X by Trollbeads New York City Press Event

KarmaXLegacyToday was a super exciting day as we got in bright and early on a red-eye flight into New York to attend the Trollbeads Bracelets and Bubbly Brunch held at the Gansevoort Hotel.  This event was as the official unveiling for the X by Trollbeads brand here in the United States, happening just a day after the launch party in Denmark and the rest of Europe.  Even though I already knew what X was from the pictures and information shown last night, I was still dying to get my hands on the pieces themselves to see how they looked and felt in person.

We arrived at the hotel a little early and took a seat in the bar waiting for things to kick off.  After a short while we were allowed to pickup our name badges and enter the penthouse lounge are the festivities were being held.  I was very glad to see that the X collection was not sealed behind any glass cases but rather laid out in trays and displays in the middle of the room for everyone to see and touch!  After grabbing some delicious brunch snacks and a drink we immediately dove into X.

I’m very pleased to say that the rubber X rings are just as good as I would have hoped, if not better.  The rings are made from galvanized matte black rubber that is very hard and doesn’t bend, almost feeling like plastic finished with a rubber coating.  They feel very durable and are intended to be both a low-cost starter element for an X bracelet that you can upgrade out of gradually, as well as a masculine or edgy texture to use in building your bracelet.  At $2 a piece, they are very affordable and Nicolas Aagard said that Trollbeads envisioned customers starting with a single silver or bronze focal link and filling out the rest with rubber rings as a first step into the world of X.

After a few minutes of mingling and drooling over the jewelry, the official discussion panel was ready to start and all the attendees and fashion magazine editors took seats around the room as the President of Trollbeads USA Michael Belleveau introduced the speakers.  The energetic celebrity stylist Wayne Scot Lukas was the moderator, speaking alongside fashion stylist Jenn Fallie and founder of fashion blog Saucy Glossie – Lindsey Calla.  And last but not least, the panel was rounded out by the Nicolas Aagard, lead designer of the X by Trollbeads collection.

Each panelist talked about what X means to them, and why they enjoyed it and why it was going to be the next big thing in personal jewelry.  I thought it was really interesting that Wayne Scot Lukas, and others like Michael Belleveau looked at X as a fashionable and flexible chain rather than just jewelry in bracelet or necklace form – Wayne himself and some of his celebrity clients like Justin Timberlake are sporting extra long X combinations as wallet chains.  This is something that classic Trollbead bracelets and charms could never achieve and opens it up to interesting applications. Michael said we should “think of it as a chain that can be applied in a lot of different ways.”  One editor in the crowd said she thought of using X as a belt, and it is totally capable of doing so.

Nicolas spoke about how X was a new take on the traditional anchor chain charm bracelet that started it all so many years ago.  Trollbeads’ goal was to try and break that classic concept down but to make it more clever, fun, and unique so that customers could put even more of an individual spin on their pieces.  The ability to mix mediums like matte black rubber, bronze, silver, and gold in a very easy and stunning way is the hallmark of the X design and really sets it apart from other modular jewelry systems.

All the panelists did hammer home the point that X by Trollbeads was intended to honor the legacy of the original brand, but to unique and separate from it.  The key concept of using charms and jewelry pieces to represent memories and important moments was a major part of X, but overall the styling of the collection feels like it is targeted at a much younger and edgier market.  Some of the X pieces on display still carried the quirky spirit of classic Troll, but in general everything is much cleaner, modern, and fashionable.

After their talking points, Wayne looked to the crowd for questions about Trollbeads and X.  On the topics of availability and price points, the panel noted that select stores were part of the X launch but that it wasn’t going to be available at all retailers just yet.  While a full gold X bracelet can be as much as $13,000(!), Nicolas said that they intended for newcomers to start with as little as one silver or bronze link and filling out the rest with the affordable rubber links for a total cost of a little over $100.  The single links when put together are approximately 1 cm, which then requires about 15-19 basic and decorative links to create a bracelet, depending on the single/double link combinations you use.  This makes it comparable to what I’d pay for a new Trollbeads or Pandora silver bracelet with a charm or two, and lets fans slowly upgrade the rubber links as desired.  Lastly, Nicolas said that they are currently planning on releasing a few more pieces for X this Christmas, and that the team was working on a new full collection for next year (he declined to give any details, of course ;)).

