The first edition of GemGenève was held in Palexpo mid-May. A fair that aims to become to jewelry what Baselworld is to watches. But in the weeks that followed the closing of the show many still wondered what GemGenève was all about! Explanations.
Despite the extensive and qualitative press coverage that has been done before and after many people from the brands, the press, buyers or even final customers still wondered and therefore asked us what was this show all about. Who attended? What was the atmosphere like? Was there anything interesting? Those were the questions that were quickly forthcoming.
For your information :
GemGenève lasted 4 days with 147 exhibitors and over 4300 attendees. Quite a number for a first edition, considering that it happened in the middle of the Cannes Festival and during a holiday weekend! GemGenève was about discovering a part of the jewelry industry that is rarely neither put under the spotlight nor accessible to what we consider « regular people ».
For starters, you could stumble upon the Designer’s Showcases curated by journalist and historian Vivienne Becker who carefully selected each of the 12 designers for a specific reason : From Caspita to Nadia Morgenthaler or the young Emmanuel Tarpin who just turned 25 and sold his first pair of earrings during the last NY Christie’s auction in November less than 6 months after founding his eponymous brand. The American designer Robert Procop who normally never attends shows unveiled his Style of Jolie collection, a collaboration between his long time friend and actress Angelina Jolie in which 100% of the profits serve their charity in order to build schools and provide education for children in areas of devastating conflicts.
Also – Walking the aisles of the fair you could admire the showcases of stone dealers filled with sparkling stones. From rough diamonds specialists to fancy vivid diamonds, Spinels experts, Tahitian pearls, Colombian emeralds or simple diamond dealers – buyers, brands or even final customers were able to spoil their eyes and sometimes their wallets with exquisite and unique gems.
Last but not least, Antique Jewelry dealers were amongst the biggest players of the show considering that GemGenève was born thanks to Thomas Faerber and Ronny Totah two world-renowned and jewelry experts. We could spot from one booth to another a Vintage Belperron necklace or a Cartier brooch from the 1930’s. But also antique pieces from specific eras : art deco, art nouveau, or Victorian eras. A vintage Bvlgari Serpenti could be found next to a Van Cleef and Arpels Zip Necklace, a JAR ring or a bracelet signed by René Boivin. A genuine playground for jewelry enthusiasts.
On an education level, short conferences were held on a variety of jewelry topics for those who wished to learn a little more about what this whole industry is about and has evolved overtime. One thing we rarely see in trade shows are people like you and I – I guess mostly you – attending the show without feeling like an outsider. Each person could easily get into a booth, ask questions, take a piece out of the showcases to try it on or just learn something about it. Because at the end of the day, what is truly missing: is knowledge!