Monday, November 22, 2010

Atelier Swarovski Launches Spring Collection with Canadian Designer Mark Fast

Swarovski has once again teamed with global designers (of both fashion and accessories) for its Atelier line of high-fashion, ultra-stylized jewellery for spring 2011. This time around, Canadian-born, London-based knitwear designer Mark Fast has been commissioned to add designs to the line with his Olga Collection, named after his grandmother. Fast adapted an original vintage necklace, based on the design of one belonging to his grandmother Olga, into a colourful collection focused around Swarovski Lily pendants, with blue opal, crystal silver shade and vintage rose stones. The collection is made up of necklaces, pendants, cuffs and dangling earrings, which can also be seen on the runway with Mark Fast’s Ready-to-Wear clothing for Spring/Summer 2011.

Jewellery Entrepreneur Honoured as One of Canada’s Top Women 2010

Rajeshwari Agrawal, owner of Best Bargains Jewellery in Toronto, has been named as one of Canada’s top women entrepreneurs of 2010 by PROFIT magazine. Ranking Canada’s female entrepreneurs on a composite score based on the size, growth rate and profitability of their businesses, the magazine profiles the country’s most successful female business owners. “It’s an honor to be recognized as a small business owner and Canadian manufacturer,” commented Agrawal. “I’m very proud that we were the only Canadian jewellery manufacturing company on the list. I think this gives us optimism considering that the jewellery sector has been one of the hardest hit over the last three years during this global recession.” The company is also celebrating 20 years of business in 2010, with the launch of a new line of custom jewellery products, Jewels by Anita. Rajeshwari credits the success of Best Bargains to the hard work and dedication of her husband, daughters and staff.

Scatola del Tempo Honours Actor John Turturro

Scatola del Tempo, maker of rotating watch holders, has recognized actor John Turturro for the timeless quality of his films, his relationship with Italy and his culture and style. Turturro received the award in Los Angeles during the Cinema Italian Style movie festival. Since 2008, the brand has recognized other media members, including George Lucas, Forest Whitaker, Steven Spielberg, and Robert De Niro.

OMEGA Expands Boutique Network

Swiss watchmaker OMEGA has announced that it will invest substantially in the US market, opening nine new boutiques in the fourth quarter of 2010, followed by around twenty more. The company’s president Stephen Urquhart said that the new boutiques will support the brand’s existing retail network, nothing that the new stores would represent “an eight-figure investment and create many new workplaces in the U.S. retail environment.” OMEGA’s boutique network already includes more than 60 stores globally, mostly in high-profile shopping areas; the decision to open the new boutiques in the United States is a logical continuation of that strategy. Each of the new boutiques in the United States will carry the entire product range, including the four iconic watch lines Speedmaster, Seamaster, Constellation and De Ville as well as the company’s selection of fine jewellery and leather goods. The first of the new Boutiques is now open on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, followed by stores in Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, White Plains, Hackensack, Scottsdale, Los Angeles, Seattle and Nashville.

Kassoy Discount Plan for CJA Members

For over 75 years, Kassoy has been providing retail jewellers, apprentices, craftsmen, appraisers and wholesalers with the solutions they need to succeed. Kassoy now is offering, as an exclusive benefit to members of the Canadian Jewellers Association, a continuous 10% discount on most products, including everything from gemological instruments and legal-for-trade scales and a wide selection of bench tools, sales aids, packaging/display essentials and bar coding and inventory control technology. For more information, visit Enter promo code “WEBCJA” at checkout to receive the Kassoy CJA member discount.

Couture Time by Watch Journal Announced

Watch Journal magazine and Couture have joined together to hold Couture Time by Watch Journal, to be held concurrently with the Couture event in Las Vegas in 2011. The platform for this event will be Couture, hosted at its established venue, the five-star Wynn Las Vegas, June 2–6, 2011. It will be a show-within-the-show, dedicated to luxury watches. The event offers a single location that combines the best of both the watch and fine jewellery markets, allowing retailers to concentrate their buying time at a single venue.

Polar Bear a Bust

According to a report in Rapaport Online, ABN Amro Bank filed an insolvency action against Polar Ice and its subsidiaries on November 3. The action is similar to filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy against an entity in the U.S. ABN Amro seeks all fees associated with the action. The diamond firm, which has offices in Toronto and Montreal, was then placed into receivership by the court. RSM Richter, acting as the receiver, listed company "book value" of company assets at US$13.5-million, which included diamond inventory of US$7.7-million. Richter noted that actual values were likely to differ substantially following its full review. The diamond firm reportedly owed ABN Amro a combined loan balance of US$21.849-million, and Polar Ice, which also operates as Polar Bear Diamonds and 4114159 Canada Inc., owed unsecured creditors US$20.655-million. Note: This story has been amended in light of new information. Apologies to Shai Basal, who is not an owner of Polar Ice.

The following list includes only the top 30 creditors for which the diamond firm owes more than US$250,000 (all amounts are in US dollars):

A. Moneta $1,519,270
Argaman Trading $204,150
4C's Ltd. $851,977
Basal $602,734
Belgium Diamond Inc. $320,719
Bertucci $315,330
Borsheim $354,600
Diamond Trading Company (not De Beers) $298,209
E.Z. Diamonds $300,763
Esskay Diamonds Ltd. $693,123
Haimov Jewelers $493,600
Infinity Gems Ltd. $399,380
Jaz Gem Corp. $226,280
Julius Klein Diamonds $243,970
KGK $3,709,815
Lazare $876,551
Leo Schachter Diamonds $473,994
M. Aharonoff Inc. $295,635
M.Ben-Dor Diamonds $324,677
Nex Diamonds $238,018
Novel Collection $218,407
Octagon Blue $401,434
Ofer Mizrahi Diamonds $769,188
Rosy Blue $209,294
Royal Gem $740,917
Sanghavi Diamonds $686,813
Universal Diamonds $216,000
Virgin Diamonds $312,312
Weinreb Diamond $519,490