Monday, June 20, 2011 | 3 a.m.
Top jewelry designer and businessman Scott Kay is a true original, much like the exquisite pieces he conceptualizes and creates. Known once mainly for his bridal designs for women, Kay branched out to men’s jewelry in a bold and daring way.
The native New Yorker chatted with VEGAS INC at the recent Couture show at Wynn to talk about his interests in Las Vegas, one of his company’s key markets. He may be a savvy businessman, but it’s his passion for art, he says, that keeps him at the top of his craft.
Give us a Scott Kay update.
I’ve essentially retired from the business side, so I only design. You don’t know what your capabilities are until you have the time. It’s about artistry.
What’s different about the Las Vegas jewelry market?
I think the Las Vegas market is very diverse. The customers there stretch from one end to the other. In most cities, there’s a certain demographic, but in Vegas, you get everything from A-to-Z, from very conservative to over-the-top.
Does that provide a unique challenge to your branding and designing?
As a designer I don’t follow trends that other people say are in. Yes, I’m in business, but really, I’m an artist. Money isn’t what does it for me. We’re an arts company. I like to think myself as fitting in more with Rembrandt or Picasso.
You say you’re not into branding. So why come to the Couture show at the Wynn?
All of the people who come here come because it’s a museum; it’s art. You have the opportunity to show your product among your peers. My goal is for the best jewelry designers in our business to be in aweof my work.
If you could pick one piece of jewelry for our VEGAS INC readers, what would it be?
My guardian bracelet (not pictured). It represents how people used to shake hands centuries ago—by grasping each others’ forearms, rather than just their hands. The guardian bracelet and the forearm shake mean: “I’ll never let go.”