Pure ear candy: Goldkenn co-founder Steven Goldstein returns to travel retail with a sparkle – 07/10/08
Source: ©The Moodie Report
By Melody Ng
SWITZERLAND. Industry veteran Steven Goldstein, the co-founder of Goldkenn, one of the great confectionery successes in duty free, is returning to the sector with New York-based luxury accessories brand DEOS.
Founded by jewellery designer Allison Lee Zeiss, DEOS offers interchangeable diamond- and crystal-encrusted earphone covers for the Apple iPod and iPhone.
Already seeing success in the Americas, where DEOS handles its own sales operation, it is now targeting travel retail with the help of Axions SA, Goldstein’s Geneva-based company. Axions is the brand’s international sales arm worldwide.
DEOS ('Defining Expression Of Sound')
Inspired by Apple’s iconic design aesthetic, Zeiss has married technology, luxury and design to offer Apple users another vehicle to showcase their individuality.
DEOS earphone covers come in three collections – DEOS Diamond, CVRZ with Swarovski crystals, and the CVRZ aluminium range – each targeting a particular price segment.
The DEOS Diamond collection (www.deos-diamond.com), made of titanium and encrusted with coloured diamonds, is manufactured using the latest in casting technology. Each piece is handcrafted and hand-set – at a price. "DEOS Diamond retails from US$3,500 to US$80,000 for the ones fully covered with coloured diamonds. Available in yellow, pink, cognac, white and black diamonds," Goldstein told The Moodie Report.
"With the titanium and diamond collection, the sky is the limit for people who are discerning and have the means to spend. The pieces are unique, the colours of the stones are perfect and wearing those earphones is definitely not for everyone. Yet they are not over flashy and show both the good taste and wealth of the wearer," he added.
Next along the price line are the CVRZ crystal earphones, available fully or partially covered with hand-selected Swarovski crystals in a myriad of colours. This collection retails at about US$110 for the half-covered to US$200 for the fully-covered line.
And finally, for “students and younger people who also want to make a fashion statement” but can’t afford the higher-end ranges, the CVRZ plain coloured aluminium earphones retail at about US$20. Colour choices include red, blue, green, yellow and orange.
Blinging it on in travel retail
Forget statement earrings, DEOS offers statement earphones with the DEOS Diamond line made of titanium and encrusted with coloured diamonds using the latest in casting technology, which can cost between US$4,500 to US$60,000 a pair
Goldstein saw the potential of DEOS for travel retail at the outset. “When my wife Dany and I met with Allison it was like love at first sight – with her personality, her talent and the enthusiasm she radiates. We were very impressed with the line of products she presented: they are not only nice-looking jewels but a concept for today’s world where technology meets beauty, allowing ladies to make a full fashion statement. My wife and I saw the birth of a new fashion trend,” he enthused.
He added: “Today there are more than 152 million earphones in the world. [It’s] a marvellous way of making a fashion statement. When you meet someone the person sees first your face and then looks at your ears. The range of earphone covers is perfect for all types of customers as Allison has made products for all price levels.”
Goldstein sees the way DEOS straddles the categories of technology, fashion accessories and fine jewellery as a major strength of the brand.
“Our line has a very interesting positioning: it can be considered as Joaillerie with the DEOS Diamond line which has a very high retail value, but at the same time it can be considered as fashion jewellery with the CVRZ lines. It can be sold in the electronics shop as an accessory also. It is going to be the challenge of the retailer to decide where the lines will make the most sense,” he said.
“Inflight should be one of our major targets as [the DEOS product] is small and has a high retail value,” he added.
About Steven Goldstein
Together with Christian Belce-Kennedy, Steven Goldstein founded Goldkenn in 1980, turning it into one of Switzerland’s biggest confectionery success stories. The brand combined two famous Swiss symbols, banks and chocolate, and came up with the iconic Original Goldbar.
Goldkenn made history by being a forerunner in travel retail, entering an almost untapped new market for chocolate products – airport duty free shops. It soon broke further new ground by moving into the inflight duty free channel. “I can say that we have been pioneers in the duty free market. When we started few brands considered the tax free market more than a kiosk point-of-sale; Christian and I changed this into one of the fastest-growing categories,” recalled Goldstein.
After retiring from the chocolate and travel retail business, Goldstein has served as the Honorary Consul for St Kitts and Nevis in Switzerland for more than ten years. He has also been appointed by the Government of St Kitts and Nevis as Head of Delegation at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, and participated as an Ambassador at the UN Human Rights Council, the International Labour Organization, among other sessions.
For more information on DEOS, contact Steven Goldstein at DEOS International Sales, Axions SA, 6 Route de Compois, 1222 Geneva Switzerland, tel: +41 22 722 06 46, fax: +41 22 722 06 49, or e-mail: email@example.com
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