Once questions wrapped up we were allowed to go back to mingling, eating some delicious food, and getting another look at the X display.  We used this time to go back and get a few more pics and hands on impressions of the collection.  I’m continually impressed with how elegant the X joining system is; it is so simple and clever but it forms a real solid connection that feels great.  I also like how the X bracelet sits on your wrist and moves, something that can be attributed to the classic anchor chain that X evolved from.

After two hours it was time to wrap up; huge thank you to the Ogilvy PR team for organizing the event and for Trollbeads in making sure we all left with a little swag bag!  At this point I had to have some more charms to go with the links and pieces we got, so we headed for the new Trollbeads Concept Store flagship that just opened in September in the fashion district.  We had so much fun, and I’m really looking forward to picking up more X pieces and playing with this wonderfully unique and stylish addition to the charms world.

For a chance to win your very own X by Trollbeads bracelet featuring the Shooting Star decorative link, the generous Trollbead Boutique is hosting a raffle on their Facebook page.  To enter just click on the link and comment on the post for a chance to be entered into the drawing. The winner will be announced Monday at noon EST.  Of course, Trollbead Boutique is offering the new brand and you can order by calling them at 1-800-887-2167 or to find a store you near use the X by Trollbeads store locator.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures, commentary, and the live tweets for those that were following along today.  I’ll be doing a review of my new bracelet on Saturday, so stayed tuned for more thoughts on the new line.  If you have any questions let us know in the comments!

  • Mars

    Excellent blog post Leann, am dashing off but will be back to savour this in more detail! Thanks for writing up the panel discussion, much appreciated 🙂 xx

    • Leann

      Thanks Mars. Hope you had a great day at work ;).

  • Sue

    I want to know what the chances might be for these chains to come apart. I’ve already lost the Trollbead bangle bracelet right off my wrist.

    • rainey

      Oh NO! I’m so sorry that happened to you!

      Did it have a lot of beads on it? How horrible!

      • Sue

        Just the beautiful Aurora bead and I only had it ONE day

      • rainey

        OMG! Sux BIG time!

        I’m sooo sorry that happened to you!

      • Leann

        Oh no!! Did anything happen to it?

      • Bonnie May

        I don’t know how long ago this happened, but a lot of credit card companies offer protection against this. It’s one of the reasons I use my AmEx for everything. If you paid by card maybe try contacting them?

    • Leann

      Yikes! That’s devastating :(. These are really good connections. The way that they lie after you slide on the links makes it nearly impossible for you to lose a link while wearing it :).

      • Sue

        I am impressed that Troll stood by the loss and replaced my bracelet.

  • Boricuadiva

    Thank You Leann for the images and detailed blog. Can’t wait to see your bracelet. Hope you got nice goodies and are enjoying your new purchases. Hope there is a Link Trunk Show coming up soon!

    • Leann

      You bet! I love it so much, I think I went a bit overboard with the additions ^^. I might try to make a necklace…got a bunch of the rubber links.

  • rainey

    At first I wasn’t sure what I thought of the rubber. Now I think these things actually *need* the rubber. The purely metal bracelets are a bit odd. Like they can’t decide what they want to be with all the mismatched links that are competing with one another. I few rubber links between a metal one at least calms them down and frames them.

    I don’t really know what to make of this approach. It’s too bad I won’t get an opportunity to see it in person.

    • Faye

      I agree that all those mismatched links are a bit odd and the black can calm them down and frame the creation. I still won’t buy because it’s so expensive to put together a bracelet of minimum 18-20 links that you can’t wear any of until you buy them all – to the tune of around $600!!

      • Miss Wondering

        You can buy 18 rubber links (total of $36) and a lock with a combined price of $90-100. Question is if $100s worth of rubber is worth it

      • rainey

        Wow! I hadn’t thought of it that way. A $100 rubber bracelet… =o

      • Leann

        Well, the point is to get the basic then slowly add to it…you pay double for a Pandora bracelet and it’s empty until you buy more charms. 🙂

    • Leann

      Yeah, they really look great with the rubber. The purely metal ones look like any other brand. It really gives it a punkier rock aesthetic. The silvers/bronze/gold are definitely focal pieces.

