JQ Magazine names Mark Silverstein Imagines 2007 Designer of the Year

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JQ Magazine 2007 Designer of the Year Article

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JQ Magazine 2007 Designer of the Year Article

Mark Silverstein Imagines™ — Life Without Limits

Mark Silverstein doesn’t just push the envelope, he reinvents it, time and time again.

>> By Diana S. Zimmerman, Special Features Correspondent

For nearly three decades, Mark Silverstein has been an innovator and entrepreneur, revolutionizing the world of fine jewelry. Well-known as the pioneer of the engraved platinum look, which has now become an industry staple, Silverstein has never been one to rest on his laurels. In 2005, he launched his own private label, Mark Silverstein Imagines™ (MSI), which features innovative collections such as “Heritage,” “Gossamer” “Lisse Pavé,” and “MSI.” That same year, he launched the “WARTCH™” —an unusual ring-watch that features a pyramid crystal, pavé diamonds, and interchangeable polymer shanks available in five different colors. And that’s just for starters.

“Imagination is the origin of the future,” he insists. One look at the vast derivation of his pieces and it is easy to see why it is not only his mantra, but, a way of life for this highly creative entrepreneur. Many of his pieces are delicately sensual and enticing, while others favor his unique sense of humor, such as his irresistible German antique glass ladybug brooch that sits on a sterling silver leaf. All, however, seem to have an innate simplicity that is juxtaposed with intricate workmanship and an acute attention to detail.

Silverstein’s own love of sports inspires his philosophy in business. An avid baseball enthusiast, Mark can slip into discussing all topics surrounding the baseball diamond as he can discuss an actual diamond. Having spent 10 years coaching his sons’ teams he finds pleasure in translating his experience as a couch to running his company. “They won two championship trophies!” he proudly exclaims. Both trophies are proudly displayed in his office as well as a full size sterling silver bat received as Fathers Day gift from his two boys. The ideas of teamwork, hard work, sportsmanship, and seizing the moment are foundations on which he builds his company.

Silverstein is as adamant about the service and quality of his pieces as he is in the creative nature of each design. The family atmosphere that Mark promotes in his office environment extends to his interaction with his customers. “They’re like my extended family. The goal is for us to work together to provide a great product for the consumer.” Mark can often be found on the phone with customers, talking about anything from politics to family. It is this personal involvement and desire to create more than a business relationship that has endeared him to retailers across the country. “Jewelry is what I do, friendships are what I create,” he muses.

But there is another talent that has also helped catapult Mark Silverstein’s success. His marketing talents are equally as imaginative, a rare combination in an industry that is normally filled with individuals who are lucky if they have just one talent or the other. Over the years, Mark’s designs have been featured in dozens of magazines - both consumer and industry, with each new collection seeming to garner more and more attention. Brides Magazine referred to his rings as

“The best of the new baubles…spectacularly simple,”

while Elle Magazine stated,

“Winning Sets lend something new to the latest wedding ring and engagement styles.”

Modern Bride featured his yellow, pink, and white diamond wedding ring in a recent issue. The list goes on and on.

Consumer magazines, however, are not the only ones raving. Many retailers such as Continental Diamond out of Minnesota, are also fans:

“Initially, your distinctive designs caught our eye. Now they have caught the eye of our customers. We’ve been very impressed with your customer service and flexibility. You’re pricing gave us a real competitive advantage, something we needed, but rarely found in designer jewelry. Keep up the good work!”

Potter & Anderson out of Illinois adds:

“Debuting the MSI collection has been the best launch of any product line we have seen in years. The designs are creative and appealing to young bridal consumers, an audience we have been needing.”

Many of Silverstein’s pieces do, indeed, appeal to Gen X’er’s. With their fresh, independent nature, and glamorous intricacies, they evoke both a sense of “now” and “wow!” without being trendy or temporary. Silverstein’s “Lisse Pavé” collection features eternity bands, some of which have 2,500 prongs holding 700 diamonds with 58 facets each. It’s difficult to identify where one stone ends and the other begins.

Other pieces, such as those found in his “Heritage” collection utilize centuries old techniques to create delicate filigree and engraving. Although contemporary in their use of colored diamonds — pinks and canaries — they seem to say “I am timeless.”

Gossamer” is a collection that derives its name from a belief that is near and dear to Silverstein’s heart. He firmly believes that we are connected by one of the most delicate things on earth, the mythic “Gossamer thread”. This fabled strand is said to be as thin as a spider’s silk, and can easily be broken. However, when properly nurtured, it can become as strong as steel. The idea extends into practical terms as a connection between designer, retailer, and consumer, with all parts being integral in creating a powerful bond. “Gossamer” features highly feminine jewelry with wispy metal strands that are encrusted with sparkling diamonds. The delicate ornamentation resembles a moonlit spider’s web, hence the name.

Entrepreneur. Innovator. Designer extraordinaire. For Mark Silverstein, there simply are no limits. And Mark concludes, “Life is like stepping up to bat, you might as well take a good rip at it…just in case you hit it…enjoy!”

"Jewelry is what I do,
friendships are what I create."
"Life is like stepping up to bat,
you might as well take
a good rip at it…just
in case you hit it…Enjoy!"