Revival Jewelry: Highlights from the Boston Exhibit

Spring will be here next month but while the weather is still deciding to go back to winter or move forward to warmer weather you can take in a new jewelry exhibit that has come to Boston. This new exhibit is at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. I signed up for a lecture last week to coincide with the new exhibit. The new exhibit is on revival jewelry. I was telling my dad about the lecture and the new exhibit when he asked ‘what is revival jewelry?’ My short answer was that is jewelry that is copied or inspired by jewelry from the past. Revival jewelry has a lot more history to it. I want to show highlights of the exhibit and hopefully give more detailed examples of what is revival jewelry is.

What is Revival Jewelry?

With images of the past readily available to artists, they can draw inspiration from the history, art and ideas to guide their current designs. Sometimes it is subtle and in other cases it is a copy of the technique.  This trend started in the early 1900s.

Revival Jewelry to connect with the past

Lots of exciting discoveries and inventions were made in this time but one discovery excited the early 19th century and that was the discovery of the Egyptian rulers’ tombs. Scarabs, hieroglyphics, golden gods were a few of the things that fascinated the British explorers and the public as they learned more about this exciting chapter in history.

The top item in the picture below, is a scarab from Egypt created around 740-660 BC. Beneath that is a brooch made of Gold, platinum, faience, diamond, emerald, smoky quartz and enamel by Cartier in 1924. Detailed view to the right.

To connect with a feeling

Nationalism

Revival jewelry was being made for the patriotic wave that swept over Europe in the 19th century cameos of Queen Elizabeth I were reemerging as a tribute to the current strong female monarch ruling Britain, Queen Victoria. The one featured as an example in the museum is below.  This cameo necklace was made around 1890 and made with gold, silver, diamonds, pearls, emeralds, agate, and glass.

Vacations

Different parts of the world are known for different styles and techniques in jewelry. Coral was a souvenir from Naples, micro mosaics were associated with Rome. Recall any trips where you have bought jewelry because it was inspired by images or techniques of the past?

Revival Jewelry to master old world techniques

Sometimes the best way to learn is recreating the art itself. Some of the techniques featured at the exhibit were:

Enameling

This pendant was a favorite of mine from this group. It is titled Girl Blowing Bubbles, circa 1910 made by a designer from Spain of gold, platinum, pearl, ivory, sapphire, diamond and plique-a-jour enamel.

Granulation

This is technique uses small balls of gold to add texture to the designs.

These gold earrings were made around 1870-1880 by Italian Designer Castellani. Look at the bottom part and see all those dots, each separate when added.

A more current artist, Italian born Andrea Cagnetti created this Chort pendant in 2002. This is 22 karat gold!

Revival Jewelry to recreate familiar creatures

Stories and lore of the past have captivated many throughout history but there are creatures that keep drawing mystery and inspiration to artists trying to say what it is that fascinates them with a certain subject like…

Snakes

As early as the beginning of creation these creatures continue to mesmerize people all over the world.

An amulet with a vulture-headed snake made in Egypt around 664-525 BC.

Snake belt by Elsa Peretti, 1970s made of silver and sapphires.

One of my favorite ways the snake is interpreted is by Bulgari. This diamond, gold, platinum, ruby, enamel watch created in the 1960s was one of the highlights for me of the exhibit!

Medusa

This was another theme that had my personal favorite piece. The Head of Medusa pendant created by Cartier in 1906! The materials are platinum, gold, diamonds, natural pearl coral and enamel.

There were many other pieces, cameos, crosses, coins, but these were some highlights to give you a better understanding of the different types of revival jewelry. What is your favorite era? A piece above that you really liked? If you are in the Boston area between now and August 2018 you should make plans to see Past is Present: Revival Jewelry!

The Language of Pins: Stories behind Madeleine Albright’s Collection

Legion of honor pin owned by Madeleine Albright

I was going to post this earlier but the politics got so ugly I wanted to wait until the dust settled. With the inauguration this week a question I have is what jewelry will the first lady and the daughters of the President wear? I’m sure that and so much more will be analyzed over the next four years. Some of those small choices are not given much thought but for one former White House employee there was a distinct correlation between her pin choice and her mood.

