Diamonds sparkled, champagne corks popped, and beautiful models dripping in jewels posed for paparazzi as Le Vian by Jared held its grand opening of its first luxury retail store at Roosevelt Field Mall. Owner and CEO Eddie Le Vian mingled with his guests and explained the importance of this opening.
“This is an historical event because this is the first all Le Vian store in the world that also sells the lifestyle of Le Vian—jewelry, timepieces, red carpet, bridal, handbags, pashminas, scarves and all the works.”
Prior to this opening Le Vian was sold through it’s distributors. One of its most famous diamonds for which it holds the trademark is the chocolate diamond which is unique to the store.
“The chocolate diamond started back in the year 2000 and many people believe that it was named because of its color but the truth to the matter is that a colleague of mine used to visit me every day and he loved dark artisan chocolate. He always touted the benefits of chocolate and he was so passionate about it that he was the inspiration for the line. These are diamonds that people are passionate about and they are addicted to it just like they are to the food. Just like with ice cream, some don’t like chocolate and want vanilla so we started selling flavors of diamonds. We have more flavors than Baskin Robbins,” he laughed.
True to his word you find a variety of jewels named after flavors as General Manager Lorraine Passiatore explained as we toured the jewelry cases and she gave the history of Le Vian.
“The family is celebrating 515 years this year and they were the guardianship of the jewels for the Shah of [Iran]. This family goes back to ancient royalty and is known for their sapphires, rubies and emeralds. Le Vian is the number one fashion jeweler in America. The idea of the jewelry is all about romancing women and keying into their senses. You collect one and you want more. He has a vanilla line, honey gold, with chocolate and vanilla diamonds. There is a spumoni collection using green pistachio emeralds, strawberry gold and vanilla diamonds. The gem of the year is blueberry tanzanite and next year is the peach morganite.”
One of the guests who is a big fan of Le Vian jewelry is New Hyde Park’s Dan Kisch, who produces a trade magazine that goes to independent jewelers.
“This is a fabulous event, what a wonderful opening and it’s a wonderful store. I think it’s going to be a game changer,” he said.
Michael Delaney, an assistant manager from Williston Park, came to the jewelry business through an unusual route. For 12 years he was a stock broker who started out with Jordan Belfort, the Wolf of Wall Street. He gave up a stressful life style for his dream job.
“It’s like walking into heaven every day I come in here, because look what I do all day. I sell beautiful art work and I do ensembles for women and I dress them from head to toe. I take pride in everything I do and I just love working for Le Vian.”
Sitting down with one of the designers was Garden City’s Milton Flippen, who wanted a signature piece for his record label. “I wanted to work with some professionals who would design the right piece for me. This is something very special for me. I think Eddie Le Vian designs some of the best jewelry I have seen.”
Customers can come into the store and work with a designer to design their own special piece and all designs go through Eddie Le Vian. The Le Vian family of several generations was on hand to celebrate the opening, including 18-year-old Lexy, who is starting out in the family business. “I think this event is beautiful. I love seeing all of the fashion trends and the new luxury items are just breathtaking. I designed a couple of pieces that have reached national distribution and I hope to continue doing some more in the future.”
The Le Vian family also believes in giving back to the community. Around the store were bears for sale which were being sold to raise money for St. Jude’s Hospital. Buying one of the bears was Theresa DePablo. “I am buying one of these St. Jude bears because I love anything that supports research for children’s cancer.”
Great Neck’s Liz Le Vian has been in the family business for 35 years and was pleased with the turnout and the reception the store got from the community. Her father came to this country from Persia in the l950s and started the Le Vian line.
“I know every day he is watching us from up there and he is smiling.”