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Opening Night at RE:FINE at The Store at MAD Was Packed!

Jelly opal pendant necklace from Lika Behar For purchase: For purchase: Visit The Store at MAD, call 212-299-7777, or email info@madmuseum.org

NEW YORK. Yesterday afternoon, I headed over to The Store at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) for RE:FINE (see “Just in Time for Holiday…“). A few hours were blocked off in the late afternoon for editors to visit early, before the museum opened the store to the public. Nearly all of the designers—32 in total—were present last night, which made for a truly packed house!

The Store at the Museum is floor-to-ceiling windows and perched on the corners of Broadway and Eighth Avenue across from Columbus Circle, and light streams in from the front (facing the Circle) and the Eighth Avenue side. Glass shelves lining the windows further keep the space bright, and the eclectic assortment of housewares and accessories for sale are an ideal high-end companion to all the contemporary jewels that filled the jewelry cases.

Engagement rings, from left: Ruta Reifen, Megan Thorne, Karen Karch For purchase: For purchase: Visit The Store at MAD, call 212-299-7777, or email info@madmuseum.org

Engagement rings, from left: Ruta Reifen, Megan Thorne, and Karen Karch
For purchase: Visit The Store at MAD, call 212-299-7777, or email info@madmuseum.org

 

As I stated yesterday, the works from these 32 jewelry designers, co-curated by Beth Bernstein of BeJeweledMag.com and Franci Sagar, vice president of brand and retail development, will be for sale in the store through the end of January. Popular collections, however, may remain longer, according to customer requests.

I snapped as many shots as I could for social media, mingled with my designer friends, learned about some of their new collections (Stella Flame was there with a new Golden Dewdrop collection, and Lika Behar brought lots of pearls), and got to meet Franci.

Jelly opal pendant necklace from Lika Behar For purchase: For purchase: Visit The Store at MAD, call 212-299-7777, or email info@madmuseum.org

Jelly opal pendant necklace from Lika Behar
For purchase: Visit The Store at MAD, call 212-299-7777, or email info@madmuseum.org

 

She explained that while The Store had long worked with a lot of fashion (read: costume) jewelry artisans, pulling in contemporary fine jewelry designers was a natural extension. “We want to bring these two audiences—fashion and fine jewelry collectors—together and bring in an even younger customer with the bridal jewelry offerings,” she explained. “We’ve never offered bridal before.”

Franci and Beth pulled in outstanding designers for the fashion-forward fine and wedding jewelry categories, so I hope that this ongoing experiment to sell modern fine jewelry in The Store will continue. Wedding jewelry designers included Ruth Tomlinson, Marian Maurer, and three more noted in the first caption—all ideal for speaking to a first-time bride because of their untraditional looks.

Pieces from Suneera 925 For purchase: For purchase: Visit The Store at MAD, call 212-299-7777, or email info@madmuseum.org

Pieces from Suneera
For purchase: Visit The Store at MAD, call 212-299-7777, or email info@madmuseum.org

 

Franci noted that she saw return customers—one of whom stopped us mid-conversation to chat her up and compare a gold bangle from Stella Flame to a similar one on Franci’s wrist—for each edition of the sale. “We want to see how this evolves, but people like to uncover new talent and like buying from museums,” she continued. “I would say 80 percent of our fine jewelry purchases are made by women, for themselves.”

Further, purchases from The Store are not just a transaction—Franci calls them “a new form of philanthropy to celebrate and support working artists.”

“When our customers make purchases with us, we make it a point to share with them that it supports not only artists trying to make their careers from work, but the Museum’s exhibitions and educational programs,” she continues. “So, buying with us becomes a feel-good purchase that reflects a certain commitment to a set of social values that supports the arts.”

Moving forward, The Store should be less crowded because all of the artists won’t be present (30 designers plus guests made for a packed house), but their pieces will remain! Check them out through January.

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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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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