Bejeweled Mickey pin owned by Madeleine Albright, made 1989, Disney

I posted on Instagram art from the all-night event at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston a few months ago. I was unable to attend the special evening events but Madeleine Albright spoke to a group of museum attendees. Some Instagram attendees shared selfies with the former Secretary of State , I’m not posting those but will share a photo of the pin Albright was wearing. I had seen it in a book I read a few years back, Read my Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box by Madeleine Albright. The pin is titled Breaking the Glass Ceiling, by an unknown artist.

Albright had a second pin on with the candidate she is supporting. I won’t mention that either since it only takes one guess knowing which president she served under. So, no more election talk on to the jewels.

The book is a fun read about a collector that happened to serve in a high government office but Ms. Albright’s history of collecting did not start when she got the job of secretary of state, but earlier at age 8. She was the daughter of an ambassador to Yugoslavia on a visit Madeleine’s mother was given an emerald ring surrounded by diamonds. That memory stayed with Madeleine and when she was old enough she was given that ring. The love of pins came from her college days when it was fashionable to wear pins with sweaters. Also in college, the tradition of getting pinned by your boyfriend was to be engaged. Madeleine was pinned by Joseph Albright, they had 3 children. Madeleine was still gifted pins by friends and relatives. Some antique and a few homemade. Below is a pin of beads on safety pin, common at craft fairs and similar to the one owned by Ms. Albright.

 

She had high end brooches as well like these two from Cartier.

Panther pin, Cartier owned by Madeleine Albright

 

Coral, Lapis Bird in Cage, Cartier made in 1944

How did her trademark pin wearing get started? The story is shared by Albright and starts with a snake. See below.

The Serpent’s Tale

The book goes through some of Albright’s family moments where she worn and acquired her pins but I am skipping ahead to her days in Washington where her collection got a lot more attention.

 

The major start to kicking off her jewelry collection in the White House was during Bill Clinton’s first term as President of the United States (1993-1997).  To set the scene, Ambassador Albright was coming in after the first Persian Gulf War and Iraq was required to accept the UN inspections and disclose about all their weapons programs. Saddam Hussein, the Iraq leader at the time, would not comply causing Albright to publicly criticize him. A poem was printed by the Iraq press in retaliation to Albrights behavior. I won’t reprint the poem but use the phrase that caused the start of her pin phase. In the poem the poet referred to Ambassador Albright as an ‘unparalleled serpent’, among other unflattering things. So when Iraq officials were scheduled to meet with her again she need to find the right item to make a statement. This coiled snake pin by an unknown designer was bought a few years back. The reason was unknown to Albright who mentioned in the book to ‘loathe’ snakes. It was perfect though and the press loved it. Albright was sending a message in her own way to the world. This soon became her trademark and still continues to this day.

Albright wearing serpent pin with her ‘don’t mess with me’ face!

Albright has many more pins and stories in this book that could be finished in an evening. A few more from her collection.

Bug Pin by Iradj Moini

 

Lady Liberty clock pin by Gijis Bakker of the Netherlands

Are there any pins you wear to work or wear on your coat for going out? I brought some that belonged to my grandmother that can take a commute to work or errands on the weekend! Thank you for reading and check back for more!

Top hat Eagle pin, 1940 by Trifari

 

Christmas Time in the City: Boston Jewelry Stores’ Holiday Window Displays

It’s that time of the year again! People are busy shopping for gifts and then cold and snow slow down your plans. You are determined to go out but with a plan and a list! Good for you! In these quests for gifts have you taken any time to just look around at the holiday window displays? I took last weekend to do some shopping and some admiring around the Boston area jewelry stores.

I went to Newbury Street first. This is a major luxury shopping street. It has several big brand and local stores. The windows of the shops are small so I only took photos of windows with a holiday theme that was present. A favorite window of mine when I go to Newbury Street is Cartier.

