Reflections on Paris Fashion Week in March... and Baselworld
Paris Fashion Week is a major season highlight. It’s a storm of activity – great friends, meeting new people, amazing food, constant jet-lag, fun nights, and lots of work. Running from one appointment to the next. The landscape of the city is an amazing backdrop to a grueling work- day and work-evening, and any sight-seeing occurs between appointments. I am not complaining.
This season was our longest yet. We decided to show at the Baselworld jewelry show in Switzerland for the first time, and that started about a week after Paris ended. So we closed out Paris week, and then took the train to London to see friends, hit some gastropubs, and introduce our brand to Harrods.
Harrods launched Spinelli Kilcollin this past February, and we were excited to meet the team and see our collection in the cases. We gave an early-morning training and then wandered the store in a daze of amazement and sleepiness.
Harrods is the biggest store I’ve ever seen in my life. The jewelry section is like a small shopping center. Our guide has worked there three years, and was still getting lost! Each store associate you encounter asks if you need help with directions. We wandered through floors of clothing, restaurants, butchers and grocers, TVs, appliances, the Egyptian escalator... it’s a mind-blowing experience.
Landing in Basel from London via Paris is a small culture shock. There are three exits at the airport – France, Germany, Switzerland. The city runs at a slow and efficient pace. The streets are practically empty because everyone takes trams. I never figured out how to pay for these, so would hop on and hop off with the crowds. There are six Uber drivers in town, and we encountered the same ones – the blonde woman, the guy with the Tesla.
We stayed in floating hotels in a non-determined section of the Rhine that no one knew how to find each night.
Baselworld is a surreal trade show experience, even by fine jewelry standards. Watch brands make up 80% of the show, and they build a shopping center for the seven-day duration: four- story booths with elevators, waterfalls, jellyfish aquariums, roulette tables.
Food in Switzerland consists mostly of hard cheese, sausage, meat, bread, and melted cheese. And pickled vegetables. The highlight of our entire stay was eating a traditional Raclette with fellow jewelry designer Eva Fehren prepared by her mom in the apartment where she grew up.
Three weeks in Europe was a nice trek. It felt good to be home... if even only for 10 days. The next leg of this world tour is New York, Dallas, and Tokyo. That's a story for another time...
Chandelier at Hotel Costes
Colones De Buren
Our display at Baselworld
Raclette with Eva Fehren
Saturday afternoon in London
Our display at Colette next to Pamela Love
Dinners and parties in Paris
Pamela Love book signing at Colette
Showing our new chain collection during Paris Fashion Week
Our display at Harrods
Late night Parisian karaoke with Marc Alary
Seine in the evening