New York—Frank Fialkoff, chief executive at Haskell Jewels LLC, one of the fashion jewelry industry’s leading players, died June 8, surrounded by his family, following a brave battle with cancer. He was 70 years old.
Mr. Fialkoff had reached legendary status in the costume jewelry business in what could be described as fulfilling the all-American entrepreneurial dream. He was raised in The Bronx and began his accessories career at 16 in the mailroom of Monet jewelry. From there, Mr. Fialkoff rose through the ranks at Monet, and in 1970, he bought his first company, jewelry manufacturer Albert Weiss.
In 1975, Mr. Fialkoff joined Swank as president, founding the company’s women’s division and launched Pierre Cardin jewelry. He joined Victoria Creations in 1980 as president, and later, became chief executive officer. Among his notable accomplishments there was to grow and expand the Givenchy and Karl Lagerfeld licenses, soon establishing the company as one of the largest in the industry.
Without a doubt, however, Mr. Fialkoff’s most memorable contribution to the industry was acquiring one of costume jewelry’s most venerable brands, Miriam Haskell in 1990. Mr. Fialkoff revived the historically significant brand and along the way built it into one of the industry’s fastest growing fashion jewelry companies ever—Haskell Jewels LLC. Headquartered in New York City, the Haskell Jewels is one of the leading designers, marketers, and distributors of costume jewelry.
Preserved History, Expanded It
Today, Haskell Jewels supplies trend and private label jewelry globally and has facilities in China and Canada. Its proprietary and licensed products include the successful Diane Von Furstenberg, Betsey Johnson, Kenneth Cole and Robert Lee Morris department store jewelry lines, among others. The crown jewel, the luxury Miriam Haskell line, has been preserved and is still handmade in the New York City studio as it has been since the 1920s.
Mr. Fialkoff was known throughout his career for his charm, tenacity, and business acumen. His charismatic leadership guided the fashion jewelry industry for decades. As a testament to his contributions, Fialkoff received the Fashion Accessories Benefit Ball (FABB) Achievement Award in 2009 and, in 2011, was honored with the Business Visionary Award by the Accessories Council.
Fialkoff and his wife of 50 years, Linda, divided their time between New York City and Crested Butte, Colorado. He was deeply involved with the Adaptive Sports Center (ASC) of Crested Butte, where his wife serves as board president. The organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities through outdoor adventure activities. Mr. Fialkoff was an avid mountain biker, hiker and skier in Crested Butte. Nonetheless, what he enjoyed most was spending time with his family.
He is survived by his wife, Linda, daughter Gabrielle, son Brett, daughter-in-law Heather and grandchildren Andie, Hannah, Jack and Thea.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, June 16; 2:00 pm at The Riverside, located at West 76th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.
Contributions may be made in Mr. Fialkoff’s name to the Adaptive Sports Center of Crested Butte, CO. (www.adaptivesports.org)