Archive for the ‘Stephen Dweck’ Category

Jewelry Designer Barry Cord To Unveil New Collection During QVC Designer Gallery Event

January 8, 2011

Jewelry designer Barry Cord has already done work for QVC, but this Sunday he will debut a new collection on the Q, one that was unfortunately described as “Wearable Whimsy.”

The collection will premiere on QVC’s Sterling Designer Gallery Event, which we’ve been waiting for like a junkie looking for a fix.

Barry Cord

Here’s what the crack QVC PR department had to say Friday about Cord’s new “ideas,” as host Lisa Robertson would say.

Barry Cord’s designs can be found everywhere from the collections of world leaders and Hollywood’s elite to the world’s most celebrated art museums. Now, the award-winning designer is scheduled to debut a timeless, whimsical collection on QVC Sunday, Jan. 9 at 6 PM.”

Inspired by his fascinating life experiences, frequent travels and the beauty of nature, this artist and award-winning designer has created a distinctive jewelry collection in sterling silver and sterling with 14K gold accents. Cord remains true to his artistic vision, seeking inspiration from the world around him and utilizing old-world craftsmanship to bring that vision to life with this collection of rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and pendant.

“We are thrilled to add the unique aesthetic of Barry Cord’s newest pieces to our designer portfolio,” Diane Paccione, QVC’s vice president of merchandising, said in a canned statement. “His uniquely detailed, fanciful designs are sure to resonate with our customers.”

QVC’s Sterling Designer Gallery event will kick off at 11 p.m. Saturday.

The 25-hour event will feature “accessible pieces” from designers including Michael Dawkins, Judith Ripka and many more. The highlights, according to QVC, include a signed limited edition Dawkins Sterling Petal Cuff, Sterling Pear Shaped Champagne Quartz Earrings from Ripka and the introduction of black diamond pieces from Dweck Diamonds, a luxurious line of diamond jewelry by acclaimed designer Stephen Dweck.

The Barry Cord Collections will range in price from $65 to $400.

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For The Record, QVC, HSN And ShopNBC Aren’t Funding Us: We’re Proud To Say We’re Not Getting A Dime To Write This (Mmmm, Time For A Business Manager)

February 22, 2010

We've commented on HSN CEO Mindy Grossman's cleavage, and you think she's paying us?

We’ve had a number of people, those who’ve had the integrity to ask us right to our face, if we are getting paid to write this blog. We guess the assumption on the part of some, obviously those that don’t know us very well, is that one of the home shopping networks is paying us to write this blog.

Let’s clear the air. Remember that old chestnut to the effect of when you make an assumption you make an ass of yourself. That applies here, folks. Anyone who thinks we’re getting a single dime from QVC, HSN or ShopNBC esta loco, and estupido.

We guess we shouldn’t be bragging about this — since it’s not helping our bank account — but we are not selling ads, offering product placement or in any way, shape or form or getting compensation from anyone to write this blog.

Then why do it, some people ask us, in disbelief. Well, we are looking for a full-time job, and we consider this our living resume and writing sample. It you’re an employer and you don’t like our style, or think the billion-dollar home shopping industry is frivolous, or don’t like snarky commentary, we guess that we are not the right fit for you.

But if you are looking for a reporter/writer who can cover a beat (home shopping); come up with stories and post items on a daily basis; and uniquely combine writing about pop culture, celebrities, news, finance and the inside-gossip of QVC and HSN, then we’re on.

But home shopping, people ask? We’ve said this several times, but we’ll repeat it for newbies to this blog: We love jewelry and gemology, have since we were a kid, and QVC and HSN are the biggest jewelry retailers in the country. We don’t give a crap if Gawker or The Wall Street Journal make fun of the networks.

Yes, we own lucious jewelry from luxury brands such as Tiffany & Co. and Roberto Coin, but we’ve gotten gorgeous things at the three electronic retailers, as well.

The fact that high-end names like Robert Lee Morris, Bobbi Brown, Judith Ripka, Gucci, Godiva, Tag Heuer, Ann King, Barbara Bixby, Stephen Dweck, Badgley Mischka, Dennis Basso and Naeem Khan are selling on QVC, HSN and ShopNBC now makes the case for the networks far more eloquently than we can.

