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July 02, 2024

Report from Las Vegas: Highlights from the Press

O
ne of the (many) things that makes the COUTURE community so special, is how passionately everyone advocates for one another. Designers celebrate the successes of other designers and freely exchange information, retailers share best practices with one another and make suggestions for brands that might be a fit for each other’s stores, and our press serve to elevate the unique voices of COUTURE during the show, and throughout the year, to their extensive and diverse followers and readers.

This sense of camaraderie and (let’s just call a spade a spade) genuine LOVE everyone has for this event and this community is palpable, yet it’s difficult to convey in words or pictures. Rather than leave this in “I guess you had to be there” territory, we asked a handful of our attending media—veteran attendees and newcomers alike—to share with us some highlights of their 2024 Las Vegas experience in the hopes of capturing some of the magic of COUTURE. We didn’t give them any guidelines or ask them to even mention jewelry (though they all did!), we just wanted to hear the moments that felt most meaningful to them which, as anticipated, had relationships at their core.

Marion Fasel by Andrew Werner

Marion Fasel

Marion Fasel has been attending COUTURE since the “campfire days” of Scottsdale. One of COUTURE’s biggest proselytizers, Marion once told me, “COUTURE is the beginning and end of my jewelry year!” Coming from someone who lives, breaths and sleeps jewelry, that’s saying a lot! From her prolific coverage on The Adventurine to penning multiple books to curating exhibits for museums and maisons, there is nobody more entrenched in the game than Marion. Yet no matter how much she’s seen, she never seems to tire of discovering new talent.

Design Atelier

COUTURE: What were some highlights of your 2024 Vegas Experience?

Marion:

  • Discovering talent in the Design Atelier.
  • Meeting at the café at the center of COUTURE for Diet Coke breaks.
  • The close proximity of the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch Show and mingling with the dealers over there.
  • Eating dinner at Sinatra’s bar, the bartender, Rich, who has been there for years, and the classic films they have on the flat screen TV, like Ocean’s 11.
  • Playing Blackjack at Encore (until they raised the minimum table stakes from $15 to $50).
  • Café Noir

  • Image courtesy of Adobe

Image courtesy of @JillNewman

Jill Newman

Often referred to as the Fairy Godmother of jewelry editorial, Jill Newman has one of the kindest, sweetest, warmest dispositions of anyone I know. Loving and supportive, she always leads with a “how can I help?” attitude, and while she’s nice to literally everyone, she has a deep-seated fondness for jewelry designers whose work she genuinely loves…and she’s not shy about expressing it!

The Luminaries by COUTURE

COUTURE: What were some highlights of your 2024 Vegas Experience?

Jill Newman:

  • I was blown away by the six Luminaries by COUTURE. Their enthusiasm was contagious. Talented, passionate, and fun, these women reminded me of the power of unity and supporting your peers.
  • Walking the Design Atelier is always the most exciting. I love hearing the designers’ stories, seeing their pieces, and I always make fantastic discoveries.
  • I love seeing the generations of jewelers at COUTURE, like Selim Mouzannar with his wife, son, and daughter. It’s wonderful to see these passions and traditions passed down. It’s what makes this industry so special and lasting.
  • It’s great to see old and new friends from all over the world – Beirut, Istanbul, Israel, and Paris – come together around beautiful jewels and craftsmanship. No politics here, just passion.

Selim Mouzannar

Image courtesy of @the_stax_

Victoria Lampley

While a newcomer to COUTURE, Victoria Lampley is no stranger to exceptional jewelry design. Since launching The Stax Advisory, a “global tastemaker collective and editorial platform,” in 2021, Victoria has showcased a voracious appetite for discovering designers, hearing their stories and amplifying their creativity and innovation to her loyal following. She is an unabashed fan of the art form, and it was exciting to see COUTURE through her fresh (and undeniably excited!) eyes.

Santigold performing at the Party by the Pool

COUTURE: What were some highlights of your 2024 Vegas Experience?

