Top 5 Red Carpet Jewelers In New York November 13, 2017 – Posted in: Jewelry Blog
The “Red Carpet” tradition started in the early 20th century, when The New York Central Railroad Company used crimson carpets to direct their most important passengers to their particular carriage. The practice was picked up by other railroad companies in a bid to prove themselves the best at looking after VIPs, and soon spread to other major events in cities across America. So popular is it today, that the phrase “red carpet treatment” is now routinely used to indicate special treatment for a guest or celebrity.
As the cult of celebrity grows, so does the importance of red carpet events, and those suppliers who vie to get their products onto the biggest and best of those walking the 20 or 30 yards from limo to concert hall. Without doubt, the big news from the red carpets are the dresses, shoes and jewelry being sported by the biggest names in the industry and, where jewelry is concerned, it’s probably no surprise that many of the items which are endlessly photographed on fingers, wrists, ears and necks come from jewelers in New York.
As one of the world’s most important diamond and jewelry centers, it’s only natural that the city should play a huge part in any important event, so we look at some of the best red carpet jewelers NYC has to offer.
Michael Khordipour is, like many in the business of antique jewelry, a collector as well as a dealer. The difference with Michael is that collecting exquisite pieces for the M Khordipour catalog is more than just a means to a financial end. It’s about building a collection which rivals any other, packed full of unique and simply outstanding pieces that you just won’t find elsewhere.
Because of this approach, M Khordipour is considered to have one of the most impressive collections of antique and period jewelry available anywhere, and is very much sought after as a supplier to one of the most discerning clienteles it’s possible to attract.
His choice to quietly provide the finest jewelry to celebrities, rather than dropping his name is a a large part of his fame and appeal.
Back in the early 70s, many vintage and antique jewelry pieces were routinely stripped down, with the stones then being reset into modern designs, and thereby losing much of the charm and importance that naturally comes with such items. Tired of seeing beauty demolished and poorly re-defined, then-Bohemian clothing seller Leighton decided to turn his natural ability to curate objects of all kinds into a far more intensive focus on jewelry, and was instrumental in making antique jewelry desirable again, without the need to strip it of all its original wonder.
As a result, the Fred Leighton company quickly became one of the most sought after suppliers to red carpet events and, over the years, Fred Leighton bought and sold pieces belonging to everybody from Jackie Onassis to Liz Taylor.
Fred Leighton sadly passed away in August 2017 at the age of 85, but not before establishing a legacy which we will all continue to benefit from for decades to come.
By NY jewelry standards, Lorraine Schwartz was a relative newcomer to the red carpet world. A Schwartz piece was first seen paraded at an event being worn by Halle Berry, since when the designer and maker has been commissioned by some of the world’s biggest stars. With everyone from Beyoncé to Kim Kardashian queueing up to wear Lorraine Schwartz designs, it didn’t take long for her to cement a reputation for quality and style among the great and good of movie, music and media.
Beyoncé actually name checks Schwartz in her 2006 song “Upgrade U”, in which Knowles sings about trading her unreliable man in for a string of high quality consumer goods. It’s probably safe to say that, if the biggest R&B star on the planet is putting you in a song, you’ve probably made it to the big time!
High-end jewelry design and supply was, for much of its history, very much dominated by men. That we now see women like Lorraine Schwartz leading the charge to break through what is still quite a traditional industry is a refreshing and welcome change, and brings jewelry hurtling into the 21st century.
When you grow up in Antwerp, the world’s undisputed diamond capital, it’s probably somewhat inevitable that you will end up in a job that involves diamonds and jewelry, and so it was for Nirav Modi. A third generation diamantaire, Modi decided to try his hand not just at sourcing the world’s finest diamonds, but designing the jewelry into which they would eventually be set.
In keeping with his Indian heritage, Modi started his business in Mumbai, which remains the global headquarters to this day. Such was the rapid spread of the company’s reputation for innovation and excellence, so Modi expanded to introduce boutiques in New York and London. With inspiration drawn from Art Nouveau and other design periods, all enhanced with unique twists applied by Modi himself together with his outstanding team, nothing is off limits. It is this unique approach to combining ancient and modern which has quickly made Nirav Modi hugely popular among the celebrity aristocracy.
Estate Diamond Jewelry
Estate Diamond Jewelry are another company who have “rescued” antique and period jewelry from being re-appropriated. With an unblemished reputation for providing the best antique jewelry available, EDJ are another New York success story. Going from strength to strength in an increasingly competitive marketplace by specializing in the kind of pieces that immediately demand attention from even the most discerning jewelry wearer.
With a particular emphasis on diamond and engagement rings, Estate Diamond Jewelry are showing much bigger names how things should be done by focusing on quality and a level of expertise so rarely seen in any industry.