Make us your home page

Saks woos Republicans with $70,000 elephant necklace souvenir

For the Republican delegate who has everything, Saks Fifth Avenue has an answer: a diamond and ruby necklace in the shape of an elephant.

Just be prepared to break out the American Express black card. This lavish political souvenir costs $70,000.

The necklace is one of 150 pieces available at Saks at WestShore Plaza as part of a two-day trunk show brought in for the Republican National Convention. The special collection by New York jewelry designer Piranesi had a retail value of $4.5 million. The most expensive item? A white and yellow diamond daisy necklace with green tsavorite gems priced at $149,600.

Members of the Florida Federation of Republican Women got an up close look at the jewels Wednesday during a runway show at the store. The private event of about 100 women also featured models in red fur coats priced upward of $80,000.

Reagan Rada, a brand ambassador for Piranesi, flew down from New York City to promote the collection and work the counter. He previously managed Elizabeth Taylor's jewelry line and designs his own pieces.

Federation members, a few of them dressed in patriotic red, were greeted with champagne at the runway show, which was not open to the media. Organizers expressed concern that animal-rights and anti-Republican groups would target the event, but no one showed up.

Audience members mingled around the store after the show, perusing the jewelry and makeup counters. Through Friday, Saks is donating 10 percent of all purchases to the Drug Free America Foundation, founded by Betty Sembler, wife of St. Petersburg shopping center developer Mel Sembler.

Saks has a permanent display of Piranesi jewelry, but the exclusive trunk show ends today.

— Susan Thurston, Times Staff Writer

Saks woos Republicans with $70,000 elephant necklace souvenir 08/29/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 10:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Macy's chairman replaces ex-HSN head Grossman on National Retail Federation board


    Terry Lundgren, chairman of Macy's Inc., will replace Weight Watchers CEO Mindy Grossman as chair of the National Retail Federation, the organization announced Wednesday. Grossman stepped down from her position following her move from leading St. Petersburg-based HSN to Weight Watchers.

    Weight Watchers CEO and former HSN chief Mindy Grossman is being replaced as chair of the National Retail Federation. [HSN Inc.]
  2. Unexpected weak quarter at MarineMax slashes boating retailer shares nearly 25 percent


    CLEARWATER — Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, a boating business leader issued a small craft warning.

    Bill McGill Jr., CEO of Clearwater's MarineMax, the country's biggest recreational boat retailer. [Courtesy of MarineMax]
  3. CapTrust moving headquarters to downtown Park Tower


    TAMPA — CAPTRUST Advisors, a Raleigh, N.C.-based investment consulting firm, is moving its Tampa offices into Park Tower. CapTrust's new space will be 10,500 square feet — the entirety of the 18th floor of the downtown building, which is scheduled to undergo a multi-million-dollar renovation by 2018.

    CAPTRUST Advisors' Tampa location is moving into Park Tower. Pictured is the current CapTrust location at 102 W. Whiting St. | [Times file photo]
  4. Good news: Tampa Bay no longer a major foreclosure capital of the country

    Real Estate

    Once in the top five nationally for foreclosure filings, the Tampa Bay area no longer makes even the top 25.

    A few short years ago, Tampa Bay was a national hub for foreclosures. Not any more. [Getty Images/iStockphoto]
  5. Tampa-based start-up takes on Airbnb by promoting inclusion, diversity


    NEW TAMPA — Last May, Rohan Gilkes attempted to book a property in Idaho on the home-sharing platform Airbnb. After two failed attempts, the African-American entrepreneur asked a white friend to try, and she was "instantly" approved for the same property and dates.

    Rohan Gilkes poses for a portrait at his home and business headquarters in Tampa. 

Innclusive, a Tampa-based start-up, is a home-sharing platform that focuses on providing a positive traveling experience for minorities. Rohan Gilkes, the founder, said he created the organization after several negative experiences with Airbnb.
[CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]