Victoria Lampley:

  • My highlights started the minute I arrived at The Wynn, at 4:30pm on Thursday, after driving from LA, chatting all the way with my co-pilot and friend, Brianna who rode with me at the last minute because she’s a great sport…the minute I checked-in, I threw on my most colorful print and ran to COUTURE to fetch my badge and let the games begin.
  • Another highlight was the opening party with Santigold, immediately running into the one and only Renato Cipullo and his daughter Serena, Beck of BECK Jewels, Sophie of Sophie Joanne, Jen Shanker of MUSE, Johannah Masters, Sara Beltran of Dezso and so many more new and familiar faces. It felt like a Homecoming.
  • Being at the salon with my dear friend Renna and Lauren of RENNA Jewels, when she found out (from you!) she was nominated for an award, and then watching her win it at the awards. A win win for me.

Randi Molofsky and Lauren Godfrey

  • Finally meeting so many familiar faces in person, whom I communicate with frequently but have yet to meet properly. Like Sam Broekema and Jill Newman at The Only Natural Diamonds event with Lisa Rinna, Will Kahn of Will’s Notebook, Satta from Matturi, Akshat and Noelle Kadar of Tallin Jewels, Francesca Simons, Anna Macierri Rossi, Lauren of Harwell Godfrey, Dave Bindra aka Gemfluencer, to name a few. So many amazing people, so little time.
  • Being front row and center to watch my friend and COUTURE newcomer, Vanessa Fernandez, win her first award for the Best in Bridal Category!!!
  • The group dinners with the For Future Reference family thanks to Randi Molofsky. Seeing all of her designers at The Villas was an epic experience. I could go on and on about this.

Image courtesy of Lynn Yaeger

Lynn Yaeger

After her first visit to COUTURE many moons ago, writer, fashion correspondent and well known collector, Lynn Yeager, admitted to me that she’d only accepted my invitation to come to COUTURE as an excuse to attend the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch Show. Lynn had been attending our U.S. Antique Show events for years, and she thought that our event was something she’d just have to get through in order to go to see the things she really wanted to see…until she discovered the magic of COUTURE and became one of our most vocal fans and staunchest advocates.

Lynn Yaeger presenting the COUTURE Design Award for Best in Innovative to Sorellina

COUTURE: What were some highlights of your 2024 Vegas Experience?

Lynn Yaeger:

  • Hanging at Sinatra’s in the Encore, especially one notable dinner with Tiffany archivist Cristopher Young, jewelry icon Neil Lane, and the queen of The Adventurine, Marion Fasel, who put the evening together.
  • Discovering new talent in the Design Atelier—this year I was swooning over the intricate carvings from Castro Smith.
  • Catching up with old friends like Arman Sarkisyan—king of the diamond bird!—and his beautiful wife, the fashion designer Louiza Babouryan.
  • Taking the stage at the COUTURE Design Awards ceremony to present the Innovation category award—Congratulations, Sorellina! I was nervous but it was fabulous! And afterwards, dinner with Marion, Selim Mouzannar, and Marie Lichtenberg at Cipriani.
  • Spending hours at the Antique show—I will never forget being at my friend Sandy Jacob’s booth when the news of the Trump verdict came down.

Image courtesy of @mirtadegisbert

Mirta de Gisbert

Gemologist, curator and stylists, Mirta de Gisbert, loves a good story! Combine that with her impressive pedigree in the jewelry industry, her global travels and the deep love for jewelry that was instilled in her from a young age, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for providing COUTURE designers and brands with in-depth editorial coverage. This was Mirta’s second time attending COUTURE, but it hasn’t taken long for her to ingratiate herself into the community, leaving us all believing she’s been here all along (and wondering what we ever did without her?!).

COUTURE: What were some of the highlights of your 2024 Vegas Experience?

Mirta de Gisbert:

  • Conversations with designers, listening to what inspires their designs.
  • Seeing old friends from all over the world and making new ones.
  • Run-ins with jewelry designers at the gym and the pool before COUTURE actually kicked off.
  • Seeing friends thrive with their new collections and seeing interest from retailers, press and buyers.
  • Impromptu dinner and drinks with new friends from Kamyen and Amrapali London.
  • The show has that feeling of being back in high school and running into your friends in between classes and lunch time but here you’re running into friends before going to your appointments!

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