Cartier

With the New York renovation these windows don’t pull you in as quickly but the incorporation of the brand with the holiday season is excellent. I do miss the boxes on the trees outside the store that doubled as ornaments but it is still a beautiful display.

I couldn’t post just the display but I wanted to look at a few of the items that stood out in the display. The ring to the left is the Galanterie de Cartier ring that reads on the website to be made of white diamonds and black lacquer set in white gold. The earrings  are from the same collection with the same materials, links are included.

I love how they added the Cartier panther to the windows as a finishing touch!

Shreve, Crump, & Low

This display is my pick for the best jewelry! The window is traditional with garlands and winter figurines.

The jewelry however has a bit of everything! The window as you can see is very large so I will focus on some key pieces.

The first will be the three necklaces that are the main pieces of the window!

I edited out the glare and helped make the colors richer than my camera could pick up! The ruby necklace on the left is over a quarter of a million dollars and has 25.28ct of rubies and 32.29ct of diamonds set in platinum. The Diamond Wreath Necklace to the right has 65.15ct of diamonds set in platinum and comes at a lower price point of $200,000. My favorite is the ruby necklace but the final necklace comes very close to it.

This is a vintage one of a kind Boucheron Diamond Necklace from an prior estate that has made it to Newbury Street! The center cushion cut diamond is 3.52ct. The clarity of this stone is a VVS1, which for those unfamiliar with the grading system is a step below IF (internally flawless) which is about the best you can have in clarity. This really is a showstopper and just a little over half a million dollars! Links are underlined if you want more details on these pieces.

Shreve’s had the window with some winter/ Christmas themes next to smaller items. Those ruby earrings again pieces I love to see. One more before moving on…

The photo did not come out as well as I hoped because the color of the diamonds is hard to tell. This 11.16ct Blue Sapphire Ring is surround by a layer of light colored pink diamonds then a layer of white diamonds on the outside.

John Lewis

I don’t have too many details on this shop. The display is small but the prices are listed for these items which I like. I also thought the use of small wrapped packages was a nice touch in staying true to this small, minimalist display. All the jewelry displayed is sterling silver. A link to where the business is located here.

Alexis Bittar

Not a traditional fine jewelry brand, he has a line but my focus was on his fashion jewelry line.The holiday window display for his store was in my opinion, the most creative use of a display I saw that day!

A lot of jewelry is displayed but in the most traditional way for the holidays, hanging up ornaments! A close up below!

What do you think?

Tiffany & Co

There are two Tiffany stores in Boston. I went to the one inside an indoor mall, to reduce the glare and get some better light. I also love the extra touch of adding the diamond decals to the outside of the store. A close up of the design is below.

 

Another great part to the decorations is the Tiffany tree! Trimmed with the signature blue boxes and ornaments in the shapes of diamonds! Oh to have a tree stacked with all those Tiffany gifts!!

Now on to the windows. The store has two windows to have its holiday window display. The first one I saw was an elaborate dinner table set for a fabulous party.

I love the details of adding the jewelry on the plates as though the are only little party favors! It recalls stories I read of the high society life in America before income tax came into effect. One story I remember talked about guests opening their napkins to find a gold bracelet as a gift from the hostess.

The other window on the right is the traditional tree complete with Tiffany presents. I have always enjoyed Tiffany’s window displays especially the holiday window displays because of their more traditional approach. It’s nice to look at a window and think pretty instead of ‘what was that?’

What are your favorite stores to go and see the holiday window displays? Thank you for reading and return soon for more from Data in the Rough! And have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday!