      Yeah, it’s definitely something you should see in person especially if you’re unsure. I’m sure they’ll have more stores soon, hopefully near you! 🙂

  • Faye

    Count me out due to price, and that you can’t wear anything until you buy at least 18-ish links or combo thereof. Outrageous. I put together a simple X bracelet online to see and it came to $585!

    I am way more interested in Story right now, their new concept incorporates a chain-link look also.

    • Leann

      That’s true…but how much do your regular bracelets cost all put together? It’s probably around the same. 😉 Story is awesome – their charms are pricier but you don’t need as many. I think it all comes out pretty much the same. 🙂

      • Faye

        I can wear my regular bracelets right away. Even my Story starter bracelet comes with a charm. I don’t have to buy lots of black rubber links just so I can wear it. That’s bugs me. I think X TB’s should do a promotion of a collection of “starter” links that will give you at least enough links so you can wear it. Like their regular buy a lock, get a bracelet free. And a regular TB’s leather bracelet is only $33. I think it would draw people in more if TB’s came up with some type of starter kit.

  • Faye

    p.s. I did see Leann’s comment about $100, but I don’t see how that’s feasible unless you are wanting a rubber bracelet of all black with a silver lock? I only added two double links of bronze or silver and one double charm, a lock, and it all added up to $585.

    • Miss Wondering

      That’s just too much IMO

  • Michelle

    Thanks for the updates Leann! I am so jealous that you were at the launch! I LOVE the new concept and just placed my order for a bracelet through Trollbeads Boutique. I CANNOT wait to see it in person and will be stalking my mailman for sure!!

    • Leann

      Thanks Michelle! It was a big honor, I was so excited to be invited. 😀 So glad you got yours!!! Be sure to post a picture and let me know your thoughts when you get it :).

  • Aida

    Wow Leann, how do you manage to maintain a full time job, manage this blog, and rush off to these events on the other side of the continent? I can’t tell you how appreciative I am for the very informative posting. I had received a notice from the Troll website and enjoyed viewing the videos which discussed the ‘X’ concept and showed how to change the links. I wondered though, if they are that easy to interchange, would they not separate easily when worn? Not a big fan of Troll beads as they are small for my large wrists however, I am intrigued enough to try these. I really like the different concept and idea of mixing brass, silver, rubber and gold.

    • Leann

      I don’t get a lot of sleep, lol. This blog has definitely taken on a life of its own! This is a passion though so it most times it doesn’t feel like work ;).

      They slide on through the slots on the top and bottom of the links, but the links lie horizontal so there shouldn’t be any reason they would come apart (very difficult at least!). I love the mixed textures, it really makes it pop ;).

  • Jen

    Thanks for the pics!
    I won’t be participating in this new concept either. Too pricey to start and I’m still a little miffed that Trollbeads canceled their Halloween launch. It feels a little like the dedicated collectors got bypassed in order to roll out this collection. I want my Halloween beads!

    • rainey

      Do you think they actually cancelled something? Or do you think, as I do, that the Skeleton was always going to be the Halloween bead but they just ran out of time for a separate event and just included it with the rest of the Fall release?

      I don’t shy away from being critical when things don’t work for me but I think the Fall release of conventional TBs was the best release in a long, long time and possibly ever. Whatever time and creative energy went into X (which I’ll probably be passing on) didn’t seem to take anything away from the original line. I think it ramped up the creativity. But perhaps you feel differently.

      • Jen

        I was just hoping they were going to release a few others. To me the pacmanesque beads don’t seem Halloween. I bought the skeleton and LOVE him. I also had my heart set on a purple glow in the dark bead…sigh. Maybe next year!

        I do like X, but like others I don’t want to buy an all rubber bracelet. If I win the lottery tomorrow, I will be the first person in line to buy a complete set without rubber!

      • rainey

        I agree with you completely on the un-Halloweeniness of the Pac Man beads. I know some people like them but they’re not for me for Halloween. …or any other time of year. But the Skeleton was so off the charts great I can live with just that for a while. Not the least because the rest of the stuff I couldn’t live without was so long this time around that I couldn’t afford more anyway. ; >

        I was starting to come around to X until someone said a rubber bracelet with a clasp was up near $100. Can’t imagine what a completely metal one would be. =o Lottery indeed!!!

