Franci Sagar’s Modern Selections from The Store At MAD
This is the second year of our Gifts for The Holidays Guide for which we enlisted modern jewelry retailers and antique shop owners and experts. For each installment, we have asked for suggestions from their brick and mortar or online stores. We have also asked what gift they would choose for themselves this holiday season.
For our second in our series, we turn to Franci Sagar, Vice President of Retail and Brand Development at The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) whose brainchild RE: FINE (formerly known as Redefining Fine Jewelry) is a new addition to the masterfully curated store and features a vetted treasure trove of modern designers who challenge the conventional notions of fine jewelry.
If you have been following bejeweledmag.com and my Instagram in the last few weeks you will have read that I co-curated the 19 new introductions to the RE:FINE Holiday 2017 event, which totaled 31 designers, 30 of which were there on the opening night event. The third edition of Franci’s visionary endeavor for the Store At MAD was a huge success with crowds of jewelry enthusiasts, mingling with the designers and shopping and purchasing.
In my previous article, Franci explains her philosophy for launching RE: FINE in holiday 2016, “We wanted to feature artists who design jewelry that is responsive to our changing lifestyles. In today’s world, we are constantly seeking ways to express ourselves uniquely. The choices we make are led by the desire to highlight our nuanced individuality rather than conform to the idea of traditional ‘fine’ jewelry. Our curated selection of artists and designers reflects the ethos of the Museum’s mission to champion work at the intersection of arts, craft, and design.”
After working with Franci, I couldn’t help but be curious about her choices for gifts when there are so many talented designers with so much creativity and so many pieces I would personally want featured in RE: FINE. Franci confided, “Choosing these pieces was not easy by any means—but here goes…”
“My daughter, along with my closest friends, gave me a Joan Hornig piano key necklace in 18K gold, rock crystal, pink sapphires and onyx for my birthday last year and I know how I felt when I received it. I was in awe of how the stones were cut and how they referenced actual piano keys and spoke of music – a love of mine. For anyone who is a music lover and is intrigued by different cuts, shapes and varieties of stones, this is the perfect gift. In addition, Joan gives all of the profits from the sales of her pieces to the charity of her purchaser’s choice. How wonderful to be able to give a gift of jewelry, as well as the opportunity for the person you are gifting to give back through this unusual channel that Joan has provided.”
“The Moritz Glik bracelet with 2.24-carats of yellow diamonds enclosed in double white sapphire crystals in 18K gold and an Italian leather lambskin strap represents a casual luxury that I believe all women could easily work into their daily lives and wardrobes. The simplicity of leather when it is not overworked, as interpreted by Moritz’s leather strap, immediately speaks to women on many levels—it’s down-to-earth, slightly rough-hewn yet elegant, When mixed with precious gemstones in their small humble state the bracelet creates an easy entry into wearing fine jewelry. Personally, I am partial to high karat gold because its vibration is powerful. The ancients believed that gold solidified sunlight and had healing properties. Who wouldn’t want to share that vibration with their friends along with the sheer beauty of this bracelet.”
“I might have to win the lottery to gift these first two, but anything is possible!”
“I love the sensibility of how Hannah Blount re-interpreted a carved cameo into all 18K gold for this ring. The diamond in the forehead offers an enduring touch and a bit of sparkle. This ring is sculptural and feminine and extremely expressive. It’s the type of profile that all different women can find meaning in and identify with, in various ways making it the perfect present for independent female friends. I also believe in supporting the talent of emerging artists whose designs have longevity and Hannah is one of these artists.”
What is the gift of jewelry Franci is dreaming about for this holiday season?