 

Cartier Mansion: My Views Inside and Why a Second Visit is Needed

If you have seen Hitchcock’s, To Catch a Thief, starring Grace Kelly and Cary Grant then you are familiar with the fireworks scene. Grace Kelley’s character is trying to seduce Grant’s character a retired jewel thief into taking up his life of former crime by tempting him with her diamond necklace.

thief_1

They are both alone watching the fireworks when she turns off the light and starts going into great detail about the excitement he has given up, at least to her. Grant’s character is not buying her act.

grace-kelly-to-catch-a-thief-2

She sits on a desk slightly leaning back so that all you can see is her necklace shimmering as she continues to tempt Grant. She goes up to him this time describing the necklace in vivid details you can almost feel as though you can touch it.

kelly-grant-to-catch-a-thief-3Kelly moves to the couch and Grant follows. Now insistent on catching her thief, him she puts the necklace in his hand.

thief_7

Hitchcock is known for his surprises and dialogue with double meanings. Grant’s character feels the necklace then states: ‘You know as well as I do, this necklace is imitation.’ Not missing her moment Kelly responds: ‘Well I’m not’. Hitchcock then cuts in and out from the two kissing to fireworks for the audience to draw its own conclusions.

Why start off the introduction to the Cartier Mansion with Grace Kelly? For those not following the mansion’s renovations, there is a room dedicated to Grace Kelly that will display the engagement jewelry. I choose the scene from To Catch a Thief and not High Society for two reasons. One this is one of my favorite movies with Grace Kelly (the direction Hitchcock gave really brought out Grace Kelly’s talent) and the second this is the time she meets Prince Rainer of Monaco. He was in Cannes as she was finishing up to Catch a Thief.  So on to the mansion experience…

The Cartier Mansion had been under renovation for over 2 years and was to be completed in the summer but was pushed to September. The grand opening brought in a lot of celebrities and press. Googling Cartier mansion in the news will bring in lots of blogs and news articles. I know I went through several articles trying to get glimpses into the mansion and jewels.I also asked about it when the CEO of the American branch of Cartier came to speak at a Harvard Conference I attended and I wrote a post on. There are 4 floors of the mansion and I had a time limit in New York, I took a bus from Boston and made it a day trip. So this post will only cover the first 2 floors because there was a lot to see and I want to follow up later on how this helps Cartier for their holiday season. Before we go into the mansion you had to see the outside of it.

I came up to groups gathered at the windows trying to see all the jewels and watch the display playing continuously. One group I came upon had several young girls hanging out.

girls-looking-at-cartier-windowThe outside felt almost like a toy shop. There were amazing rings, necklaces, bracelets, etc. (see below)cartier-window-display-necklaces

Some were on a standard display but in each window surrounding the store was a small replica mansion complete with windows that opened to reveal a red box that opened with a jeweled surprise. The box closed went back into the window and another box would come out of another window with a different jewel. It felt like a cuckoo clock only without the chimes. (see below)

cartier-window-display-opening-box

The different surprises…

cartier-window-display

So I spent some time just admiring the outside display. I then proceeded inside with a red t-shirt, jeans and sneakers not exactly dressed for a visit to a mansion but the doors opened and I was greeted politely and warmly. A staff member handed me a card mapping out the floors and what each place had. I think it is useful to share:

cartier-floor-directory

I looked around for a few minutes on the first floor taking a few photos but quickly went up to see the two rooms I was most interested in, the Princess Grace room and the Elizabeth Taylor room. The Princess Grace room was light and airy, filled with cases of diamonds and in the cases around the room more diamonds and pearl jewelry. The walls had a few photos of Grace Kelly and the smaller rooms to the side had stills of her movie High Society where she wore her over 10 carat diamond Cartier engagement ring.

grace-kelly-high-society-pool-scene

In a case across the room a small display of jewelry owned by Grace Kelly can be viewed until early October. I took my time to take in the thrill of seeing these items. It was very generous of Monaco to loan these items to Cartier to share with the public.

princess-grace-jewelry-display

Below each piece was a description. I got the description for the ring and necklace but the photo for the watch description did not come out as well so I only had a title and time.

princess-grace-jewelry-display-closeup

I found it interesting that the dates on all the items except the ring date to before she married the prince. The necklace dates to 1953 so she picked and paid for it herself. She was a client of Cartier before being married.

