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Monday, July 13, 2009

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Carol Brodie, Legend of Luxury

Luxury branding expert; business development and marketing advisor; communications strategist; brand ambassador; international speaker; television personality; jewelry connoisseur and media executive depict the professional talents, passions and day-to-day responsibilities of Carol Brodie, president and chief luxury officer of Carol Brodie & Co. and host of HSN’s Rarities Fine Jewelry with Carol Brodie.

In 2005, CurtCo Media, publisher of Robb Report, Worth, Showboats International, Art & Antiques and a family of titles targeted to the world’s most affluent readers, appointed Ms. Brodie to the unprecedented position of chief luxury officer. This opportunity provided Ms. Brodie with the enviable opportunity of spearheading the positioning of CurtCo magazines as the preeminent voice of the international luxury marketplace. She built upon the foundation of the company’s ultra-affluent, market-leading brands through strategic partnerships, media exposure, events, promotions, marketing, public relations and communications.

Assuming this leadership role was a natural transition for Ms. Brodie, who joined the magazine publishing powerhouse after eight years as Global Director of Communications for world-renowned jeweler Harry Winston, Inc. In that position, Ms. Brodie has been credited with expanding the reach and image of the old-world brand to appeal to a younger clientele.

Her leadership and voice is regularly sought after by organizations and individuals who seek her knowledge and expertise on the global affluent mindset. Ms. Brodie is frequently quoted on various subjects including jewelry, luxury, style and business trends in national magazines and newspapers. She is also an acclaimed speaker and moderator at luxury and marketing summits and conferences worldwide.

Ms. Brodie has become a recognized media personality through numerous appearances on entertainment, business and lifestyle programs discussing various topics such as business trends, luxury living and celebrity style. Throughout her career, she has appeared as an occasional guest and correspondent on Extra and as a style expert on E! Entertainment Television’s Style Court and ABC’s Extreme Makeover. Her frequent appearances on The Bachelor, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Extra, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, Inside Edition, Today in New York, CNBC, CNN and Martha Stewart Weddings earned her the moniker, ”The Queen of Luxury.”

Prior to joining Harry Winston in 1997, Ms. Brodie spent four years as a partner at award winning advertising agency J. Walter Thompson, where she managed the Diamond Information Center on behalf of De Beers Consolidated Mines. Not just limited to diamonds, Ms. Brodie has helped build luxury and beauty brands such as Clairol, Revlon Professional Products, Maybelline, Henry Dunay Designs and Gucci Timepieces.

Ms. Brodie’s personal interests involve philanthropy, gemology and international travel. She maintains positions on the committees of several prominent charities including The Boy’s and Girl’s Club, The Chron’s & Colitis Foundation of America and the Food Allergy Initiative. She resides in Fairfield, Connecticut; Palm Beach, Florida and West Hampton Beach, New York with her husband, Stuart Gelles and their two children, Noah and Grant. Ms. Brodie keeps busy working on branding and business development for clients such as Ivanka Trump, Home Shopping Network, Barnes and Noble and the Nelson Mandela Trust created by Thanda, Africa’s leading luxury lodge.

We first covered Carol:

Now we are so pleased to present her as a Mover and Shaker!

Peachy Deegan interviewed Carol Brodie for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: What was the first piece of jewelry you received in your life and what do you remember about it?
Carol Brodie: A tiger’s eye and gold plated bracelet that I ordered from a cereal box. It took 9 box tops and $11 for postage & handling.

What is your favorite piece(s) that you now own?
Rarities by Carol Brodie amethyst cushion-cut solitaire and red diamond micro-pave ring set in 10k gold.

What are ten pieces of jewelry every Manhattan woman should own?
Oversized cocktail rings in every color & shape.
Pair of matched cuffs, preferably by Verdura, but the Rarities versions look fabulous as well and are much more accessible.
Gold hoop earrings. Diamond hoop earrings.
Layered necklaces—I love gold mixed with slices of gemstones.
Antique anything as long as it was passed down.
Amazing watch, preferably one with a good story (your boyfriend gave it to you to make up for cheating on you).
Big brooch to wear in you hair.

What are ten pieces of jewelry every Manhattan man should own?
9 collectible timepieces and a wedding band.

What are the luxury trends this summer?
Spending time with family & friends.

What trends do you see emerging this fall?
The new luxury – accessible, fine quality jewelry and accessories that don’t scream designer, but convey signature style. Rarities fall collection is filled with key pieces to update your jewelry wardrobe.
Another key trend is that fine jewelry will become more classic with collection inspired by rich cashmeres and neutral grays. Rarities “Black Cashmere” collection features strong black gemstones with diamond accents taking their cue from our favorite fall luxuries.

What is it about Manhattan that makes it such a luxury hot spot in your view?
The hotels, the restaurants, the shopping, the culture, the experiences…

What conferences in your industry do you feel are the most influential and why?
With regard to luxury, only the FT conference. With regard to jewelry, Basel and Vegas.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan?
47th Street—the Diamond District.

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan?

What is your favorite drink?
Grey Goose on the rocks with a splash of lime juice.

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan?

What is your favorite Manhattan book?

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience?
I haven’t had it yet.

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else?
You can completely reinvent yourself every single day.

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience?
Backstage at the Tony Awards.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
Underrated: People. Overrated: People.

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?
I am madly, passionately and intensely obsessed with rare gems and estate jewels. I’m a complete and total glamazon and there’s no such thing as “No” in my vocabulary.

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?
Rarities fan page on Facebook.

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