The Next Bling Thing
Jewelry designer and part-time county resident David Yurman on his new White Plains boutique and the hottest new jewelry looks
You’ve seen legendary jeweler David Yurman’s chic gold and silver creations on countless red-carpet regulars, including The Kates—Hudson and Moss—as well as Brad Pitt, Charlize Theron, and Teri Hatcher. You might even own (or merely covet) one of his wildly popular signature cable-design bracelets. But now, whether you’re a fine-jewelry aficionado looking to pick up a little something for your own Yurman collection or a fan who simply wants to gaze at his designs up close and personal, you won’t have far to go. Yurman’s newest boutique—one of only 15 in the country and the second north of Manhattan—recently opened at The Westchester. The designer shares his thoughts with us on his new shop and the latest jewelry design trends.
Why did you decide to open your latest boutique in Westchester?
We have a very loyal clientele here. The Westchester region is sophisticated and shoppers here are discerning in their taste for jewelry, fashion, and luxury goods. And The Westchester is a prestigious shopping center with a wide array of luxury brands.
What’s your impression of the county?
I own a house in Northern Westchester; it is a remarkable region with many points of interest. I enjoy the horseback-riding trails in the area and try to visit our house to get away from the hectic pace of New York City every now and then.
What sparked your initial interest in jewelry design?
I began exploring jewelry design and working with stone setting as an apprentice to sculptor Hans Van de Bovenkamp in New York City in the seventies. I designed a belt buckle as a gift for my wife, Sybil, when we were first dating, which caught immediate interest and was an impetus for future designs.
What jewelry design trends will be the Next Big Thing?
Versatility in jewelry design and function is always desirable. Our Graphite Ice collection is a refined, versatile collection featuring black diamonds and sterling silver, which are in sync with the black-and-white trend.
What five pieces of jewelry do you think every woman should have in her personal jewelry collection?
A strong cocktail ring in a powerful stone like black onyx or blue topaz, a silver or gold chain necklace, a pair of sculptural earrings that frame the face, a classic timepiece, and, if appropriate, a diamond engagement ring and wedding band.
And what two pieces of jewelry should every man own?
First and foremost, at least one timepiece—if not two. And, if appropriate, a wedding band, as simple or as intricate as he desires.
What’s next for you?
We are expanding internationally. And we just launched our signature David Yurman fragrance and will be launching eyewear by the end of the year.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
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How would you describe your designs to someone who’s never seen them?
They’re relaxed American luxury—a combination of the traditional and the modern, and the masculine and the feminine.
Do you wear your own jewelry? If so, what pieces are you wearing right now?
I always wear at least one piece of my own jewelry. I am currently wearing the men’s spiritual bracelet and a Belmont watch.
Of all your designs, which piece is your personal favorite and why?
It’s difficult to choose only one, but our men’s timepieces are classic and luxurious. I particularly like the Belmont men’s timepiece, as it is masculine yet refined.
Who would you say is your most challenging competitor?
Myself—I always aim to develop and grow as an artist and designer— and my wife, Sybil. She is a driving force for our brand and I often find myself admiring her creativity.
Are there any mentors you particularly admire?
Sculptor Hans Van de Bovenkamp, as I learned a great deal working with him.
What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
I am an avid horse enthusiast and enjoy horseback riding in my free time.
What’s the least expensive piece in your line?
One of our more affordable pieces is the classic David Yurman cable bracelet in sterling silver and 14-karat gold, which retails for $395.
And the most expensive piece?
Our limited edition couture pieces, which can start at $20,000 and above.
What’s your best-selling design? Why do you think it is so popular?
The Albion rings for women incorporate colorful stones and intricate design to create a signature aesthetic. The men’s Scarab rings are angular and masculine as is the titanium and yellow gold cuff
What makes a David Yurman piece different from another designer’s work?
David Yurman has a long-standing design tradition; it encompasses refined craftsmanship, innovation, and timeless design above all. Creativity and artistry are at the core of our foundation; we refer to a distinct aesthetic language with the creation of all new pieces.
How do you envision the Westchester market/customer base?
Like any of our stores, we hope to attract women and men who appreciate quality, timeless style and intricate design.
How do you think Westchester will differ from your other markets?
Each of our 15 stores in the US operates in such a way to fulfill the needs and tastes of our clientele in that city. We are sure that Westchester will be a dynamic store for us, attracting both residents and visitors alike.
Are you tailoring your product mix for Westchester differently than for you other boutiques?
The store will feature all our collections, including gold, silver, silver ice, pearl, men’s, cable kids, women’s and men’s timepieces. Also, exclusive to David Yurman retail boutiques are the limited edition pieces and the bridal collection.