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Cause Celeb:

December 19, 2011

A Cocktail to Fête David Yurman

Baubles and a Ballet Benefit

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Invite-only guests gathered at David Yurman boutique to meet the legendary jewelry designer at a cocktail to benefit Atlanta Ballet

Co-Chairs Chris and Merry Carlos, Evan Yurman, Co-Chair Su Longman, David Yurman Co-Chairs Chris and Merry Carlos, Evan Yurman, Co-Chair Su Longman, David Yurman

The VIPs

Su Longman and Merry Carlos played host to the NYC-based designer David Yurman, who flew in with son Evan Yurman for the cocktail benefit

Bridgette and Lance Weller Bridgette and Lance Weller

The Venue

The chic David Yurman boutique at Lenox Square

The Highlights

A buzzy crowd of bauble lovers sipped bubbly and admired the many women’s and men’s jewels on display, including many special pieces flown in from New York for the occasion. Among the scene-makers:  host Su Longman clad in a to-die-for embellished black velvet jacket from Karl Lagerfeld’s Paris-Byzantine collection, Atlanta Ballet Artistic Director John McFall, Marjorie and Steve Harvey, Tony Conway, Barbara Collins, Debbie Dean, Sally Dorsey, Drew Brown, Steve and Millie Smith, Bridgette and Lance Weller.

The Cause

Proceeds from the night benefitted the Atlanta Ballet. On Feb. 4 Merry Carlos and Su Longman will co-chair this year’s Atlanta Ballet Ball at St. Regis Atlanta. For more information call 404.873.5811 ext. 203.






David Yurman David Yurman

Is it true you started your career as a sculptor?

I trained with the sculptor Hans Van de Bovenkamp  when I was 22. I saw a piece of his in the reflecting pool of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and it knocked me out. I liked the emotion of his work. Then I worked in New York City with four or five sculptors. I was welding liquid metals. It’s very similar to jewelry making which is also an art—it’s manipulating metals and materials. I believe there is no difference between the fine arts and artisans/craftsmen. In the Renaissance they were all artisans and worked for princes whether making paintings, tapestries, furniture or jewelry, etc.


Yours is very much a family business. What do you, your wife Sibyl and son Evan each bring to the artistic mix?

We have similar points of views or aesthetics… and strong opinions. That’s where the fun begins. If we are all shaking our heads “yes” something is wrong!


Your really spearheaded the men’s jewelry trend with items like the dog tag. How did this come about?

It started as a request from one of the David Yurman stores. I was a little reluctant. In 2003 our son Evan was interested in joining the company and he began work on the men’s line. He was inspired by real dog tags with rubber outside them from a skateboard company and then he did black diamond dog tags for us. The men’s business has tripled since he came on.


Tell me about some of your newest jewelry collections such as Lantana, Starburst and Tapestry

A rubelite necklace from the Lantana Collection A rubelite necklace from the Lantana Collection

Tapestry plays on a motif we have used for 15 years, the quatrefoil shape. For example, the stones come up from the back of the cocktail rings and they are enveloped with the quatrefoil design. Lantana is very elongated and elliptical in shape and is all in gold and diamonds. The long necklace with the pink rubelite drop in the middle is like a flower—it’s more back to nature. All 3 collections are gold. Gold has grown in value 50% since we started. It always represents 25% of our business. Starburst was my wife Sibyl’s idea. She was inspired by the starburst motif of Louis XIV, the Sun King. But the line also has a vintage 1950’s feel.


How do your jewelry designs come about?

We do an average of 250 new designs a year with 2-3 private collections. We typically sketch our designs by hand and then we may do a 2-D or 3-D rendering. Sometimes the stones suggest the design and sometimes visa versa.


Do you have a favorite spot in Atlanta when you visit?

Well, they took me to the Goat Farm today, which was marvelous. There are about 358 artists involved in it, who are given space for free to exhibit etc. I could have spent the whole day there. The essence of a community is about how it connects to the art scene.


Tell me about your new limited edition fragrance

It comes in 3 notes that you mix and customize yourself: the exotic, floral and spicy. They are “fresh essences” so not too strong. We also have a limited edition Oud fragrance with saffron, corriander and cinnamon that is available outside of the U.S. [and inside the U.S. at David Yurman boutiques and Saks Fifth Avenue.] Supposedly the royal family of Saudia Arabia wears my fragrances.


Cocktail rings from the Tapestry Colleciton Cocktail rings from the Tapestry Colleciton

You have used Kate Moss often as the face of David Yurman in your advertising campaigns. Why did you select her as a David Yurman ambassador?

We did not use Kate Moss this year because the campaign was focused on New York ,where Sibyl and I were both born and raised—Sibyl in Manhattan and me in the Bronx. But Kate has been in 7 or 8 of our campaigns. She has a great inner life and energy. She’s very authentic in the way she dresses and she's real. Nothing wears Kate, she wears the dress and she has great taste and makes great fashion choices.


It’s the holiday season, do you and your family have any special plans or holiday traditions?

We exchange presents for sure and of course we give jewelry as gifts to aunts, cousins, etc. On Sundays, all year long, and on holidays too, we have family gatherings at our house in Long Island. We spend about 4-5 days just cooking, etc. 


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