Everyone who is anyone — you know, like the people who get coffee for the people who get coffee, for the people who get coffee for Steven Spielberg — are descending upon Los Angeles for this weekend’s 86th Academy Awards. To escape the madness, I hopped into XIV Karats in Beverly Hills to see Ron Rosenblum, Hollywood jeweler extraordinaire. “Lets see the really good stuff,” I exclaimed. “What is Amy Adams wearing? Can I borrow something? Who are you loaning to for the Red Carpet?”
Ron explained that, while A-listers like, Amy Adams, Reese Witherspoon, Sharon Osborne and Queen B stop in on a regular basis, he often doesn’t know what they will wear on the red carpet until he sees it with the rest of the world. How is this possible? Well these leading ladies aren’t walking into Ron’s boutique picking out their own baubles. They have their personal stylists running all over town, borrowing multiple options for the big night. The same holds true for costume designers choosing items for the films. Ron doesn’t know when his jewels have been chosen. In fact, he learned only after the fact that several pieces for the 1970s American Hustle gold bling were actually courtesy of XIV Karats. He notes that it is terrific fun working directly with clients as they prep for post-Oscar celebrations like Vanity Fair‘s exclusive party or when he gets a call after an awards show with requests like, “You must track down that diamond bib that ‘so and so’ was wearing on the red carpet. I must own it!” Lending precious stones to the Hollywood set is great advertising. Like many “only those who are in the know know” boutiques, XIV Karats’ business is exclusively word of mouth. However, the best-kept secret is that most jewelers lend to their non-celeb clientele too. First and foremost, a great client is a client — starlet or not. Second, not only is lending a service to a valued customer, but often an important test-drive that will turn into a purchase. Hence, indulge in feeling like your own Pretty Woman.
THREE STEPS TO BORROWING BAUBLES:
- First, you should have a relationship with the jeweler or a mutual, trusted connection. While all these goods are insured, a boutique isn’t likely to lend to a total stranger who has never shopped in the store before.
- Second, consider why you are borrowing. Is it for a special event? Are you considering purchasing the item? Be forthcoming with the jeweler. At the end of the day, it’s all about business. Like an Academy Award winner, when you look fabulous at your party, you will likely share the origins of your fine artillery with other collectistas when asked. However never, ever solicit otherwise — you are above that. Also, you may get very cozy with your gems and the jeweler’s act of kindness will turn into a sale.
- Last, be courteous and respectful. Never act entitled when you make the request and if you are not purchasing, return the items in a timely fashion. Each day a piece is out of the jeweler’s hands, he doesn’t have that inventory to sell on location.
314 S Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA
Photo Credit: Frank Terry