We’ve dinged all three home shopping channels, as well, numerous times. We’ve written about HSN CEO Mindy Grossman’s cleavage, how QVC hired an alleged embezzler who now stands charged with robbing it, and taken ShopNBC to task letting veteran host Charla Rines go. We’ve made fun of QVC and HSN’s PR departments.

Immature? Perhaps. Have some our blogs been silly? Yes. Are we having fun writing them? You betcha.

We like to think we’re doing for home shopping what Joe Flint at the LA Times does for media in “Company Town.”

And so these home shopping channels that we’ve poked fun at — while also covering them as a business reporter would follow any beat — are the same guys you suspect are paying us to write Homeshoppingista? Wrong.

Sunday Scoop: Is Luxury Jewelry Designer John Hardy Coming To QVC?

February 21, 2010

Actress Sienna Miller modeling John Hardy jewelry in Vogue

John Hardy is one of those jewelry designers whose pieces we gaze at lovingly at stores such as Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s, never daring to ask the price of anything.

His sterling silver pieces, handmade by artisans at his studio in Bali, are gorgeous but pricey. But we may be getting a shot of owning his work, apparently.

According to FLA GM, who posted on QVC’s online jewelry forum, Hardy is coming to QVC. How does she know? The poster said her daughter attended a QVC sterling designer meet-and-greet for customers Saturday, and that she overhead “LR” say Hardy was coming onboard.

Our guess is that “LR” is QVC host Lisa Robertston. She had been seen on-air sporting a Hardy cuff, with diamonds and red sapphires, that Neiman Marcus was selling for $4,000.

We e-mailed both QVC and Hardy’s public relations departments, so let’s see if we hear back. Maybe the eaversdropper misunderstood what Lisa was saying.

Today QVC is holding its sterling silver designer day, and bringing Hardy on board would be a coup, and an addition to the other high-end jewelry makers that are doing lower-priced lines for the home shopping channel. Those includes names such as Judith Ripka, Robert Lee Morris and Stephen Dweck.

News Flash: Philadelphia Inquirer Discovers That QVC Sells More Than Cubic Zirconia

February 14, 2010

The Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday broke the big scoop that high-end designers have made their way to QVC because of its “sales clout.” Yes, the consumer press finally got a clue.

We did a huge blog on that topic for Thanksgiving, and have written many other blogs about why big-name designers like Badgley Mischka, Vivienne Tam, Robert Lee Morris, Judith Ripka and Stephen Dweck — whose wares can be found at shops like Neiman Marcus — now have lines for QVC and HSN.

The story, by Inquirer fashion writer Elizabeth Wellington, is headlined “Fashion Fete’s Eyes on QVC: Sales Clout Turns Heads in New York.”

The story talks about QVC telecasting live from Fashion Week in Manhattan again this year, and how “the seller people used to go to for Grandma’s holiday sweater” is now “a major industry player” in the fashion world.

That’s because designers have discovered a rather simple fact, one that snobs who look down their nose at home shopping channels, have yet to grasp: You can make a hell of a lot more money selling thousands of items an hour on QVC than selling just a few costly items in a brick-and-mortar store.

The story quotes Doug Howe, QVC’s chief merchandising officer, as well as the QVC vendors celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal and fashion designer Bradley Bayou.

Roncal told the Inquirer she once sold 20,000 eyeliners in eight minutes on QVC (we use her mascara).

Bayou is quoted as saying he was skeptical when QVC first approached him. He hopped on board.

“When you show couture, you sell maybe 10 to 20 pieces (a season), but when you show on QVC, you can sell 1,000 pieces in an hour,” Bayou told the Inquirer.

The newspaper also reported that QVC rival HSN, those sly pusses, will have a breakfast in New York to show off its new spring fashions in a couple of weeks.

QVC Gives Jewelry Lovers A Gift With Day Dedicated To Jewelry Gifts, With Judith Ripka TSV Button Earrings

December 8, 2009

Loyal QVC viewers — us included — who have been griping about the lack of jewelry shows on the home shopping network should be happy Tuesday.

QVC has dedicated most of the day to “Jewely Gifts of Distinction,” kicking off the event with a Today’s Special Value from Judith Ripka.

The TSV is gem button earrings, for both pierced ears but also in clips, that come in five different gemstones, including our favorite, crystal quartz. The earrings are $100, on three Easy Pays.

