Just back from Spring Fair, the biggest gift fair in Europe, covering over 14 halls at the NEC. This is where every buyer for shops and boutiques selling everything from furniture to greetings cards to kitchenware to accessories goes to see what’s new and hot for the coming seasons. The Fair has improved its jewellery presence over the years I’ve been going there, and this year saw a huge Pandora stand, complete with impressive catwalk show. It was also very exciting to see Trollbeads, which is a brand we are introducing shortly, as one of their brilliant Danish designers showed us how glass beads are made, even making a bespoke bead especially for me, in pinks and golds!
And my season of international jet-setting continues, as I step off the plane in Munich for one miserable cold night at home with a broken boiler and no heating or water, before heading down to Heathrow to jump on a plane to New York! Combining a long weekend with my husband, who is currently on business in the US, with a trip to see two exciting US jewellery collections seems like the perfect way to spend a weekend.
I have an amazing day cramming in visits to the two most impressive art galleries I’ve ever been to – the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art – neither of which I’ve visited since I was a student, before hitting Fifth Avenue for some retail therapy. 30 inches of snow and the worst winter in New York in 100 years do little to dampen my enthusiasm – although I do have to invest in cheap pair of wellies! – although I can’t say the same for my husband, who loses any interest in shopping as soon as the slush underfoot reaches our knees.
The next day sees me visiting the Broadway showroom of Chan Luu, on of the new designers we are adding to our collection here at fabulous. Chan Luu is a Vietnamese American designer, whose stunning wrap bracelets are taking the US by storm, with celebrities from Rhianna to Lady Gaga wearing them. I fell in love with them instantly, buying myself a Turquoise and Brown Leather one there and then from the showroom! I spent a long time selecting the most exciting colours and stones, and placed a large order to arrive with us in late June – ready to launch at our Garden Parties.
<p>It really is ‘buying season’ at the moment, as I write this from a snowy Munich, where I am here as a guest of Thomas Sabo, to visit Inhorgenta, the huge and very impressive German jewellery show. Thomas Sabo dominates over here, with a cinema viewing room, and series of stands and press rooms to launch the fabulous new Spring / Summer Charm and Watch collection. The stand is absolutely packed with buyers from all over Europe keen to see where Thomas Sabo and his highly imaginative Creative Director, Suzanne Kobler, have taken the collection this season. We’re not disappointed, as cowboy boots, totem poles and cacti vye with The Little Mermaid for attention!</p>