So I then crossed the hall with another display of diamonds that had a small side room for stationary, and reached the Elizabeth Taylor room. The room was filled with candid stills from her home movie of receiving the set of Cartier rubies from Mike Todd, the ones Elizabeth famously wore in the pool. There was also a drawing on the right when you entered of the ruby necklace on Taylor. The side room I looked in had drawings of Cartier designed jewelry like the necklace she commissioned Cartier to design around the famous Peregrina Pearl.

elizabeth-taylor-room-cartier

The jewelry in the cases had a variety of colored stones, in contrast to the primarily white diamonds in Kelly’s area. Around the room where amazing works of jewelry in stand alone glass cases. I will share one below but I could not take too many photos.

cartier-opal-et-room

This is the last jewelry photo I took. A staff member by the door informed me that photos of jewelry in the cases was not allowed. I didn’t argue or act unpleasant I just put my phone away and looked a bit more down stairs. Now I had been taking photos downstairs before I was told there was an issue so I’ll share them with you to finish the story. That opal piece above was just the tip of the iceberg. When you walked down to the first floor the room to your left held the high jewellery. There were snakes, panthers, birds made with stones in all kinds of colors.

cartier-inside-necklace-display

The Cartier Mansion still felt like someone could live in it. It didn’t feel exclusive. I felt I could have bought something with ease, there was no intimidation for me in the store. A little sad I couldn’t afford any jewelry but that is how it is for now. One other nice thing I noticed on the first floor in the room closest to the main entrance some of the more affordable jewels had the prices listed next to the item. I have been a big fan of transparency with jewelry stores. I hate having to waste a clerk’s time asking for prices as I try and decide on an item. In keeping time with my schedule to catch a bus to return to my apartment I moved on but am resolved to return for more. I still have floors 3 and 4 to visit. Because as Kelly’s character put it to Grant she is no imitation and neither is this amazing experience. The Cartier Mansion is no longer just a store but a destination that can easily be for some a home away from home! Return soon for more from Data in the Rough! And please let me know in the comments if you have seen the new Cartier Mansion or have a favorite Grace Kelly movie!

Fall Favorites to be looking forward to in the Jewelry Industry

What does the end of summer mean for you? I have been traveling some and look forward to sharing that later in my posts. So the end of summer travel is approaching. Fall is almost here. So what does that mean for the jewelry industry and for you? It is the start of the upcoming holiday season! I am looking forward to the Fall fashion magazines, new jewelry collections and the auctions!

More specifically I am looking forward to the reopening of the Cartier Boutique in New York! For those that have been by Cartier on 52nd know that it has been under major renovations. Thankfully those renovations will soon be complete and you will be able to visit the store.

The September issue of Town and Country had focus of the Editor’s letter on the reopening and the story of how the mansion was first purchased by Cartier. I will be visiting when it reopens and reporting back.

Town-and-country-september-cover-2016

I am also planning to continue my book reviews on jewelry topics.

I have many exciting posts planned for September. Some are of new launches of jewelry by friends, a social media series (how to improve your brand and focus), and events that celebrate events like a store opening. I would love to hear what you are looking forward to! I hope you come back soon and join my email list so that you can continue to learn about the ways data can improve your business and understanding of the jewelry industry.

 

 

 

Famous Jewelry Collectors

With summer in full swing many of you probably have plans for how you will spend your summer, trips to the beach, finishing outdoor projects, planning family outings, etc. Summer also has fewer jewelry auctions to preview and is traditionally a slower time for jewelry stores so not a lot of new inventory is in. How will I spend my summer to fill that void of jewelry? I plan on starting on a summer reading list focused on jewelry, book bling. So for the summer I plan to post once a week a book review of a jewelry book I have read. I went to the local library and found several that will be fun to learn about. My first deals with famous jewelry collectors. The book, Famous Jewelry Collectors, is by Stefano Papi and Alexandra Rhodes published in 1999.  Here is the cover:

Famous_Jewelry_Collectors_book_cover

I saw this cover and knew this book was off to a great start. I have featured several of the Duchess of Windsor’s jewels on my Instagram and consider her jewels the finest collection I’ve ever seen!

The chapters about the collectors are broken out into three groups by their social class.

