David Yurman

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David Yurman, Inc.
Type Private
Industry Jewelers
Founded 1980
Headquarters New York, New York, United States
Key people David Yurman, Co-Founder
Sybil Yurman, Co-Founder
Products Jewelry
Revenue $450 million (2007)
Website davidyurman.com

David Yurman Inc. is a privately held American designer jewelry company[1] founded by David Yurman (born October 12, 1942 in New York City) and Sybil Yurman (born December 10, 1942 in New York City) and headquartered in New York City.[2] There are currently 24 David Yurman boutiques in North America and five international boutiques.

Evolution of an Artist[edit]

David Yurman grew up on Long Island, New York. At age 16, he met Cuban welder and sculptor Ernesto Gonzales who taught him the direct welding techniques that inform Yurman’s work today. After a year at New York University, David left college and spent the next five years hitchhiking between Greenwich Village, Venice, and Big Sur, immersing himself in the Beatnik and San Francisco Renaissance cultural movements. In the early 1960s, David apprenticed for several years with modernist sculptor Jacques Lipchitz.[3] He also established his own studio in Greenwich Village and worked for various sculptors, including Theodore Roszak. In the late 1960s, David became the shop foreman for sculptor Hans Van de Bovenkamp and it was in this studio that David met the painter Sybil Kleinrock, his future wife and business partner. Artistically, this was an exploratory time for David, when he experimented with many different materials and honed his craft.

Birth of a Brand[edit]

In the early 1970s, David and Sybil moved to Carmel in upstate New York and formed a company called Putnam Art Works,[4] which specialized in sculptural jewelry. Throughout the next decade, David and Sybil exhibited their jewelry designs, sculptures, and paintings at various galleries and craft fairs. They became key figures in the American Craft Movement.[5] Through Putnam Art Works, the Yurmans learned the marketplace for fine crafts and artisanal jewelry. They married in 1979 and founded the David Yurman company a year later, with Sybil Yurman acting as a co-creator and collaborator in all facets of the business. Their son, Evan Yurman, was born on January 31, 1982. In 1987, David Yurman debuted his jewelry designs at the World Watch and Jewelry Show in Basel, Switzerland, the world’s largest and most important jewelry and watch show. This appearance symbolized the world-class status achieved by the David Yurman brand after just seven years in existence. David Yurman became a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 1999.

During the 1980s and 1990s, the David Yurman company was at the forefront of the emerging category of American designer jewelry. In 1977, David was chosen as one of twelve jewelers to exhibit at the first New Designer Gallery at the Jewelers of America show in New York City, now recognized as a pivotal moment when traditional artisans connected with established merchandisers.[6] David and Sybil approached jewelry design as artists, creating thematic pieces that would be all shown together as collections. The David Yurman company was one of the first jewelry design houses to be known as a “brand” with its own devoted following. During a time when more working women were beginning to purchase jewelry for themselves, rather than waiting to be given a piece of jewelry, customers “collected” David Yurman jewelry as you would collect pieces of art.

In 2003, Evan Yurman joined the company, and in 2004 he became Design Director of the Men’s Collection. In 2009, he launched an exclusive collection of high jewelry and began overseeing the company’s Bridal Collection, launched in 2005.

Creation of Cable[edit]

In 1982, Yurman introduced what became his signature piece, the cable bracelet: a twisted helix adorned with gemstones on its end caps. He called the bracelet and related designs “Renaissance,” and it has become one of his most enduring collections. His cable design evolved to become the thread that connects all of his collections.

Innovation in Design[edit]

David Yurman creates collections in sterling silver and gold, and is particularly recognized for his mixed metal designs. Many sterling pieces have pavé diamonds—in fact, he was the first major jeweler to set diamonds in silver. He calls this category Silver Ice, and it was revolutionary in making diamonds an everyday luxury. David Yurman is also known for inventive stone cuts, most notably the cushion cut for the Albion Collection. The men’s division, one of the fastest growing parts of the business, is known for featuring non-traditional materials such as titanium, carbon fiber, and meteorite.

An Advertising Revolution[edit]

In 2000, David and Sybil Yurman hired the David Lipman advertising agency and photographer Peter Lindbergh for their first advertising campaign that was shot in St. Barts with Amber Valletta as the face of the brand. It was a lifestyle campaign, rather than a product-driven one, and it communicated that jewelry could be an emotional experience for the wearer. In the following years, many prominent supermodels such as Kate Moss, Gisele Bündchen, and Kate Upton have also appeared in iconic David Yurman advertising campaigns.

Honors and Awards[edit]

1980 - Intergold Award from the World Gold Council for a gold wire and diamond necklace design that was the forerunner of the iconic cable motif
1981 - Designer of the Year from the Cultured Pearl Associations of America and Japan for innovative use of pearls
2003 - Star Gazer award from Fashion Group International
2004 - Lifetime Achievement Award at the JIC Gem Awards
2007 - Style Etoile Award from Savannah College of Art and Design
2011 - Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Gem Society, the first time a jewelry designer received this award
2013 – Couture Human Spirit Award from the Couture Show
2013 - Annual Visionaries! Award from the Museum of Arts and Design

Giving Back[edit]

The Yurmans formalized a lifelong commitment to charitable causes by establishing the David & Sybil Yurman Humanitarian and Arts Foundation in 2001.[7] The foundation presents David Yurman Angel Awards to individuals who support charities and the arts through their donations and volunteerism. Past recipients include Steven Spielberg, Elton John, and Leonard Slatkin. The foundation also provides support for a variety of charitable initiatives, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Studio In a School, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. David Yurman also created a pin for the Silver Shield Foundation benefiting the families of New York City firefighters and policemen.

Store Locations[edit]

Atlanta: Lenox Square Mall
Austin: The Domain
Bal Harbour: Bal Harbour Shops
Beverly Hills: 371 North Rodeo Drive
Boca Raton: Town Center at Boca Raton
Boston: Copley Place
Charlotte: SouthPark Mall
Chicago: 40 East Oak Street
Costa Mesa: South Coast Plaza
Dallas: NorthPark Center
Houston: The Galleria
King of Prussia: King of Prussia Plaza
Las Vegas: The Forum Shops at Caesars
Manhasset: Americana Manhasset
McLean: Tysons Galleria
Nashville: The Mall at Green Hills
New York: 712 Madison Avenue
Orlando: The Mall at Millenia
Palm Beach Gardens: The Gardens Mall
Santa Clara: Westfield Valley Fair Mall
Scottsdale: Scottsdale Fashion Square
Troy: Somerset Collection
White Plains: The Westchester

Toronto: Yorkdale Shopping Centre

Paris: Printemps Haussmann
Versailles: Printemps Parly

Hong Kong: Lane Crawford Tsim Sha Tsui
Hong Kong: Lane Crawford IFC Mall Central


External links[edit]