By Holly Haber
DALLAS — California jewelry designer Cheryl Dufault will launch a permanent showroom at Fashion Industry Gallery during the upcoming market May 31 to June 2.
“I want to be more in control of my environment and be able to feel comfortable sitting down with my customers, offering them food or a glass of wine to make it more special,” said Dufault, who has exhibited in temporary quarters at FIG for many years.
Dufault has a following among FIG buyers for her talismanic bead necklaces dangling horsehair tassels, charms and icons. Most of her styles are one-of-a-kind, and she’s currently doing well with 52-inch necklaces of white or black bone that can be wrapped or worn as a lariat.
Her new showroom, Cheryl Dufault Designs in gallery 163, will also present jewelry and accessories by Rebecca Norman and Diane Yang, as well as Christys’ Hats, an English heritage brand dating to 1773. The designers plan to attend to show their goods, while Christys’ celebrity-annointed chapeaux will be represented by national sales manager Ben DeLuca.
“They are all friends I’ve worked with and next to at markets, so I know it will be good energy, and we sell to the same customer,” Dufault said. “I want it to be one-stop shopping.”
Yang, who is based in Plano, Tex., just outside Dallas, saw Dufault’s showroom as a chance to introduce her handcrafted semiprecious, crystal and gold-plated brass jewelry to the regional market. Until now she’s concentrated on coastal shows and accounts in London, Dubai and Japan.
“My buyers are very cautious with their budgets but it’s definitely getting better this year,” Yang observed, “and hopefully it stays that way.”
Since color has been selling so well, Yang combined bright and dark hues for fall, like lapis with chartreuse.
“I try to create something that is very refined and detailed so you can’t tell it’s wire wrapped,” she said.
Rebecca Norman’s organic jewelry and leather bags with hand-stitched accents haven’t been exhibited in Dallas for a decade.
“I’ve been wanting to come but I’ve been waiting for the right situation,” Norman said. “Texas is a great market for us, and the South in general.”
Norman, who winds brushed brass around semiprecious stones such as turquoise, druzy and agate to craft rings, cuffs and necklaces, is introducing sterling styles after suspending them during the recession due to the metal’s escalating price.
“More people are requesting high-end sterling pieces,” she noted. “It has to be really special, though, like I oxidize sterling with touches of 14-karat gold and white sapphires.”
Dufault plans to celebrate her new digs at a late afternoon party June 1.
In other news at FIG, CP Shades has inked a lease for gallery 145, where it has exhibited for several shows.
FIG, which is located in Dallas’ burgeoning Arts District, specializes in women’s contemporary and bridge fashion, accessories and footwear and presents some lines for men and kids.