‘Only your jeweller knows for sure’: Vivian
G. Kelly meets Sharyn Fireman, a jewellery designer whose faux
bijoux are at the top of their class
SHARYN FIREMAN is an iconoclast, no doubt about it. Raised in a
very well-to-do, conservative, Midwestern family, Sharyn grew up
in an environment in which bragging about labels and one’s money
was verboten. These days, should you be lucky enough to get an invitation
to dinner, you might find ‘a CEO who’s come in on his private plane
and the gal who sold me my bag at Bergdorf at my table,’ she laughs,
over a glass of wine at Grand Central Terminal’s Cipriani Bar.
Sharyn was recently in New York City for the
jewellery trade shows at the Jacob
K. Javits Convention Center. She took a breather from her busy
show schedule and updated us on the latest developments, and showed
us some of the latest pieces in her stunning Jewels-to-go Cubic
Zirconium Collection. She is newly svelte after a two-month régime
of three-times-weekly kickboxing. Like fashion designer Zang Toi,
she is a tireless traveller, visiting boutiques and customers up
and down the East Coast, as well as maintaining her homes in Boston
and Miami Beach.
This redhead dame has done it all. She was Penny
in Love of Life for one season, an interior designer, a General
Merchandise Manager for R. H. Stern (she worked for Abe and Barbara
Goodman) in Boston and was responsible for turning it into ‘a fashion
store’. She’s also owned a custom bridal gown business in Boston,
and an international telecom business with offices based in Delhi
and Boston. To all of that, add a stint working for Sarah Fredericks,
previously one of the most prestigious retail stores in the USA.
What she loves most about her current business:
building a concept and building a trend. Her mission for this latest
venture is clear. ‘The trend for elegant jewels [which European
women have done for years] is not whether the items are real, but
to establish a style, a chic, an über-trend in fashion.’
Her philosophy is simple. ‘Be comfortable enough
with your own spirit and decide if a piece is right for you. Everyone
has an inner diva, bring the inner diva out! You don’t have to be
pretentious to have fun!’ There’s a motto to live by!
We first met Sharyn while running in the rain
to reach the Funkshion Fashion Tents on Ocean Drive. Funkshion’s
organizers had set-up an accessories’ trade show in the tents to
showcase some of the accessories used in the evening fashion shows
and to introduce exciting new resources, such as Jewels-to-go.
This redheaded dynamo divides her time between
her homes in Boston and Miami Beach, all the while working on Jewels-to-go,
her one-year old faux bijoux jewellery line. The line was
born by necessity, one of those, ‘We should really …’ ideas. Sharyn
and a group of her girlfriends were nervous about traveling with
so much real jewellery.
She recalls, ‘[It] frankly put a damper on the
Then and there, she resolved to start a line
that would give everyone from socialites to the well travelled the
opportunity to own wonderful pieces inspired by the most covetable
original jewellery available. The line would be priced so that women
could own one in every colour of, if they so chose. ‘It’s about
fashion and trend,’ she explained while modelling two pieces set
in sterling silver and cubic zirconium inspired by floral platinum
and diamond pieces created in 1945 for the Duchess of Windsor.
Sharyn travels the world over looking for wonderful
designs. Once she’s found them, she has the big stones set in Antwerp
or Israel and then produced in China to keep the price down. She
let us in on a little-known secret: ‘What you should know is that
anytime an important piece is created, it is first made in cubic
zirconium. When a cubic is properly cut, it is flawless.’ Another
knock-out designs she showed us was a Red Carpet worthy necklace
weighing-in at 250 carats set in platinum one could wear with a
matching 100-carat bracelet.
Her parting words to us are hard to argue with,
‘You can be stylish in my faux bijoux for in this case, pay the
mortgage, put food on the table and swathe yourself in exquisite
"diamonds".’ Thanks to Sharyn you can have it all.
I took Sharyn at her word, and decided to unleash my inner diva:
I’ve worn her eye-popping six-carat diamond Palm Beach tennis bracelet
(Graff-style) everywhere. I’ve been rewarded by innumerable compliments
from women who stopped me and begged for just a look. I may have
to start carrying Jewels-to-go business cards.
Where to get it