Today 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!