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Art & Culture’s Seventh Annual Gold Conference

Initiatives in Art & Culture held its seventh annual conference in New York City and hosted 15 presentations on the topic of: “The Magic of Gold.” Founder Lisa Koenigsberg stated, “Our intention was to explore the mesmerizing impact of this material and its affect on humanity.”

The conference opened with a conversation between Aja Raden, author of Stoned: Jewelry Obsession and How Desire Shapes the World, and Michelle Graff, Editor in chief of National Jeweler.

Temple St. Clair, renowned jewelry designer, was next and discussed on her body of work, “The Golden Menagerie.” Of particular interest was St. Clair’s “deeply felt response to the global outcry against the environmental injustices facing the world today.

A panel discussion moderated by Peggy Jo Donahue, was next and featured panelists Barbara Palumbo, Adornmentality.com; Monica Stevenson, iDazzle; Mark Smelzer, JCK Magazine; and Trace Shelton, InStore Magazine; who discussed the current evolution of paid content in the publishing industry in light of FTC warnings regarding influencer sponsorships and the requirements to identify paid content.

“Transforming Retail” was next and featured a conversation between Mickey Alam Kahn, Luxury Daily; Andrea Hansen, Luxe Intelligence; and Hedda Schupak, The Centurion. They focused on weathering the challenges the fine jewelry industry faces now.

Andrea Hill moderated the next panel, which was “Technological Alchemy, Alloys, Refining, and Other Transformations of Gold. Panelists included Linus Drogs, AU Enterprises; Lindsey Rubin, Republi8c Metals; Stewart Grice, Hoover & Strong; Ted Doudak, Riva precision Manufacturing. Doudak commented, “Responsible gold starts with mining, but ends at the bench. This is why it is so difficult to ensure the ethical integrity of materials for fine jewelry brands.”

The next panel, “New Models: Contemporary Collaborations and Collectives included Victoria Gomelsky, JCK; Kara Ross, Unleashed; and designers Nicholas Varney, Varney; and Dean Harris. They discussed advantages and pitfalls of collaboration and made recommendations on ways relationships can help designers stay relevant during times of change.

Day one ended with a panel discussion moderated by Rob Bates, JCK. The topic was: “Where Are We Now: The Journey Toward Ethical Sourcing, Transparency, and Responsible Practice.” Panelists included Elizabeth Orlando, US Department of State; Lindsey Rubin, Republic Metals; Annie Calloway, Enough Project; Stewart Grice, Hoover & Strong; Industry Consultants Cecilia Gardiner and Christina Miller; and designer Toby Pomeroy. The panelists told moving stories regarding their personal experiences fighting for change and suggested practical ways for everyone in the industry can fight for ethical change.

Paola DeLuca, The Futurist, began Day Two with a trend presentation. She pointed out China is making advances in design for the luxury market, including gold jewelry. She said luxury brands need to observe how the mix of fine and costume jewelry impacts the affluent consumer.

David Mills made a presentation entitled: “Heritage, Traditional Methods, A New World Education: Bringing Jewelers Into the 21st Century. He gave an extensive presentation of the history of Goldsmiths’ Hall, its continued relevancy and global impact.

The day ended with more panel discussions focused on design; regulatory restrictions by and for jewelers, manufacturers, and retailers; and story telling as it applies to connecting with customers.

Jewelry historian, Jack Ogden concluded the conference with his talk: Alchemy, Dreams, and Gold: A Magical History.
AT: 06/05/2017 09:24:52 PM   LINK TO THIS NEWSLETTER
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