! Talk about protection!!
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SEATS ARE STILL AVAILABLE!!!! Go online to the WJA website or buy at the door. DON’T MISS THIS. No recording will be available, sorry!!
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  • Thank goodness for my goofball girls! Love this crew!! Wish I could fit about 50 other people in this shot but this is a good start to a great week of #jewelryfriends #jewelrypeople. Grateful for good people in my life. (Watch that Clare sneak in on the right!!)
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