Friday, March 28, 2014

There Will Never Be Another Jacqueline Kennedy Collection

"Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot."

Phil Katz with QVC Host Sandra Bennett


Early Monday morning after I walked the dog, I settled down with a freshly brewed a cup of coffee and my laptop to check the new clearance items on the Q. I was surprised to find row after row of items from the Jacqueline Kennedy Collection. At first, I was thrilled. I love the line, but never purchased anything. Maybe something special would hit the magic price point for me, or—glory be!—have free shipping. And then the realization slowly dawned on me. I've been here before. This line, like so many others before, was coming to an end.

The Jacqueline Kennedy Collection shows have always been some of my favorite home shopping entertainment. I love nothing more than watching a BBC documentary on just about any historical figure or event no matter how seemingly obscure. Clearly, I also love home shopping. If the two ever had a baby, it would be the representative of the collection, Phil Katz. He is passionate about his products without sounding like an obnoxious carnival barker. He weaves tales about each piece that breathes new life into them. Armed with just his storytelling ability, a handful of pictures, and his ever-present pointer stick, he takes an ordinary looking piece and magically transforms it into the most sophisticated jewelry ever created, all with a soft-spoken demeanor and—like Jackie—an understated elegance.

Yes, I know he idolizes Jacqueline Kennedy a bit too much and tends to gloss right over some of the less flattering details of her life, but we all already know more than enough about all the shenanigans that went on during Camelot. Ladies, if your husband ever begins showering you with $50,000 custom-made pieces of jewelry from Tiffany’s and Cartier, I think it’s safe to assume he is probably doing the horizontal hokey-pokey with Marilyn Monroe.

Phil Katz destroying the tooling

I had hoped that QVC was just dropping the line and it would reappear elsewhere. But, sadly, the Camrose & Kross is ending production. And, just to drive the point home, the molds are being smashed live on the air. Phil has stated that the last of Coco Channel’s original Czech glass pearl factories closed its doors and that they weren't able to duplicate the quality at other factories. And what would a Jacqueline Kennedy collection be without her signature pearls?

Or could the line could be ending because of Caroline Kennedy isn't happy with it?

Then, last August, a friend of Caroline’s told The Post that she couldn't believe QVC was selling reproductions of Jackie’s jewelry. “Trust me,” the source said. “Jackie wouldn't have been caught dead wearing this stuff.”  — New York Post

Seems odd to me that she would be fine with auctioning off her mother’s actual things and fine with selling this same line of reproductions at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum, but suddenly offended that they are sold on QVC. Perhaps she should be flattered that people still hold her mother in such high esteem. Phil Katz certainly wastes no opportunity to gush over her!

According to the Camrose & Krose Facebook message this is an ending that is long past due:

For the last 10 years, we have had the honor and privilege of sharing a Jacqueline Kennedy story with you through the romance of her jewelry and accessories collections. From the start, we always knew that the product would be limited in availability and duration. Due to the amazing support and loyalty of you, our customers we have extended the time line far beyond our original intentions; and now we feel it is time to bring this fabulous chapter to a close. We have rendered all the pieces in her collection that are currently available to us. We will continue to offer the line only as long as inventory exists. 

Regardless of the reason, with the loss of another unique line from QVC’s ever-shrinking lineup, we can now look forward to even more tiresome infomercial-like hours of expensive vacuum cleaners, blenders, speakers, and mattresses. Supposedly, an Audrey Hepburn collection is in the works and hopefully will be coming soon, but I can’t imagine that the stories will resonate as deeply. As Jacqueline Kennedy once famously said, “There will never be another Camelot.”


And, yes, I finally broke down and ordered a piece for myself—the Castellani bracelet. The piece itself, the history of it, and the meaning behind it are all beautiful to me.

9 comments:

  1. Thank you a lot for sharing. I love reading interesting and thrilling articles that make my day. The most qualified custom paper writing service is available 24/7!

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  2. I loved the JBK jewelry collection . I have many pieces that I treasure , more now then ever , since the collection has finished . I also loved hearing he beautiful stories by Phil Katz . I can't imagine the story about Caroline and QVC was accurate , because the JBK collection was sold world wide on home shopping type networks . Our TSC (The Shopping Channel) here in Canada carried the line for many years .Caroline often spoke of Jackie's fondness for Canada , so for many years she requested that every new piece of jewelry was first shown on The Shopping Channel here in Canada . Phil's family was very close to Caroline and her family . Caroline actually offered Phil's daughter the loan of some of Jackie's jewelry to wear at her wedding , which she respectively said no thank you to . I'm glad you got a piece of this charming jewelry line :) I have seen the Audrey Hepburn line on our TSC , but I haven't as yet bought any . It looks lovely, and I hope the quality is as good as the JBK line was . I enjoyed your post . Cheers from NB, Canada :)

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  3. Thank you for your interesting article. I lived through the Kennedy years and really enjoyed Phil and his stories!

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    1. I was just a child when JFK was in office but I remember those days. I was 10 when he was assassinated, and it left an indelible impression with me.
      I watched Katz mostly on HSN, like others here, and bought a few pieces. Although beautiful, it wasn't "me", so I wear it very infrequently. I bought it more for sentimental reasons.
      It also marks better days, now gone, with both HSN and QVC but especially HSN. I miss the stories and classic presentations, and it's sad to see it go.
      On another note, Cathy, I too believe Erwin Pearl may have died. I don't remember where I read it. Another sad day if it's true and please, do post when you find out.

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  4. I watched Phil on HSN. I didn't care as much for the pieces he brought to QVC. I bought very little; I don't care for yellow metals, I'm a white metal girl. And most of his stuff was yellow tone. I did think most of it was beautiful, but I don't think all of it was replicas of Jackie's jewelry...I think some was designed around her real pieces. None the less, I was sorry to see the line go. Also, it reminded me of much happier shopping days at HSN. Those days are long gone. Well, I'm at an age.where I'm seeing "the end of an era" for many things. Someone please find a way to turn back time. Going forward is good, I know, but it would be nice to keep some of the past, too.

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    1. I also watched Phil on HSN. I never have watched QVC much. I loved the background stories, and the presentations. I'm a "white metal girl", too. But I bought a couple things from the collection. And they've held up well.
      It's sad to see some of these things come to an end. I also miss Erwin Pearl. He was first on HSN, then QVC. I watched him on QVC once in awhile, and I think the things he bought to HSN were nicer. I believe the dear gentleman may be deceased, bless him.
      The jewelry on home shopping channels...especially the big 3, has become so junky. HSN is the worse offender. It seems as though Nicky Butler has kept his line nice. The price has gone up, but the quality is still there. Some of Jay King's stuff has suffered. Sad to say this, because his jewelry used to be very solid and durable...even the more delicate pieces. So when a quality line leaves, it's something to be upset about.
      I haven't bought jewelry from TV in a long time. I may try JTV...if it's good, then great. If not...then no more home shopping jewelry.

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    2. I read your post and I, too, miss Erwin. It made me think of him and I wondered if/when he had passed. I thought I read it somewhere..and I'm sure there was a Wikipedia on him and I cannot find it or any other information about birth, death, etc. I have put out feelers and will come back here and post if I find out anything because I'd like to know myself. I'm pretty sure I read that he passed but now there's nothing online. Again, any info, please post here and thank you!

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