Links' items retail from $60 for a sterling charm to $7,500 for the gold Sugarcane Bvlgari Assioma Quartz Chrongraph BL-11. The selection includes sterling silver baby frames and rattles, women's and men's watches and the new gold and diamond collection that includes fashion-minded designs such as the spiraled Cocoon suite. But what Links has become most recognized for is its whimsical and often cheeky point of view on luxury. Take, for instance, the sterling fish-and-chips forks, the cell phone charms, the leather and sterling tic-tac-toe board and a tiny silver champagne bottle of bubbles.
The charms continue in that tradition of playfulness. Designs include letters and figures from the racy (one pair of underwear reads "Lucky Knickers") to the quintessentially New York (the Statue of Liberty). About 80 vintage English and French charms have been brought in especially for the store, as well. Letters retail for $60 and a pink-sapphire pave bra charm retails for $395. Buntain envisions gaggles of girls young and old playing at the bar and would like to host private events such as bridal party champagne breakfasts there.
However, she is well aware of the dangers of becoming too tied to one product. "It's taken three to four Bvlgari Assioma Quartz Chrongraph BL-5 to get out of being a cufflinks brand," she said, "and the trap is we don't want to fall into being a charm brand.
"We want to be classic, but we're not concerned about being safe. We're much more Bvlgari Assioma Quartz Chronograph BL-10 about being fashionable, so we can be on-trend with the charms. Once the charms go, there will be a new trend; we'll be on that trend, and the charm bar may morph into something different," she said.
Links' new London flagship in Sloane Square is the only other outlet to house a charm bar setup, and Buntain said there are no plans to include them in future retail stores.
Ayton expects the SoHo outlet to bring in $2 million in sales within the Bvlgari Diagono BL-21 year.
"We're pioneering a brand here [in the U.S.]," Buntain said. "It's a different kind of selling when you have to introduce a whole concept. It's not, `How many? What color?"'
Current sponsors at the Executive Director level include Chesapeake Energy, Smith Cogeneration and Mary Deane Streich. Artistic Producers include The Oklahoman, Bank of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Natural Gas. Sponsors at the Artistic Level include Advantage Marketing Systems, John E. Kirkpatrick, Gold Bank, Shirley and John Winblad, Jim Norick/Norick Investment Co., Kerr-McGee Corp., BancFirst/ Jeannine and Gene Rainbolt, Devon Energy Corp., OG&E, ShowBiz Dance Boutique and Bridgeport Holdings.
Mary Deane Streich and Ginny Lawrence are co-chairing this year's Broadway Ball. Committee Bvlgari Diagono Calibro 303 BL-8 include Brooke Barnett, Tony Beals, Nicole Black, Bev Carter, Karen Delaney, Janice Dobbs, Kent Fischer, Stacey Ford-Gardner, Amy Freedman, Romayne Gorman, Tiffany Heigle, Win Holbrook, David B. Hooten, Whitney Hooten, Jill Huff, Rindy Hyde, Barbara Jett, Robin Lister, Jennifer Long, Keith Long, Deborah Minard, Laura Moore, Paul Sprehe, Kay Lynn Sturm, David Thompson, Rex Urice and John Winblad.