Today QVC is also offering jewelry from high-end designers Stephen Dweck, with his new Dweck Diamonds line, Michael Dawkins, Robert Lee Morris, Barbara Bixby, Echo of the Dreamer, Barry Cord and Ann King, who is married to noted jewelry designer Steven Lagos.

So far, we have not seen Judith Ripka on herself. Her son seems to be subbing for her. At midnight, host Jane Teacy introduced the TSV and mistakenly said it was from Joan Rivers, leaving Ripka’s son looking a little uneasy. But Treacy then went on to get the name right — Ripka, not Rivers.

We guess Jane wasn’t used to be up past her bedtime, on the air at midnight.

QVC, HSN and ShopNBC Should Give Thanks For Home Shopping’s Sea Change: They’ve Attracted Luxury Brands Like Gucci, Badgley Mischka And Stephen Dweck

November 26, 2009

QVC CEO Mike George

We thought we were seeing things a few days ago when we checked ShopNBC’s Web site and saw that it was selling dozens of Gucci watches. What happened, did they fall off a truck? Why was Gucci, a premier luxury brand, being sold on a home shopping network?

Then back in October, we couldn’t believe it when a sharp-eyed poster on QVC’s jewelry forum said that upscale jewelry designer Stephen Dweck, whose chunky gemstone masterpieces are featured in Neiman Marcus, was on the No. 1 home shopping network’s schedule. THE Stephen Dweck?

We checked QVC’s program guide ourselves, and there it was: Dweck was doing a lower-priced jewelry line for QVC called Dweck’s Diamonds. His Neiman Marcus pieces didn’t even have diamonds. The high-end stuff is made with semi-precious stones.

Also in October, we were checking the press releases on HSN’s Web site when we saw the network had struck a deal with one of the most famous and elite fashion houses: Badgley Mischka, designers of bejeweled gowns for the red carpet and celebrities.

We’ve written bits and pieces of this during the past two months, but we thought we’d tie it all up in a tidy package for Thanksgiving: There has been a sea change in the home shopping world, prompted by the disastrous economy and the crash of the luxury market.

Yes, home shopping networks have seen their sales hurt by the economy, like everyone else. But they claim they are still managing to steal market share from brick-and-mortar retailers. In fact, QVC is making a full-frontal assault on them this Black Friday, with 28 hours of special products and programming stunts starting Thanksgiving night.

The consumer press will continue to mention “cubic zirconia” in every story it writes about QVC or HSN, oblivious to the fact that some of the most esteemed names in fashion, jewelry and cosmetics — brands you find in Saks, Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus — are plying their wares on the aforementioned home shopping channels.

ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart

Male journalists are blind to this. You still have the nerds at Gawker, a snide Web Site for the navel-gazing media, chiding HSN for selling “useless crap.”

If you have ever seen how male journalists dress or their fashion and style sensibilities, you will realize that you can’t expect them to know names like Badgley Mischka, Judith Ripka, Robert Lee Morris, our fellow Montclair, N.J., resident Bobbi Brown, Yves Saint Laurent, Smashbox, Lancome and Dweck. And these brands and artists don’t represent “useless crap.”

Luxury-good makers are hurting, and they need to make up their loss in sales. So they are turning to outlets like QVC, as CEO Mike George explained at a recent Liberty Media conference, as outlets to distribute new lower-priced lines to the masses. George cited fashion designer Vivienne Tam’s QVC alliance at the meeting held in Manhattan by his parent company, Liberty.

“This complete implosion of luxury retailing in America has caused all these folks to rethink their business model,” George said.

And that means partnering with QVC, HSN or ShopNBC.

As we said, it will take the consumer press years to figure out that home shopping channels are distribution powerhouses that have undergone a transformation, in part because of the infllux of talent like a Morris, who does couture jewelry for designers like Donna Karan and RLM Studio sterling silver jewelry for QVC.

The Big Three — QVC, HSN and ShopNBC — are aggressively trying to broaden their audience and potential customer base, those who don’t normally watch any of these three networks. That means the three are actually “programming” the channels, doing “shows” that have entertainment value, not just product shilling, so they will attract non-QVC or non-HSN watchers.

We remember once interviewing a QVC exec years ago and asking what the network’s ratings were. He said ratings were irrelevant: QVC was only concerned about how many products were sold in an hour.