1: Screen Actresses and a Diva

Merle Oberon – Mary Pickford– Ava Gardner –  Paulette Goddard – Joan Crawford- Renata Tebaldi

actresses_group

2: Aristocracy

Cornelia, Countess Carven-Gladys Duchess of Marlborough-King Umberto II of Italy-The Princess Royal, Countess of Harewood – The Princes von Thurn und Taxis – The Duchess of Windsor

Aristocracy_group

3: Society

Countess Mona Bismarck – Lydia, Lady Deterding – Daisy Fellowes – Ganna Walska – Barbara Hutton – Helena Rubinstein

society_group

I want to then look at one collector from each group to highlight their story and jewels.

1: Screen Actresses and a Diva: Merle Oberon

Merle_brooches

I have always admired Ms. Oberon’s work. If you haven’t seen Wuthering Heights (1939) (photo of scene below) costarring Laurence Oliver, it is a must!

Merle_Wheights

Her striking features were due to being born to a mother who was Indian and a farther that was British. He died when Merle was a small child, which had her and her mother relocate from Bombay to Calcutta. The fact her mother was dark skinned created a lot of prejudice against Merle and left her ashamed of her past. Her background was kept secret when she became a star. How did Merle go from India to Hollywood? With her stunning looks she always had admirers and one of them offered her a chance to go to France when she was in her late teens. The fling ended when the man met Merle’s mother but now with her in France she found another man who offered her a part in a film he was directing. She moved to London where she worked as a hostess at a café while getting small roles. As she climbed up the ladder to stardom she had suitors and husbands that gifted her with amazing jewels. One of my favorite pieces is a necklace by Cartier bought in London, 1938. The beads are emeralds with diamond spacers (pictured below).

Merle_emeraldbead

Another fun set to see was a set of brooches in turquoise and diamonds by Van Cleef & Arpels (below).

Merle_brooches_turqMerle also had earrings and a necklace to match. She also wore some of her real jewels in her movies. The 1967 movie, Hotel features the turquoise necklace and earrings. The 1938 movie, The Divorce of Lady X, also features an antique emerald and diamond necklace owned by the actress as she costars again with Laurence Oliver. I could not get a good photo of that stunner for this post. Many of her jewels were auctioned by Christie’s in April 1980 after her death in 1979.

2: Aristocracy: Gladys, Duchess of Marlborough

Gladys_painting

The next collector I chose because of her story being unique to all the others in this group. Although it is the usual start with Gladys being very beautiful and charming, pursued by many eligible bachelors. Gladys declined their advances and pursued learning, mastering new languages and increasing her knowledge of art. This was rare for a woman, especially one in high society to not marry, but Gladys had an independent spirit. Her admirers gifted her with jewels throughout her years. One in particular was the Duke of Marlborough, she met him in 1897 when she was about 16 years old and he was 26. The Duke was engaged to a Vanderbilt whom he married but always kept in touch with Gladys.  He was married 26 years to his first wife when he had it annulled and finally got Gladys to marry him when was now 40. She was hesitant because she loved her life without constraints. She did get some major perks and one of them was the jewelry. Below is an imperial pearl and diamond tiara.

Gladys_crown

This belonged to the Romanovs, the Duke bought it after the Bolsheviks sold it and other items of royalty off. Another item of great beauty is this amethyst and diamond sautoir by Cartier, a great example of art deco jewelry (picture below).

Gladys_amethysts

The marriage was not successful they separated in 1933 and the Duke died in 1934. She disappeared out of much of the public view. She was tracked down by a biographer whom heard of her through mentions in a diary by an admirer. The biographer found her in a little village and got her story. She died in October 1977 at age 97 and her jewels auctioned in 1978.

3: Society:  Helena Rubinstein

I had not heard of this woman until reading this book. Helena Rubenstein is the founder of the beauty product line that bears her name. Helena was born in Poland in 1870 and traveled to Australia at 18 to spend time with her brother’s family. She packed several jars of beauty cream with her for the harsh Australian weather. She shared this cream with her new Aussie friends who were happy with the results. The cream was not invented by her but she ended up partnering with the maker to open shops in Australia to sell this cream.  She married and had children but continued building her businesses. The jewelry was mostly bought by her. She would buy what she called ‘quarrel jewelry’. When she and her husband would have disagreements she would indulge herself with a beautiful piece of jewelry.

