The very first jewelry show I ever attended, in 2014, was Couture, in Las Vegas. Soon after that, I attended the Hong Kong Gem & Jewellery Show. But the show I really wanted to be at, the most talked about event in the jewelry world, was Baselworld! When I first attended... I was blown away. The most prestigious watch brands in the world, all dominated by the massive Rolex booth. The best jewelry, headlined by Graff. The parties, the people,everything was spectacular! But... scratch below the surface... and the rumblings of discontent amongst the exhibitors was there. The show was too long. It was too expensive. The organizers were inflexible. And so on and so on!
Over the course of the next ten years, the rumblings grew louder and louder... and more and more key exhibitors pulled out of the show. Attempts by the organizers to meet with exhibitors were too late... and once the mighty Rolex pulled out, it was game over!
This left a gaping hole in the Swiss watch and jewelry events calendar. The watchmakers were quick to rally, and SIHH grew, and evolved into Watches and Wonders, the largest watch show today. Enter Michael Hakimian, CEO and founder of Yoko London Pearls, who saw a gap for quality jewelry brands to get together in an elegant and intimate setting, and present their collections in Geneva. If you are at all familiar with Yoko London Pearls, then you would know Michael has a keen eye for detail, understands the market better than most, and doesn't do anything in half measures! And so it came to be that Haute Jewels Geneva was born, bringing together a collection of exceptional jewelry brands that compliment rather than compete with one another.
Michael has succeeded in achieving what few jewelry shows are able to do - creating an environment where buyers are able to see a collection of finest jewels, yet the diversity of designs and gemstones in each collection really enables the brands to stand apart from one another, while simultaneously catering to all tastes!
Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to Michael about the show, which has its third edition taking place on Geneva at the Fairmont Hotel, March 26- 2 April, 2023.
TDG: How did HJG come about?
MK: In 2019 I saw a gap in the market for an intimate jewellery show with like minded brands, to take place during the spring in Geneva. The objective of the show was to remove some of the formality and red tape associated with jewellery trade shows and create an event by jewellers for jewellers. We had longer opening hours to allow flexibility in terms of when clients wanted to visit participating brands. The objective of the show was to bring the retailer and supplier together to do business in a relaxed and informal environment. In 2019, we launched Haute Jewels Geneva with just four brands participating (Yoko London, Roberto Coin, Crivelli and Sutra), and in 2023 we are thrilled to have 23 brands taking part.
TDG: What makes this show different from other jewelry shows?
MK: The show’s location is in a luxury hotel rather than an exhibition centre, immediately giving it a more informal feel. We want our exhibitors and their visitors to feel free to conduct their business in relaxed, luxurious surroundings. The team at the Fairmont Grand Hotel Geneva provide exceptional service to every exhibitor, meaning visitors and participating brands want for nothing and can focus on doing business. With 23 brands exhibiting it is still a small show, relatively speaking, and adds an air of intimacy and personality to the event, with a real feel of camaraderie and friendship amongst the brands.
TDG: Who are your typical attendees? Can anyone attend?
MK: Almost all the attendees to the 2022 edition of Haute Jewels Geneva were from the top jewellery and watch retailers around the globe and we expect the same from the 2023 edition. This year we also intend to allow private buyers to attend during the last two days of the show.
TDG: And the exhibiting brands - tell us about them!
MK: Although each of the brands offers something unique, they are like minded in their approach to jewellery creation – they are all seen as artisans in their own field, and all combine high quality materials with superior design, resulting in spectacular haute jewels. We have broad selection of top international brands from countries all around the world.
TDG: Anything new and exciting about the 2023 edition that we should be aware of?
MK: We have five new brands joining the collective this year – Pasquale Bruni, Busatti 1947, Casato, L.J West Diamonds and Karen Suen. We are thrilled to welcome these unique brands to the Haute Jewels Geneva family and know they will add to the colourful mix of brands who are showcasing their exceptional jewels at the event. We are taking over an even larger space in the hotel this year, with the show spread over 3 separate floors, now including some of the shop units in the lobby of the hotel.
TDG: Lastly… a personal question… We know you are the CEO of Yoko London, and the Founder of Haute Jewels Geneva - how do you manage both roles, and have time for family? What’s your secret?
MK: I eat a lot of delicious Persian food!
The countdown and anticipation for Haute Jewels Geneva 2023 has already begun... be sure to register to attend here: https://hautejewelsgeneva.com/registration/
Hope to see you all there!