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman

That’s a totally different tune from what we heard recently from QVC’s George, and from the strategies that HSN CEO Mindy Grossman and ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart have initiated.

Like traditional TV networks, the home shopping players want viewers to “sample” a QVC or an HSN. These new audience members, hopefully, will then see products that they want to buy.

For example, singer Natalie Cole recently did a live concert on HSN to promote a new Holiday CD set she is selling on the channel. If you’re a fan, you might tune in to HSN to see her, and then actually decide to purchase her CD. Artists such
as Jose Feliciano have also performed live on QVC.

QVC alum Stewart on a recent third-quarter conference call pointed out that actress-entrepreneur Suzanne Somers, who came to ShopNBC from HSN, had succeeded in attracting new viewers to Minneapolis-based ShopNBC because she was “entertaining.” And these networks want new eyeballs.

And home shopping networks’ capacity to reach millions of consumers and do fulfillment of orders has not been lost on magazine publishers, celebrities or cable’s reality TV stars. With circulation falling, women’s magazines such as Lucky, Allure, Glamour and Self are partnering with HSN to sell subscriptions.

And stars have seen the light. In a recent interview in Oprah Winfey’s O magazine, Joan Rivers, who’s had a jewelry line on QVC for almost 20 years, told O she was on home shopping when “nobody except dead celebrities was doing merchandise on TV.”

Nowadays, it’s hard to find a celebrity or TV star who doesn’t have a home shopping line. Even Madonna was interviewed on HSN when she was selling her children’s book.

Here’s a partial list:

Paula Abdul, HSN, formerly “American Idol,” Fox

Rachel Zoe, QVC, “The Rachel Zoe Project,” Bravo

Isaac Mizrahi, QVC, “The Fashion Show,” Bravo

Padma Lakshmi, HSN, “Top Chef,” Bravo

Ramona Singer, HSN, “The Real Housewives of New York City,” Bravo

Susan Lucci, HSN, “All My Children,” ABC

Carson Kressley, QVC, “How to Look Good Naked,” Lifetime Television

Dr. Robert Rey, ShopNBC, “Dr. 90210,” E! Entertainment Television

Tori Spelling, HSN, “Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood,” Oxygen

Paula Deen, QVC, Food Network

Rachael Ray, QVC, “The Rachael Ray Show,” syndication

Ingrid Hoffmann, HSN, Food Network and Univision

Home shopping is a big business. ShopNBC is the also-ran in the group, but in the third quarter Stewart made some nice progress cutting its losses. Sales for the Big Three were all down, but down less than previous quarters.

And we are not talking chump change for these networks. The three home shopping channels generated $8.3 billion in net revenue in 2008. QVC domestic posted $4.9 billion, HSN netted $2.8 billion and ShopNBC had $568 million.

Even with revenue still slipping this year, for the first nine months QVC had revenue of $3.308 billion; HSN had net sales of $1.4 billion; and ShopNBC had $372.6 million in net sales.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Upscale Jewelry Designer Stephen Dweck Returns To QVC With Dweck Diamonds Dec. 8

November 17, 2009

High-end jewelry designer Stephen Dweck will be back at QVC Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. as part of a “Jewelry Gifts of Distinction” event.

Dweck debuted his Dweck Diamonds line for QVC Oct. 28, and it was very well-received. The designer’s work for QVC is nature-inspired, twig and branch-like, with tiny diamond-peppered buds. A lot of items sold out. We loved his stuff — mom didn’t.

The designer and former sculptor is also doing another new line of jewelry, Garden of Stephen, for Bloomingdale’s that is totally different from his Dweck Diamonds and also less expensive than the couture pieces. His high-end jewelry can cost thousands of dollars, and is sold in upscale stores like Neiman Marcus.

Dweck, who lives in Brooklyn, is a real artist but was delightful on the air during his premiere. He was warm, modest and very charming. If we had his talent, our heads would be bigger than a hot-air balloon.

Unlike Other Hosts (You There Lisa?), HSN’s Shivan Sarna Swears She Bought Three Sets Of The Today’s Special Pearl Necklaces

November 7, 2009

111307_FP_HostBio_Shivan

Shivan Sarna

Has a certain HSN host been reading our Homeshoppingista blog? We think Shivan Sarna may have taken a peek. Here’s why.

