Charlotte Biehl, founder, ByBiehl
International heads coming to Sydney
By Dean Millard
The International Jewellery Fair continues to gain international
prominence with a number of international CEOs announcing they will be
representing their brands in Sydney.
Mark Milton, Chamilia head Mike Flaherty, Dora owner Eddie Akdemir and ByBiehl creator Charlotte Biehl will all be attending the Sydney fair in an attempt to further strengthen and increase their company’s penetration into the Australian and New Zealand jewellery markets.
Chamilia Australia general manager Mike Russell said the finer details were still being confirmed as to the length of Flaherty’s visit but added the international head of the business had big plans for the brand in the region and this trip was an important part of putting those plans into action.
It will be Flaherty’s first visit to Sydney and Russell said Flaherty would be joined by Chamilia chief sales officer Rich Garrity, while two other senior business leaders from the brand would also visit Australia in the weeks that followed.
“The purpose of the trip is three-fold really,” Russell explained. “One, he [Flaherty] will meet some key partners, such as the Swarovski staff, we will be teeing up to meet each of the buying groups and discuss our partnership with them, but also just being at the stands to meet our stockists.”
“We will also spend a day visiting retail stores, looking at the competition and the landscape because the retail environment is different in Australia to what it is in the US,” he added. “We are also keen to spend some time with all of the staff here in the office talking about the changes and innovation we will be seeing over the next six months. We will also look at the business planning side of things and how we can become a bigger force here.”
At a recent presentation in the US, Flaherty stated the Australian and New Zealand markets had been targeted as a key area of growth for the brand.
“The objective is to grow our business substantially, grow our market share and take some of that share away from our competitors,” he said.
Mark Milton will be making his sixth visit to the Sydney Fair. It will be a quick trip for him this year though, as he will leave again Sunday afternoon to attend another trade fair in London.
The company’s Australian general manager Heidi Pentinger said Milton will be in Australia from the Tuesday prior to the fair for buyer meetings and to discuss local business and sales strategies.
“He finds the Australian market very important to our business,” Pentinger said. “We have been in this market for over 11 years, and it was a hard slog at the beginning, but the Australian and New Zealand business is a strong part of the business and that is why he was so keen to make it to the fair again, even though he will have to leave on Sunday afternoon.”
Pentinger said while Milton is in Australia, he will spend some time training the Australian and New Zealand staff.
For ByBiehl designer and founder Charlotte Biehl, the methodology of the trip will likely be a little different, given the brand only launched in Australia at the start of the year.
Lilly Webber of Webber & Tonkin, the Australian distributor of ByBiehl, said this would be Biehl’s first trip to Australia and that she had a busy schedule lined up for the week following the fair.
“She is coming out for the fair, arriving Sunday morning, and will be at the fair until Tuesday,” Webber said. “On Wednesday she is meeting with a range of consumer magazines and then making in-store appearances on Thursday at Mossman, St Ives and Castlehill at some little VIP events.”
Webber said it would be great to have Biehl at the fair as it would give her a chance to meet some of the brand’s stockists, something she believed was important for international brands to do.
“She is coming out to promote and talk to the retailers and just be there,” Webber said. “I think it is important for overseas brands to come out, it is a big trip for them, but people like to be able to talk to the owner or designer of a brand to help them connect to the brand.”
Akdemir will be in Australia for a week in total, arriving on August 30 and departing the day following the conclusion of the Sydney Fair.
In other fair news, fashion watch juggernaut Ice-Watch has announced that it will release two unique and colourful products, the Ice-Clock and the Ice-Phone.
The Ice-Clock comes as a wall clock or alarm clock, and uses the familiar watchface of the Sili Forever collection, while the Ice-Phone resembles a retro handset phone and connects to smartphones to make phone calls like days of old.
Meanwhile, Brisbane-based supplier Diadema, which folded 35 years ago, will relaunch at the fair. Jose Garcia Jr has brought the brand back that his father started in 1975, and will unveil two silver brands, Artlinea and Jessica.
There will be a flurry of activity at the Sams Group stand, with several collection launches planned. Its Pink Kimberley brand will debut a pink argyle diamond range set in 18-carat gold, while charm jewellery line Blossom Copenhagen will launch in earnest after a successful soft launch in Brisbane.
The company has also timed a number of new Classique and R.M. Williams watch ranges for release at the fair.
New jewellery ranges at Sydney fair
Posted August 21, 2012