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FrontRunners: Public House

Jill Newman

The private jewelry salon Martin Katz has been one of the best-kept secrets among celebrities and socialites—until now. The elite antique jeweler recently opened its first storefront on Brighton Way in Beverly Hills, but it maintains a private upstairs room for those clients who require complete privacy.

For more than a decade, Katz and his partner James Digironimo have operated by-appointment-only salons in Beverly Hills (310.276.7200) and New York (212.957.8295). “Clients often complained about how difficult it was to find us,” explains Digironimo, who runs the Madison Avenue salon. “We want to be more approachable, especially for our younger clients.”

The expansion into a less rigid walk-in business is a direct response to the fact that the partners have noticed a steady decline in the average age of their clients from established 50-somethings to up-and-comers in their 30s and 40s. “These younger clients aren’t as concerned about cost as they are about relevance,” says Digironimo. “They are willing to spend a few hundred thousand dollars on a D-flawless diamond necklace or a strand of perfect pearls, but they have to be wearable for every day.”

In keeping with this younger spirit, the partners find themselves buying more Edwardian and Art Deco jewelry, which they say is inherently more approachable. “Our favorite period is Edwardian for its unparalleled craftsmanship,” says Digironimo. “But Art Deco is a close second in style and quality.”

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