Professional Jeweler Archive: Be Careful what You Wish for

February 2005

Cover Focus / Gen Y


Be Careful what You Wish for

Behind the scenes of our cover photo of the future Mr. and Mrs. Donald Trump Jr.

BY PEGGY JO DONAHUE


Our cover features an ebullient young couple showing off her brand-new engagement ring at the Bailey Banks & Biddle store in Short Hills, NJ. What could be more romantic? That the couple happens to be Donald Trump Jr. and fiancée Vanessa Haydon, a model/actress, adds icing to the cake, making the photo a true coup for Zale Corp. and its high-and division.

The Donald’s son embodies Gen Y, now entering its peak engagement-ring-buying years – making it the target of every jeweler in the country. He’s young, rich and tightly connected to his parents, who had a messy divorce when he was 12. He appears to have come through the press hazing he endured during that period with aplomb, according to an article about the Trump children in New York magazine.

Experience came in handy for Trump Jr. after the photo from his engagement went out over the newswires in November. New York City tabloids gleefully jumped on the photo, gossiping that young Trump “reportedly” got the ring free in exchange for press appearances.

Bailey Banks & Biddle, understandably, would say only its client did, in fact, pay for the engagement ring. Trump Jr. noted the matter was confidential. The news spread to glossy Us magazine, and New York repeated the item.

The take-home lesson?

Jewelers beginning to use celebrity to promote their brand names – whether through a local notable or a nationally known figure – must be prepared for negative as well as positive reaction. Where celebrities are concerned, trying to control the story is futile.

As the saying goes, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” Looking at his father’s many rebounds – notably his recent success with “The Apprentice” – Donald Jr., and Bailey Banks & Biddle, should take heart.

Donald Trump and his fiancée, Melania Krause, pose for New York magazine with Donald Trump Jr. and his fiancée, Vanessa Haydon. Trump Jr. seems to have inherited his father’s flair for attracting publicity and pretty women.

Copyright © 2005 by Bond Communications