Helena_chunky_necklace

She loved chunky jewelry which I found interesting because of her petite size. She height was only 4’10’’. She acquired quite a bit of jewelry and in this book it had a story about her experience with airport security. Her jewels were sold big and colorful that Helena would lie and say they were costume and security always believed her! Below are some photos of her and her jewelry.

Helena_hands

I really enjoyed this book and could not cover it all in one post. I hope the women I highlighted help guide you into reading more on them or finding other books that give more details into the life of the collector. Please let me know your thoughts or if you have a question about this book! Look for more book reviews this summer!

 

Viewing Cartier’s Paris Nouvelle Vague Collection in Boston

Hopefully the weather was good for you over the weekend! In Boston it was great weather to be out and plenty of people were! Newbury Street in Boston, a historic street with luxury stores, was crowded with everyone from college students dining outdoors to the tourist crowd walking the street with Chanel bags. I was walking down Newbury Street to view a collection I had seen an ad for on Facebook.

On Friday afternoon I checked my Facebook and saw a sponsored post from Cartier. (See below)

facebookAD_05_2016

I don’t know if you have purchased an ad on Facebook but in many cases you can get insights on how many have viewed or liked the post. Above you can see the interactive button has a contact us button. Clicking on it only led to the US Cartier homepage with the Boston store hours. If I had been Cartier I would have created an event so you could see who was interested, not just who liked the post. Also an event reminder on Facebook could encourage those that marked they were interested into going before it’s too late.

That post was enough of an invite for me to go see the collection on Saturday and I’m so glad I did. The store was busy so I looked around and found the display in the back of the store, the pieces were divided into four sections. I have photos of two of them below.

Cartier_8_display

Cartier_9_display

After a few minutes a representative of Cartier took me through the cases and explained the meaning behind the collection which I am thrilled to share with you! The photo behind the jewelry in the case is of Paris. The four different display cases each represent a different part of Paris. For example the photo on the left is of the domed building in Paris. A close up of one of the rings in the case is below.

Cartier_1_diamond_wheel_ring

I love the architecture style of this diamond and pink gold ring!

The second case had several pearl items such as the ones below!

Cartier_2_diamond_pearl_wheel_ring
Ring made with pink gold, freshwater pearls and diamonds

 

Cartier_7b_pearl_sapphires
Ring made with pink gold, morganite, spinels, cultured freshwater pearls

In the third case,was this ring and bracelet set, that moves or trembles when worn.

Cartier_3_bracelet_moves

Cartier_6_ring_moves

Both the bracelet and ring (above) are made with yellow gold, diamonds, lapis lazuli and chrysoprase!

Another fun looking ring appears to be multiple rings but is really one ring! The ring is made of pink gold, chalcedony, turquoise, lapis lazuli, moonstone, aquamarine, sapphires and diamonds. I really love the variety of stones in this one!

Cartier_5_bubble_ring

The final case had a ring similar to this black jade, diamonds yellow gold ring (pictured below). The black jade ring was on display in the window. There were other rings, one in blue chalcedony,white gold and diamonds, the other in chrysoprase and yellow gold (they are featured on the Facebook post above).  I tried the chrysoprase ring on and found it surprisingly light! Also it is the lower priced of the three rings at $32,700. The black jade retails for $48,300 and the chalcedony is the highest at $52,000.

Cartier_10_onyx_ring

I did mention to the representative I had seen the Facebook Ad and came because of it. I left with a better understanding of the collection, something that is missing on the website. It was a well spent afternoon. If you are interested in seeing more pieces from the collection you can click the link to be directed to the collections site on Cartier in the US.

I hope you like this post! If you are in the Boston area I recommend you check out the collection at Cartier, it’s up through May 31st! If you have any questions please let me know in the comments, others may be wondering the same thing! Check back soon for more posts!

