Shimansky – A Dazzle above the Rest
In August 2021, South African Jewellery Company made headlines, after scooping the Best in Gold Award, at the Couture Design Show in Las Vegas. Most people say third time’s a charm but for Shimansky, its debut entrance was enough for it to make an unforgettable impression, with its impeccable work. The experience can only be described as remarkable, in the least of words, given that not many African companies participate, and least of all, scoop awards in such high-profile events. Receiving the award happened in one night, but the story that led to the win, is more than two decades old.
Shimansky is a South African jewellery brand, renowned for its timeless, classic and luxurious designer pieces. Each piece made by Shimansky reflects the passion, innovation, detail and perfection which have been driving the brand to produce beautiful and unique jewellery. To date, there are more than ten Shimansky jewellery design patents and more than five international Shimansky diamond-cut patents. Thanks to the brand’s never-ending pursuit for perfection, Shimansky created the Brilliant 10 diamond, known as the most brilliant cut diamond in the world!
With such a stellar reputation of quality, it was no wonder when the brand scooped the Best in Gold Award, at the Couture Design Awards show in Las Vegas, a South African first! The prestigious Couture show is the world’s most exceptional curation of designer fine jewellery, and luxury timepieces. It is an annual affair, where the finest jewellery brands gather to collaborate, connect, and conduct business.
Shimansky’s participation in the 2021 edition of the show marked its debut as an exhibitor. Despite being the new brand on the block, Shimansky proved to be a cut above the rest with some ‘never-before-seen’ pieces. In particular, it was the Shimansky Infinity ring with 18K Yellow, White and Rose Gold strands, which brought the gold home.
The Couture show described the collection as one that demonstrates what happens when creative minds stretch the boundaries of design. This appreciation was welcomed with much honor by Yair Shimansky, the CEO-of Shimansky, who said:
“As a first-time exhibitor, I am honoured and proud to accept this award. Thank you so much for allowing Shimansky to be a part of the Couture show.”
From these sentiments, it was clear that Shimansky dazzled the world with its unique designs. However, the show of brilliance displayed by the brand was no overnight success. On the contrary, it was a culmination of over 2 decades of working diligently in the jewellery industry. Yair Shimansky, founded the brand in Cape Town in 1994. At 22, the jewellery enthusiast set out to Japan to study the art of diamond cutting and polishing, and in the process, the Japanese culture of perfection made a life-long impression on him. Having learnt the intricacies of diamond qualities and different cuts, he was armed with a unique perspective and experience in life. Shimansky arrived back in South Africa and started designing and crafting jewellery, which he sold at a beachfront flea market for a year, before opening a small outlet in a popular shopping mall. This led to the opening of a full Shimansky jewellery store two years later.
While Shimansky designed jewellery for its clients, the manufacturing process was outsourced. Yair Shimansky realised in order to deliver the highest quality designs, a hands-on approach was necessary. Equipped with knowledge of handling minerals, and a passion for perfection in his work, Shimansky worked hard to earn a license to buy rough diamonds, and other materials, directly from South African mines. This allowed his brand to have a fully integrated value chain, in which the brand can control quality from the beginning to the end of production. Additionally, Shimansky was among the first to introduce Tanzanite - an African beauty, mined along a 4km strip on the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. For diamonds, each hand-selected diamond is cut, polished and set to perfection in Shimansky’s workshops in Cape Town. Cape Town is also home to Shimansky’s flagship V&A Waterfront store.
Shimansky has earned a reputation for its ability to deliver jewellery to most international destinations. The privilege and opportunity to be among the first to hand-select rough diamonds allows Shimansky to choose only the best diamonds, plus some unique and special diamonds for investment purposes. Consequently, the brand is known for unique and clean designs, attention to detail, and is a South African trendsetter. Its designs have often been imitated, but never duplicated. The true value in a Shimansky, is in its finer details.
Nonetheless, the brand has had its fair share of challenges, and being a luxury brand, it has not been spared from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The founder of Shimansky noted that the COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest challenge the brand has encountered, owing to its effect on world travel, since international travelers represent a meaningful part of their customer base. In response to the pandemic, the brand had to reduce its footprint in the local malls and suspend or reduce business activities in the manufacturing and retail side.
On COVID-19 and how it has affected the brand
“The COVID effect is still ongoing as world travel has shifted with the future still very unknown. We have shifted focus to digital communication combined with personal one-on-one customer service, including an international and local e-commerce shopping solution to be able to reach customers around the world.
Our jewellery manufacturing focuses on design and manufacturing on-demand in South Africa, while globally we took advantage of additional time available to design unique new jewellery lines for the international wholesale market, with great feedback and buy-in from international retailers,” says Yair Shimansky.
Perceptions of the Future of the African Fashion Industry
“Unique, authentic, and a story that connects people are great for fashion brands,” says Yair Shimansky.
“Local manufacturing, on-demand with one physical location (can be a showroom set-up) with an e-commerce website and social presence is key in today’s market. A mature brand is able to deliver internationally and is able to focus on a much narrower segment of the market, i.e., one at a time is a better strategy than offering a wide range of products without focus.” –Yair Shimansky, CEO of Shimansky.
Shimansky is proud to unveil its latest fun and fashion-forward Millennium Gemstones Collection. The collection is meant for those who want to make a statement with an iconic design to express their individuality, celebrate life and one’s rare beauty. Unique in every way, this brand-new collection was conceptualized by CEO and Founder of Shimansky, Yair Shimansky.
“A celebration of nature’s colours and joy, it’s a new take on Shimansky’s iconic and signature Millennium Collection, with earrings, pendants and rings crafted in sterling silver and set with semi-precious Topaz, Amethyst and Garnet gemstones. All statement pieces are available with or without sparkling mic roset diamonds,” says Yair Shimansky.
To view more of Shimansky’s work, visit www.shimansky.co.za