Story-inspired designs spin sad and happy tales by National Jewelers Magazine

LUZ Jewelry by Houman featured in National Jeweler Magazine

SAN DIEGO-Every retailer knows the marketing concept behind Journey diamond jewelry that with every step, with every stone, love grows. At the heart of Journey is a story that is easily digestible for consumers. And although there are buyers who know what they want upon laying their eyes on it, there are others for whom a story,. or a personalizing, connecting thread, closes the deal. Many designers have clued into this personalization trend, sometimes in unconventional ways.

San Diego-based Houman Jewelry Design, for example, recently launched the "LUZ" collection at Neiman Marcus in Las Vegas. The line features rings and other pieces designed to convey love's various states-including some of its less cherished ones, such as anger, lust and breakup. "There's not a single person who can not relate to one of those emotions," says designer Houman Omidifar, also the company's president and founder. "I was trying to come up with something edgy and sexy and that deals with the reality of life."

Narrative aside, the pieces stand on their own, with richly embellished designs crafted in platinum, 18-karat gold and sterling silver. In fact, Omidifar says, the LUZ story is sometimes not told to customers until as much as 30 minutes into a presentation, after the designs have lured them in. "About 90 percent of the sales
are people who are extremely attracted to the designs," Omidifar says. "The story is the icing on the cake."

The first piece in the collection is "Love," a square-shaped ring whose design was inspired by the four cornerstones of a relationship: love itself, passion, desire and boundaries. The edges are smooth, and rubies scattered at the four corners signify the passion that is a part of being in love. The "Breakup" ring, by contrast, one of the most popular in the collection, is an edgy, sharper-edged piece that is the Love ring turned inside out and, as the designer says, "cut in half." Additional pieces such as "Cheat" and "Alone" finally give way to "Luz," Spanish for "light," a style that can be formed into a wedding set. As the company states, "All love
stories should have a happy ending and LUZ is no exception."