We’ve done several blogs on QVC host Lisa Robertson’s claim in nearly every show that she plans to buy an item, or more, that she is presenting. We started keeping track during the Stephen Dweck premiere. If she’s telling the truth, she must have one hell of a big jewelry box and closet.

On QVC rival HSN Saturday morning, Sarna was doing a presentation on the network’s Today’s Special, a set of four freshwater pearl necklaces for $100.

Sarna told viewers that certain online forums, we think that’s how she phrased it, had made comments about home shopping hosts claiming to own or wanting to buy merchandise they are presenting. Could it be our blog she was referencing?

Sarna said that she had been wearing a sample of the pearl necklaces for several weeks, and that last night, “I bought three sets myself.”

OK Sarna, we’ll take your word for it. But we’re still not believing Lisa.

We enjoy Sarna on HSN. She offers minimal hype, and she is a rockhound like us, but a trained one. She is a graduate gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America, which is apparently not an easy credential to get.

But we’re not feeling that HSN SV. We have some pearls, but we really love gemstones. Our birthstone is the diamond, and we have a smattering of those, but we often wear crystal quartz, white topaz, white zircon and white sapphire as substitutes.

We always wear natural gemstones, no cubic zirconia. We believe in those wacky New Age notions that gems and rocks have different powers and energies, so we want the real McCoy (we’re not talking about Wes or Pam) next to our skin.

We have a quartz crystal from Scottsdale, Ariz., next to our bed. And like every vortex-seeking chucklehead, we’ve been to the red-rock wonderland Sedona (now sadly overdeveloped) about a dozen times.

And this actually is not all that crazy, after all. Don’t radios and other electronic equipment use quartz to transmit energy? We’re just saying.

QVC Host Lisa Robertson Adds To Her Endless List of Purchases From Her Employer

October 31, 2009

We said we were going to keep track of each time QVC host Lisa Robertson says she’s buying an item she’s presenting, so here’s an update. Last week Robertson claimed she was going to buy a pair of hoop earrings from upscale jewelry designer Stephen Dweck’s new QVC line, Dweck Diamonds.

On Friday Robertson was presenting Ross-Simons jewelry. During that shindig, Robertson several times told the company’s CEO and president, Darrell Ross, that she planned to purchase several of his products.

First, she was going nuts over a pair of pearl and gemstone dangle earrings priced at $77.

“Don’t be surprised if I own those earrings by the end of the show,” Robertson told Ross, later adding, “Everytime you’re here, I spend money.”

Then Robertson said that she also planned to add a silver daisy ring to her shopping list (we put it on our list, too, for when we get a job).

As we said, Robertson’s jewelry box and clothes closet must be the size of warehouses, to hold all the QVC merchandise she claims she buys.

The note pad we’re using to list her QVC purchases is right by our TV, and we know it will get longer and longer.

InStyle Magazine Says Upscale Jewelry Designer Stephen Dweck Has Second Lower-Priced Line In Works, In Addition To QVC’s Dweck Diamonds

October 30, 2009

It looks like “rock star” jewelry designer Stephen Dweck isn’t just doing a lower-priced line for QVC. He has a second affordable jewelry line in the works for retail. 

Dweck, whose upscale pieces are sold in Neiman Marcus, next month will debut a jewelry line called Garden of Stephen in Bloomingdale’s, according to the November issue of InStyle magazine. This week Dweck debuted another lower-priced line, Dweck Diamonds, on QVC.

In a story headlined “Rock Star,” InStyle notes that celebrities such as Beyonce and Blake Lively of “Gossip Girl” all wear Dweck’s upscale jewelry, which is chunky and loaded with huge semiprecious gems. Actresses Salma Hayek and Catherine Zeta-Jones rocked (get it) Dweck’s jewelry when they were cover girls for InStyle.

Dweck’s Garden of Stephen jewelry is totally different from the work he has done for QVC, and both lower-priced lines are nothing like his higher-end pieces. The jewelry that will be sold in Bloomie’s includes gold-plated chains with semi-precious charms and scarab rings. They are in the $235 to $345 price range.

QVC’s Dweck Diamonds pieces were inspired by nature. They have an organic feel, with designs that incorporate flowers and twig-like branches. Some of the jewelry had tiny buds, sprinkled with diamonds. The most expensive QVC piece was a $604 necklace, which sold out.