Former Speakers for CJCI Convention 2017

Costume Jewelry Collectors Int’l had the pleasure in 2017 to present the following speakers at the 2017 CJCI Convention:

Elyse Karlin of ASJRA (Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts)

CJCI 2016 Convention Speaker Mary Ann Docktor-Smith

CJCI 2017 Convention Speaker Elyse Karlin

Elyse Zorn Karlin is a jewelry historian and journalist. She is the publisher/executive editor of Adornment, The Magazine of Jewelry & Related Arts and co-director of The Association for the Study of Jewelry & Related Arts, open to anyone who has an interest in studying jewelry.

Karlin is a noted speaker and an expert on jewelry of the Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau movements. She runs an annual conference on jewelry open to all jewelry lovers and is working on a book about jewelry of the American First Ladies.

To visit ASJRA’s website, visit Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts. To contact ASJRA please visit: ASJRA Contact Page

Julie Irving

CJCI 2017 Convention Speaker Julie Irving

CJCI 2017 Convention Speaker Julie Irving

Julie is the owner of Chapel Hill Vintage Jewels and has been a collector and antique dealer for many years. Born in Western New York, she accompanied her parents on week-end outings to estate sales and antique shows and began her collection and love of vintage costume jewelry. Her professional career as a marketing and sales executive for high tech companies allowed her to travel extensively, both in the United States and in Europe. Everywhere she went she would visit outdoor markets and antique shops, museums and exhibits collecting and studying vintage jewelry and antique linens. Since retiring, Julie is able to accompany her husband Steven, a UNC Professor, on his business trips to pursue her passion and the worldwide hunt. Her special interest and the focus of her recent research is the study of Elsa.

Schiaparelli and Her Extensive Jewelry Collaborations

Julie is an active member of the Costume Jewelry Collectors International and the American Society of Jewelry Historians. She holds a Masters Degree from Northwestern University and a Certificate in Non Profit Management from Duke University. She has studied jewelry through courses with the late Christie Romero, Christie’s Education in NYC, NYU Short Courses and CJCI! Julie is a frequent speaker at local events on Vintage Jewelry and on options for downsizing all kinds of collections.

Schiaparelli Jewelry: A Study of Collaboration

The purchase of a large collection of Schiaparelli 1950s jewelry began my search for information on everything related to Elsa Schiaparelli, her life, her couture creations and her jewelry. Trips to the Library of Congress, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Paris Museum of Decorative Arts and lengthy conversations with BillyBoy*, author of Frocking Life: Searching for Elsa Schiaparelli have provided some important insights. This session will provide new information clarifying the attributes of her couture inspired jewelry and those created as a result of her licensing agreements.

Deirdre Zahl

CJCI 2017 Convention Speaker Deirdre Zahl

CJCI 2017 Convention Speaker Deidre Zahl

Deirdre Zahl is the designer and owner of Candy Shop Vintage, a vintage and vintage-inspired jewelry company. As a collector of vintage jewelry for over a decade, pieces from her rotating collection of vintage jewelry have been featured in magazines, national blogs and even on the hit show “MAD MEN.”

Deirdre launched her line of vintage-inspired costume jewelry in 2013 with the goal of creating a line that reflects the quality and craftsmanship of the vintage pieces she collects. Her whimsical designs successfully debuted at Bloomingdale’s and Henri Bendel in New York and are now sold at boutiques around the country, including, her shop located in downtown Charleston, SC and her online shop . Her collection of designs, known as the Candy Shop Collection, are designed and made in the U.S.A. – primarily in the Rhode Island Area. Through her jewelry adventures, Deirdre met and became friends with Kris Ciulla, the vice president of Ciner Manufacturing, and current owner, Pat Ciner, who is the founder’s granddaughter. Working together, they launched their first capsule collection, The Fantasy Garden in the Spring of 2017 to celebrate CINER’s 125th year in business.

