Fortunoff Store

“Go where the customers are.” It’s a hallmark piece of advice retailers are given, and my Fortunoff family has a rich history of following that wisdom.

In 1922, when my grandparents founded our business, that meant the East New York area under the El in Brooklyn.

In the 1960’s, as my parents’ generation moved to the suburbs, that meant opening stores on Long Island and in New Jersey.

Lauren Bacall with Esther and Ruth Fortunoff

In the late 1970s, with women’s empowerment and spending power on the rise, that meant opening a Fortunoff Jewelry and watch business on Fifth Avenue, to meet New York power women where they shopped. It also meant teaming up with actress Lauren Bacall, a famously independent woman at that time, to be our spokesperson.

Today, my instincts tell me that another pivot is needed. As the COVID-19 health crisis has taught us all to shop online for everything, it seems that internet shopping will be one of the permanent behavioral changes wrought by the pandemic. Regardless of health concerns, many shoppers are now mostly too busy to browse in person, due to work and family obligations. But late at night, early in the morning, or on a lunch break, there is nothing we like more than to scan social media and visit websites to dream of and plan for our next purchases.

So, I am proud to announce that starting January 3, 2021, Fortunoff Jewelry will be transitioning our business to an online-only model at We are once again going to meet our customers where they are. Our well-designed website, honed over 10 years of use and experience, is ready. And we’ll have lots of fun jewels to share.

Esther Fortunoff We’ll also continue to have the ability to interact as “your personal jeweler” for consultations. Our extensive connections to the jewelry and gem industry mean we still have wide access to the finest diamantaires and colored gemstone dealers, designers, and craftspeople in our business. We can sketch your custom jewelry ideas or give you the chance to personally inspect a curated selection of exquisite finished fine jewelry.

Fortunoff Jewelry team members have met safely throughout the pandemic to help newly engaged couples and other clients who want to purchase or design jewelry to reward themselves or mark a milestone. I’m excited about having the time for such one-on-one experiences with our clients, many of whom are the children and grandchildren of customers my parents and grandparents served.

But I’m also elated that Fortunoff Jewelry will get to put more resources into reaching new and existing customers where they mostly shop now – online.

As the Fortunoff family approaches our 100th year in business, I’m proud to carry on the family tradition at I look forward to working together. Happy 2021!