      • Faye

        I put a simply bracelet together with only a silver lock, and one double silver link, just to break up the black rubber 16 links, and it totaled like $535 USD. That was after I took out the dragon double charm.

      • Leann

        I was interested to see what else they had in store for Halloween since I thought Skeleton Spirit was so perfect for that collection. I’ll definitely be getting some redbalifrog for Halloween!

      • Leann

        I think it was unintentionally rolled into the Autumn Collection. Some dealers were saying that they weren’t supposed to sell the Skeleton Spirit and Ghost Fighters until October 4th, but they were included in the Autumn catalog so I don’t know what’s all about. I’m a bit relieved for having a bit of a breather since this fall is so inundated with TB releases!

        I agree, it’s been my favorite TB release by far! I love pretty much everything in this collection, maybe with the exception of the love and family beads. I think it shows that they’re not shifting their focus from the original, but X is definitely a different animal.

        Since they’ve got so many designers, I don’t see a problem with them creating amazing pieces for both lines! What all from the autumn collection have you gotten? 😀

    • Faye

      What?!?! No Halloween beads? Really are you sure? I’m so disappointed. Like you Jen, I was led to believe by my LD’s and bloggers that TB’s had an impressive Halloween release coming and and with Skeleton Spirit being so awesome I was super-excited! But OK then, Ohm will get all my Halloween money.

      • Leann

        Yeah, no Halloween collection :(. I’m really excited for the Ohm Beads Dark Shadows so I know Halloween will be well represented! 😉

      • Faye

        Thanks Leann! I will look forward to your features on Ohm Dark Shadows!

    • Leann

      You’re so welcome :). It’s not for everyone, but I’ve been really pleased with it so far. I’m not really surprised about the Halloween collection…the Skeleton Spirit and Ghost Fighters felt really Halloween-y to me. With all the collections that they’ve pushed out (fall, X, People’s Bead, Stories of You bracelet), I’m kinda glad for the reprieve. Lol.

  • Julia Trubitsyna

    Thank you so much for sharing pictures and this story!!! Can’t waitryo start my new bracelet)))

    • Leann

      You’re so welcome! Can you find it in Russia or are you going to order online?

      • Julia Trubitsyna

        Oh i don’t think we’ll have it here soon. Online shopping is much more fun:)

      • Leann

        Very true, it’s more comfortable too ;).

  • Bonnie May

    X by TB store locator stinks!! On Wednesday it only showed me locations in CT. I thought this odd, as you were at a Manhattan launch party. I was in Manhattan yesterday to get my Pandora promo from Jeffrey. If I’d known the Flagship TB store was so close to Penn Station (as the TB store locator tells me TODAY) I totally would have stopped by to check them out! I love the idea of a “starter kit” and will definitely be holding out until they come up with one! Between my multiple Pandoras (brand new bangle, original two-tone & grey triple leather), my traditional TB (which needs help from upcoming trunk shows) and my Charmed Memories & Persona, I’m in no hurry to start an X, cool as it looks. Unless I win the Goldmine contest! 😉

  • Amelia Peach Pearson-Vickers

    I’m REALLY liking the look of this. I wonder how much a bracelet will be though. This could tear me away from Pandora!

  • bakersdozen12

    I’m normally a Pandora-only girl, but I have to admit, I am very intrigued by this new bracelet concept! I just wish that Trollbeads had a bracelet designer on their website. And the price is a little expensive, in my opinion. I think that is the only thing that is going to make me pass on it, unfortunately. At least for now. If I come into any fun spending money in the future, I will be very tempted to splurge on one, though!

    • Leann

      It is my new addiction! I wasn’t sure of the concept but the execution is amazing. Honestly, it’s not any more expensive than a regular Pandora bracelet if you keep a couple of the rubber links. 🙂

  • Laura

    Just got my X bracelet and LOVE it! The concept is new and fresh and the copper and sulver olay nicely off each other.

    • Leann

      Yay! I’m glad you love the concept. I think they’ve done such a great job with it too :D.