Las Vegas, May 30, 2019. While black is the unofficial color of New York City, one of its inhabitants likes to interject a bit of 1980s neon hues into her wardrobe whenever possible. This rogue resident is jewelry designer Melissa Kaye, who is unveiling her new neon enamel jewelry collection at the trade-only Couture show, which opens today in Sin City.
“I am your typical New Yorker, often wearing all-black clothes, but when I go to the gym, my sneakers are neon pink,” she says. “I love my neutral colors, but when I do wear color I go for it!”
Kaye has also been fostering a burgeoning interest in enamel, deciding that this year was the time for her neon lights to shine.
And considering Kaye’s portfolio of largely diamond-intense pieces, the enamel—including neon pink, orange, and yellow—will be hard to miss. Still, shrinking violets needn’t stress; black and white enamel will also have a presence for those unready to throw color caution to the wind.
Plus, this maker of timeless and somewhat futuristic modern geometry-inspired looks has firsthand shopping savvy. “When I go into a store and face a wall of color options, I buy black, white, and my favorite color,” she reveals.
Kaye applies the enamel to some of her tried-and-true styles. Think of the best-selling Cristina earring, a minimalist hinged hoop number resembling slender face-to-face wisps of hair, available in four sizes.
“It’s a piece that works well with everybody,” says Kaye. “I’ve never not put that earring on someone who didn’t think it looked great. Clients buy multiple pairs for multiple piercings, and enamel is a fun way to inject different options into that look.”
Needle pendants that are perfect for layering are another ideal style for enamel application, while ear cuffs are also available. In total, there are upwards of 15 individual styles, all made in 18k gold. Gemstone accents include diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and tsavorite garnet. “People will mix and match,” Kaye insists.
A footnote about Kaye’s enamel: it’s all made in New York City under her strict control. Production is the unsexy side of jewelry ownership that quickly becomes important when care and maintenance issues arise. Enamel is hardened glass, after all, so with enough force or in the face of unexpected life mishaps, any enamel can crack and will require repair. When the maker and her manufacturing team are stateside, the process is infinitely easier—something to consider since so many artists now unveil enamel collections.
Mini enamel Cristina earrings start at $850. Store buyers in Las Vegas this week can find Kaye at Couture Booth #1202 in the Lafite Ballroom.
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