His parents built the phenomenally successful jewelry house, but now Evan Yurman is taking the reins at David Yurman and adding thrilling new layers of design and retail experience.
At a cocktail party in Paris to celebrate the opening of a David Yurman flagship on the legendary rue Saint-Honoré, Evan Yurman moved with assuredness through the room, greeting clients, members of the media, and celebrities, including Kate Beckinsale and Henry Golding—who recently joined the house as its first-ever male ambassador. On this balmy midsummer night, it was clear to even the most casual observer that the torch has been passed at this iconic jewelry house.
David and Sybil Yurman, who founded the brand in 1980, stood just a few feet away, also greeting guests and enjoying the accolades that come with debuting a posh boutique on one of the most sought-after streets in Paris. But while David was once the rock star and center of attention, it’s the 40-year-old Evan who has picked up the mantle with ease. The business remains a family affair—David retains the title of lead designer, while Sybil is the company’s chief brand officer—but Evan likewise has been overseeing design decisions since he was named chief creative officer in 2018. In November 2021, it was announced that he was also being elevated to president of the company.
How is he navigating the path forward in a brand that possesses a singular aesthetic and signature designs beloved by its fans?
Evan took a few moments to discuss this and other ideas with Iconic Collection:
Iconic Collection: In November 2021, you were appointed company president as the next natural step in your evolving role within the company. What are some of your priorities as you lead the company into the future?
Evan Yurman: To ensure our company continues to provide the same level of craftsmanship and care that our consumers have come to trust and expect of us, we plan to move more of our production back to New York City, expanding our on-site atelier of the world’s best carvers, setters, and designers. This will allow us to expand our product range and innovation efforts, and sustain the most beloved parts of our traditions and history.
We’re also focused on innovation, which is not only central to David Yurman’s identity but also to the brand’s longevity. In high jewelry, we are driving advanced creativity by utilizing unique materials like aluminum and titanium. As a result, our brand continues to disruptively evolve our most iconic designs using inventive elements and applications.
We also expanded our 18-karat gold assortment to be more attuned to the product sensibilities of younger, more diversified client types.
IC: Which new collection best illustrates these goals?
EY: Our Cable Edge collection, which launched earlier this year. It’s a modern interpretation of our artistic signature: Cable, a form that remains our house signature and the heart of everything we do—changing, adapting, and evolving, but always a constant.
The Cable Edge designs play with light and angles to create an almost velvety sensation. Designed for both men and women, the pieces are also crafted from 100 percent recycled sterling silver and yellow gold with hand-set, ethically sourced diamonds. Sustainability has become an imperative in our industry, and it’s something we have always been focused on at David Yurman. Cable Edge is the first of many collections we will design using these principles.
IC: Which other new designs or categories are you most excited about?
EY: We continue to lead in the men’s jewelry category and are excited to launch new collections that fuel that business. Our Armory collection reinterprets Gothic motifs with pavé accents and are hand-finished with rich patinas, creating modern symbols of protection.
We’re also debuting a new collection for women this fall. Named Carlyle, it’s inspired by the deco architecture of the iconic Carlyle Hotel. It’s bold, modern, and refined, and unlike anything we’ve ever done before.
IC: In your earliest years as a designer within the house, you were ahead of the curve in gender-neutral designs. What can you tell me about how men’s jewelry has evolved into gender-neutral collections, and how David Yurman pieces will continue to highlight and support this idea?
EY: Our men’s collections are constantly pushing the boundaries of traditional jewelry design, and we’re always challenging accepted concepts and exploring innovative materials to create more unique pieces.
In the past five years, men have evolved to be much more interested in design and style, while they’ve also developed a deep appreciation for quality. The modern male consumer is just as savvy and discerning as the modern female consumer, and we’re discovering both groups are equally interested in wearing and styling our “men’s collection” in unique, personal, and diverse ways.
IC: You’ve also been integral in elevating the brand with high-jewelry pieces. Why has this become a significant and growing element for the David Yurman brand?
EY: Our high-jewelry collections are an opportunity for us to express innovation and attention to detail at the highest level, showcasing the rarest stones in exceptionally crafted settings. Our high-jewelry collections are an area where we can express ourselves without creative constraints, often serving as a source of inspiration for our mainline collections.
IC: What can you tell us about the high-profile opening of your Paris boutique?
EY: Like the David Yurman 57th Street flagship in New York City, the rue Saint-Honoré store’s elegant, modern interior celebrates our brand’s aesthetic and focus on quality while reflecting the cultural nuances of its city and the special bond between New York and Paris.
This store is an opportunity to tell our brand story and create a unique customer experience. I look at this space as an extension of a piece of jewelry—something both familiar and modern. We’re an American luxury brand with a rapidly growing international following, and this new location in Paris allows us to better reach a global consumer who gravitates to this area.
IC: In luxury retail, the brick-and-mortar experience remains vital in conveying a brand’s best and most comprehensive message. How does David Yurman pursue this idea, and what are you doing with boutiques and flagship locations to ensure they keep your considerable fan base coming back?
EY: Striking the right balance of e-commerce versus retail is at the forefront of our commercial strategy. Brick-and-mortar continues to be a crucial part of our business, and our retail store network is our fastest-growing channel, with increases in both traffic and sales trends that are 40 percent higher than 2021 levels.
In stores, we’re doubling down on service with investments in clientele technology, enhancing after-sale service programs, and arming the brand’s customer care center with dashboards of comprehensive views of their clients.
IC: Ultimately, what is your vision for creating the perfect balance of iconic David Yurman design elements while continuing to move the brand forward?
EY: Having grown up around the business, I have great pride in our classic style and founding identity, and throughout my time working for the company, I have sought to honor those traditions of craft, product, and innovation, all the while embracing the natural evolution of David Yurman.