Celebrity stylist and TV commentator Michael O’Connor, MIA from the home shopping world for two years, will be back on the scene on Tuesday with his Bella Luce collection for Jewelry Television.
We recently blogged about O’Connor’s return to home shopping, now that his non-compete clause with QVC has ended, but last week we got to chat with him about why he is doing this cubic zirconia line for JTV.
He said that his debut JTV collection — more than two dozen pieces hitting a top price of $190 — includes “a nice mix” of classic and dressier jewelry set in sterling silver. Pieces are already online.
O’Connor, whose Yorkie was yipping in the background as we spoke to him on the phone, said he has already shown some of his celebrity clientele pieces of his JTV jewelry. Actresses Lesley Nichol of “Downton Abbey” and “Glee” alum Jane Lynch are in photos sporting it. Lynch has O’Connor’s version of an angel-wing pendant, and Nichol has already worn her earrings on the red carpet, according to O’Connor.
A number of the pieces are inspired by what has appeared on the red carpet (which can cost $200,000 to $2 million), scaled down but including the detailing and the “impeccable” quality that O’Connor said he wanted. That would include the back of the pieces being as finished and as gorgeous as the front, according to O’Connor.
“It’s beautiful no matter what way you look at it,” he said.
To get the drift of what we’re talking about, take a gander at the backside of a John Hardy piece.
O’Connor, who spent 14 years on QVC essentially repping its Affinity Diamond line on-air, said that the feedback he often got from viewers then was that they wanted “more important,” grand pieces with larger stones.
But that was virtually impossible to do affordably at QVC, because the price of diamonds had shot up 40 percent to 70 percent and gold also skyrocketed. After O’Connor parted ways with QVC, he did some work for JTV, acting as a judge for its national search for “rock star” jewelry designers.
He was eventually approached by JTV about doing a line for it, and O’Connor said he was impressed with the quality of the CZ, or as he called it that “diamond simulant,” that Bella Luce incorporated. The deal was sealed when he found a manufacturer who could produce jewelry of the quality he demanded.
O’Connor’s signature stamp will also be on his collection, a mark that includes a small pink Bella Luce stone. Kinda reminds us of the ruby that Roberto Coin uses as a signature on its jewelry.
O’Connor’s initial pieces will be mainly white, but O’Connor said he is looking to branch out to colors such as blue and yellow.
He has been posting photos of his JTV jewelry on his Facebook page. So far O’Connor said the collection has been well-received, and he is even listening to suggestions.
For example, O’Connor said one woman was was lamenting the fact that she needed a size 4 ring, and he is hoping make that size a staple to his jewelry in the future.
His collection will air 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.