Erik Yang

CJCI Convention 2017 Speaker Erik Yang

Erik Yang
Long-time CJCI members know Erik Yang as an astute costume jewelry dealer with an amazing customer base. He is also fervent collector with exceptional taste and discernment when it comes to buying and selling the best of the best.
His extensive knowledge of both vintage and contemporary designer jewelry make his presentations both entertaining and informative. He previously made a presentation on the topic of Mexican silver, one of his many specialties as a dealer and collector, at a past CJCI convention.
In 2017, Erik will present “The 1980s: The Trends, the Influences, and the Designers” to correlate with the theme for our Lifestyles of the Rich and Fabulous weekend.

Sharon Schwartz

CJCI 2017 Convention Speaker Sharon Schwartz

CJCI 2017 Convention Speaker Sharon Schwartz

New Jersey native Sharon Schwartz graduated from Drexel University with degrees in home economics and early childhood education. In 1988 she formed, Of Times Gone By, an antiques business specializing in handbags, vanity items, and linens. An active vendor at major antique shows in the Philadelphia area, she has been an online retailer for over a decade.
Sharon is the co-author of Eisenberg Originals: The Golden Years of Fashion, Jewelry, and Fragrance, 1920s-1950s. Her Eisenberg collection includes many unusual and rare pieces.


Kevin Friedman

CJCI 2016 Convention Speaker Kevin Friedman

CJCI 2014, 2015, AND 2016 Convention Speaker Kevin Friedman

As a long-time CJCI supporter, lecturer, and instructor, Kevin is back by popular demand! Kevin will be teaching a specific beading technique to give participants hands-on experience in learning some of the bead-design work of his native South Africa. Each student will be giving a project to complete during class.

About Kevin
Renowned South African jewellery designer Kevin Friedman has captivated both the local and international jewelry trade with his one-of-a-kind pieces which use an innovative combination of high cartage gemstones and precious metals with ordinary everyday “found objects”.

Kevin is a renaissance man who draws on the world around him for inspiration and creativity. His highly original, fresh approach to contemporary jewellery design, such as the extraordinary $16 million Ponahalo Necklace created for the Geneva-based Steinmetz group, is attracting major international interest. This extraordinary necklace – composed of a 316,15 carat diamond which was cut into five stones, combined with beads and 276 safety pins and made into a Marie Antoinette-style necklace – debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007. The necklace and other examples of Kevin’s cutting-edge designs featured in luxury US magazine LuxLife in 2008.The Robb Report also devoted a page to this piece, saying that the necklace was “the most exciting piece of jewellery ever created”.

A lifelong fascination with the distinctive arts and crafts of South Africa has proved a valuable inspiration for his work, and he has been involved in meaningful community development projects with local crafters. Proof of this is his well known Ndebele bead and diamond choker, modeled by Charlize Theron, which garnered Kevin a De Beers Diamond International Award in 2000.

Kevin’s custom-made pieces have featured in the “ultimate catalog” Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, as well as in Gumps Magazine and Woman’s Day Magazine. He also created a line of beadwork Christmas decorations for the Designers’ Guild in London. In addition, he has designed a line of pewter and wood desktop items for Tiffany & Co in New York.

Kevin travels extensively for both discipline and inspiration. He makes custom-designed pieces for corporate and independent clients all around the world, although his focus in on the United States. He has done trunk shows from New York to Pittsburgh through to the Napa Valley, and shown at London Fashion Week.

On the home front Kevin’s beadwork, in particular his iconic Ndebele tree topper Christmas angel, for which he won an award from the South African government, is now appearing in the eighth definitive issue of SA Stamps. “My angel will be flying all over the world,” he quips.

A recent highlight was the collaborative exhibition with Apple at their iStore in Johannesburg which was a resounding success. Each piece of art and jewellery was a one-of-a-kind using Apple components, now technologically redundant but revived through art. It was a unique concept.
Kevin has been director of design at Frankli Wild™ African Classics in Johannesburg since 1989 and has built up a blue-chip clientele. He is part of a seven-generation line of jewelers. His grandfather Jack Friedman, who was born in Riga, Latvia, set up a jewellery manufacturing factory in Johannesburg in 1934. Jack was a founding member of the South African Jewellery Council and both he and Kevin’s father Frank were extremely influential in the South African jewellery industry. Frank won many international awards set up by the Gold Council and the then Chamber of Mines.

Kevin says that his father was particularly encouraging during the course of his career, allowing him to experiment and to push the envelope, while teaching him that education is the starting point of strength.