 

Harvard Retail & Luxury Goods Conference: How Brands like Cartier are blending their Heritage with Data Analytics

Harvard Business School hosted the 12th Annual Retail and Luxury Goods Conference with a daylong event on February 21. Brands represented at the conference included Richemont, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch and other retailers. The theme of the conference was Reinventing Retail. I attended the conference and felt that the brands I heard were having a message of blending their traditions with insight’s from data. I will include my key takeaways from the two sessions I attended: The Future of Tradition and Innovation with Insight.

The Future of Tradition

Panelists:

  • Mercedes Abramo, President & CEO, Cartier North America
  • Michelle Giguere, Director of Buying, Tory Burch
  • Scott Cameron, Chief Strategy & Business Development Officer , Canada Goose
  • Jody Hall, Chief Food Adventurer & Director of Sourcing, HEB Grocers
  • Pippa Morgan: Executive Vice President-Retail Division, Aritzia

 

The Future of Tradition panel
The Future of Tradition panel

Topics:

*Online Store

The biggest issue with online shopping was how to create the online experience that is true to the brand’s in-store experience. Mercedes Abramo (Cartier) also talked about trying to find out how high a price point could be online to buy jewelry. For Cartier like other retailers it is a trial and error process. Luxury especially jewelry has been later to the online market. Pippa Morgan (Aritzia) had the best explanation and advice, “measure twice, cut once”. Execution is crucial for the online market.

*Social Media

What has worked for luxury brands? The panel talked about success with Instagram in reaching and interacting with customers. Mercedes Abramo (Cartier), claimed YouTube was the best channel in reaching a Cartier customer. The reason was due to needing longer amounts of time to educate potential buyers on a product. Instagram is only a photo or a 15-second video, not enough to give the detail necessary to tell Cartier’s story.

The final thoughts were to look to your physical store for answers. You have a chance to talk to your customer and see what they are experience. Do not think that being involved in the stores daily activities is beneath you, it is a great resource. My thoughts for those with only an online presence be on your website and see if you can get feedback from customers and employees.

 

Innovating with Insight

Panelist:

  • Omer Artun, CEO/Founder, AgilOne
  • Paul Hatch, Senior Marketing Director, Walmart
  • Thibault Munier, Co-Founder/COO, Numberly
  • Jessica Schinazi, Senior Manager-Marketing Service & Business Development, Richemont North America
Innovating with Insight panel
Innovating with Insight panel

Topics:

*Customer Insights with data

The speakers on the second panel had very clear views on the actions needed to innovate their company. The major need was how to get away from the single view of a customer and use the data mined to be more responsive to that customer’s shopping experience. One suggestion was to get away from the ‘silos of data’ and to start to create data action strategies. The benefits of getting a better understanding of different customers can create new marketing opportunities. Jessica Schinazi (Richemont) gave one example of how insights from their data provided them answers on a new type of customer group. There was increased activity of online shoppers in the Midwest. Richemont has stores in the area but they found out these customers were Chinese students coming to college. So Richemont discover a ‘micro group’ that it could understand how to serve better. Paul Hatch (Walmart) also added that understanding the data benefits the customer by using the insight to improve the mix of product in the store.

*A/B Testing

Another topic was A/B testing in order to find out which way was best in customizing the online experience. One tip was to add common sense to your algorithms. You do not want to run into the ‘Bread and Bananas’ issue, if a person has bread in their basket they will most likely buy bananas. So instead of recommending bananas (that the customer will most likely buy anyway) try to get another product that they might want so that you can increase the items in that basket.

 

The final thought were not focusing exclusively on the data but take time to talk to the people involved in the business and learn all you can about your company’s core business.

Baume & Mercier ad at the conference
Baume & Mercier ad at the conference

The conference was a great event for me. In addition to meeting the panelists, I ate lunch with an employee of Baume & Mercier who talked about how his passion for the watch industry lead him to the job he holds now. He worked at Hertz, before landing his dream job. If you are in the Boston area in February of 2017, I highly recommend attending the Harvard Retail & Luxury Goods Conference. Sign up for my email at the top right of the page to keep up to date on more posts!