Category Archives: Diamonds

Dior and Everybody

Dior and Everybody

Dior’s new line of luxury will be put to the test when they follow along with Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, and Prada, in fusing the ubiquitous cell phone with an exclusive luxury brand.

Does a newly diamond-studded alligator casing capture the idea of luxury? Cell phones are a mainstream item that everyone owns. Whether or not it is encased in diamonds or uses alligator skin, they all have the same functionality.

Dior will maintain exclusivity by selling the cell phones at a higher price than its competitors. The company expects the phones to sell best in brand hungry Russia and China. The starting price is $5,100, priced to rival Nokia’s Vertu phone.

Dior is expecting to sell between 30,000 to 60,000 units within the next year; however, competing designer luxury brands sold around 500,000 units. We found that many thought the Dior design resembles floor tiles.

There is a new market being created, one very similar to the high-end industry of sunglasses and handbags. Which ubiquitous item will be next in-line for a brand upgrade. HANNA

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GenArt Genisis

In Greek, Ninaki means something small or precious. It is fitting that Ninaki Priddy would be destined to design jewelry.

Jewelry design was not the original plan, she started out as a biology major (many great designers start off in science). This proved to be the main inspiration for her first collection.

An LA based jewelry designer of Mexican-American heritage, Ninaki is also a sculptor and architect. Her organic forms are captured from still frames of movements, put together to create fluidity in form. The bold collection morphs into continuous whimsical shapes with touches of natural elements.

Recently, she won the accessory design competition for the GenArt Styles International Design Competition. We think this is a first of many to come.

This year, Ninaki plans to expand her line to include necklaces, earrings, ear-cuffs and hair-pins. Yes, custom ear-cuffs, her unique take on modern ornament.

New jewelry design for a new generation of women. NATALIA

Closed Circle, Open Square

Kingly Club

The future of television is online. Increasingly, audiences are viewing programs from their computer and mobile phones. SQUAR.RE TV (www.squa.re) has plans to launch an Internet platform starring life in luxury. SQUA.RE is the luxury-oriented TV & social networking site for people “showcasing their glamorous lifestyles” all around the world. SQUA.RE will mix user-generated and professionally produced content, to showcase unique and new lifestyle trends and allow you to program your very own TV channel. Not the first to make this venture, SQUA.RE will join LX TV (formerly Code TV) and Conde Nast to capture online viewers interested in exclusive lifestyles and brands. NATALIA

Couture Super-Site

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Rest assured, the fashion super-site of the future has arrived. Couture Lab (www.couturelab.com) founder Venezuelan-born Carmen Busquets has curated an e-commerce website of luxurious fashion and accessories for men and woman with taste. Each item was selected for its unique craftsmanship, beauty and design. Balancing the fine line of accessibility and exclusivity, Couture Lab sells products in limited quality. Furthermore, some items are available by invitation only. Invited members have the privilege of shopping the entire innovative collection. Not dependent on celebrity endorsement or fleeting trends, Couture lab is a refreshing experience here to stay. NATALIA


Designer Wellness by Donna Karan

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Fashion designer and founder of Donna Karan-LVMH; Donna Karan, has launched a new platform for wellness. Inspired by the passing of her husband and lack of balance in healthcare options while he was sick, Urban Zen (www.urbanzen.org) fuses rigorous Western science and Eastern traditional medicine to design a new approach to healing. The platform hosted an event in May that brought together businessmen, designers, healers and doctors to explore the new cultural intersection. Plans for a global event are in the works. Donna Karan continues to be a champion of techno-craft, the Dali Lama and innovative design. In full disclosure, I was a design advisor to the team at Donna Karan on the development of fashions future. NATALIA


Luxury Retailer, Ebay?

EBay, currently the world’s largest online retailer according to Nielsen/Net Ratings, sells and auctions everything from German lawn tools to signature Hermes bags. The online auctioneer has become a household name with few signs of slowing. Along the way high-end designers believed EBay was no competition for their lavish brick-and-mortars. Billions of dollars later, there is reason for concern. In one month, EBay generated 3 million in sales that included designer handbags from Chanel, Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton, also new high-end shoes, jewelry, apparel and footwear at a deep discount. Increasingly, customers are looking to EBay for designer deals. Luxury brands thrive on a balance of exclusivity and sales. In addition to counterfeit and knock-offs, luxury brands now need to navigate the tempting lure of addictive online auctions. NATALIA

E-Commerce Elitist

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Luxury French jeweler, Boucheron announced that it would embrace e-commerce. While other high-end jewelers were earlier adopters of e-commerce, most used the Internet to sell less pricey lines. Boucheron has an innovative approach. The entire collection, not just a diffusion line, will be sold through their website. Also available, is a unique feature that allows customers to customize their designs, mixing and matching diamonds from vintage and new collections to create personal pieces. The website is being designed to be an extension of the service Boucheron currently provides to its big spenders. The goal is to reach customers intimidated by the in-store experience, while providing the same class of service to current customers on-line. Couture cyber-jewels, who will be next? NATALIA