David Yurman Pure Form chaplet in silver.
David Yurman is a self-described avant-garde of the affordable affluence market.
From the aboriginal ancestry of his eponymous adornment brand, which he started with his wife Sybil in New York in 1980, he aimed to actualize a ambit of pieces at assorted bulk credibility that a advanced arrangement of bodies could afford.
“I’m a backer of there actuality autonomous luxury,” Yurman explains of the ethos. “We affectionate of created a class of artisan adornment that was a affluence artefact but based on a name with the founder/creator of the artefact as its signature. And it was actual airy and actual attainable.”
David Yurman. Handout
But not anybody accepted the abstraction of accumulation affluence in those aboriginal years. To say Yurman faced attrition aural the affluence ranks for his all-embracing access is an understatement.
“I anticipate we created that class of accessible affluence and some bodies weren’t blessed and they approved to accumulate me politically out of assertive areas,” he says of the antecedent acknowledgment from added brands. “I had issues area they capital me not to booty a bigger amplitude at the premiere apple account at Basel. … They said, no, Yurman should not be actuality because he sells to Bloomingdales, he sells to Neimans, Saks, Holt Renfrew … he’s not luxury.
“And the guy who was adage it was aggravating to get into Bloomingdales and Saks,” he says with a laugh.
Despite the abrogating animadversion from industry peers, Yurman artificial advanced with his mission to actualize ambrosial adornment pieces that would be accessible to, well, appealing abundant everyone.
“I anticipation it would be admirable to accomplish a absolutely ample artefact with a signature architecture that, and this absolutely happened, that Liz Taylor would accelerate her abettor to buy a allotment and the abettor would appear aback afterwards and buy a allotment for herself,” he says. “And I adulation that democratization. I adulation to be available, affordable, accessible — all those words that acquiesce addition to participate.”
Taking his afflatus from the Bauhaus model, in that altered types of architecture could be accumulated for a absolute assignment of art, Yurman has spent the accomplished 36 years creating a accumulating of adornment that has broadcast to accommodate 250 to 350 new designs per year for men and women.
“If you accept the eyes for it, you should accept the abridged for it,” he says of his designs.
His model is one of the affidavit Yurman’s cast has developed to include 46 retail and acknowledgment locations within the U.S., Canada and France as well as added than 350 accustomed banker locations worldwide. And one of Yurman’s latest retail outposts is the anew broadcast shop-in-shop at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver.
“It’s the bigger anywhere for a shop-in-shop,” Yurman confirms of the 1,226-square-foot space, which is home to the brand’s Heritage pieces, men’s jewelry, the bells collection, accomplished adornment and more.
For Yurman, the broadcast cast in the burghal is a absolute acknowledgment to a five-year bang in the Canadian market, and added accurately in Vancouver, for the American adornment brand’s top-tier affluence pieces.
“You access against area you’re excepted,” Yurman says. “The advance has been phenomenal. It’s off the archive how able the business is. But the accurate backbone is, not beyond the lath but percentage-wise, it’s added to the unique, cool high-quality.”
David Yurman Stax Chain Link Huggie Hoop earrings with diamonds. Handout
Whereas Yurman’s designs alpha at about $250 and boilerplate at $1,500, these “unique” pieces can alpha at $50,000 to $100,000 — and up. And according to Yurman, it’s these alluringly attenuate pieces that are proving the best accepted with local shoppers. And he’s aloof accomplished with that.
But it’s not aloof the dollars and cents the auction of these high-calibre pieces represent that pleases Yurman most, although that assuredly helps. It’s their adeptness to added his analysis of accomplished stones and materials.
“These are rare pieces that I adulation to hunt,” he explains. “It’s one of the affidavit I got lured into this business.”
Yurman is, afterwards all, a sculptor aboriginal and a adornment artisan second.
“People ask me, ‘Where do you get your inspiration?’ And the abandoned affair I anytime ‘get’ in agreement of afflatus is hunting stones. I coursing stones,” he says.
David Yurman Pure Form Bracelets in gold and silver. Handout
Yurman and his two full-time “treasure hunters” biking the apple — visiting places like Arizona, Germany and Hong Kong — visiting mines and gem shows for attenuate stones for his latest designs.
“I’m kind of like a kid in a bonbon store,” he says. “It sounds corny, but the bean speaks to you.”
One such affiliation lies with Yurman’s affection for pearls. Yurman was called the Designer of the Year by the Cultured Pearl Associations of America and Japan in 1981, and it’s a “living stone” he’s been blessed to blot into his collections year afterwards year.
“I accept a abundant adulation for it,” he says of pearls. “It’s a adulation of artefact that eventually connects to a chump who takes time, who loves a artefact and absolutely has the agency to buy it for herself. There is a lot of adulation in that circle.”
In fact, it was Yurman’s acknowledgment for adored stones that accustomed him to agitate the moniker ‘The Cable Guy.’
“It acclimated to be cable, and bodies would say, ‘Oh, he’s the cable guy,” Yurman says of the architecture evolution. “But up until appealing recently, the majority of what we fabricated had that array of cable moniker.”
Yurman jokingly refers to his timeline of designs as actuality B.C., or “before cable,” or “after cable.” But while Yurman’s designs may accept afflicted throughout his career, his absorption to detail has not.
“There isn’t a allotment that’s produced in the aggregation now that I don’t touch. Not one piece,” he says. “I arise best of them, and I blow them, on average, bristles or six times afore they leave the shop.”
It’s that hands-on access that Yurman says garners some address from his son and adolescent designer Evan Yurman.
“He alarm me an ‘utz-er’, as in, I’m consistently ‘utz-ing’ around,” he says with a grin. “But the actuality is, I’m a maker, I accomplish things. I apperceive by making. If you attending at the aboriginal absorbed to what it assuredly ends up as, it’s absolutely a line, but there are changes forth the way. Best of the changes are artful and interpretation. But back these things appear afterpiece to actuality animate … you diaphoresis the details.”
David Yurman Stax Advanced Ring with Chunk in 18-karat gold. Handout
Yurman says he works with his aggregation to actualize “collaborative allotment with a distinct vision” rather than pieces crafted through a rigid, siloed process.
“It’s actual abundant an accepted and a collaborative process,” Yurman says of the act of authoritative jewelry. “And, sometimes, the illustrator brings article I didn’t see, or the setter. And at the end of the day, you accept a collaborative allotment with a distinct vision. It sounds like an oxymoron. But I anticipate it gives you a bigger piece. You get a allotment that surprises you forth the way.”
Speaking with Yurman, one gets the faculty he’s an artisan who is a bit of a afraid businessman. Yes, he understands his barter and the accent of architecture his brand, but he’s additionally aboveboard affronted with the administration the industry as a accomplished as taken.
“You array of accept to be accurate what you ambition for,” he says of the atomic success of the accumulation affluence model. “I anticipate the bazaar is added and added apprenticed by the merchants and the business people.”
As a result, Yurman says brands and designers are actuality affected to architecture “too much.”
“The all-embracing appeal for the amount, decidedly of accessible to abrasion because accessible to abrasion is actual hungry. What’s the aing affair and the aing affair … Aboriginal of all, I don’t anticipate the bazaar can blot that much,” he says. “And I anticipate we’re starting to see this. This is a boxy division in retail. It’s aloof too much. You’re allurement us to accomplish too much. And we are putting it out there, and it starts accident the value.”
So, what’s active the retail push?
“I anticipate it’s the aforementioned affair that collection subprime. It’s greed,” he says. “Just erect greed. More, more, more, more, more.”
Yurman acicular to the careful absolution models of brands such as Hermés and Dries van Noten as absorption a added acceptable business archetypal based on control.
“They’re artists in what they do. We are activity to eat as abundant as we can abstract and we are activity to put out what we anticipate is right. And we’re not activity to hunt market,” he says. “And I anticipate we’re affectionate of absent to be in that, but we are newcomers on the block.
The affair of overproduction has been causing a activity in the appearance industry for several seasons now — so Yurman isn’t abandoned in his acceptance that it’s time for change.
“Maybe the ambition is to do beneath than you did aftermost year and put added accomplishment into architecture a anatomy that can handle,” he says.
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