Time to sparkle

Here's something to talk about: The upscale costume jewelry from Sequin New York has become a staple on "Gossip Girl" this season.

The line is the creation of Minnesota sisters Linda and Kim Renk, who grew up in Winona. (Kim currently lives in New York, where the line is based, while Linda commutes weekly from Minneapolis.)

Before starting their company, which has boutiques in Palm Beach, Fla., Newport, R.I., and Chicago, Linda worked in product development at Target and Kim created costume jewelry. In addition to their own label, the sisters work behind the scenes to create jewelry for the high-end label Badgley Mischka as well as Target, Kohl's and Cache.

About two years ago, the Renk sisters fell for the show "Gossip Girl" and sent a package to the show's costume department. Since then, they've developed a relationship with costume designer Eric Daman as well as some of the stars of the show. Kelly Rutherford (who plays Lily van der Woodsen) came to their showroom.

"She's the exact opposite of her Upper East Side snob character -- approachable and down-to-Earth," said Linda. Other celebrities, including Christina Hendricks from "Mad Men," also have stopped by.

The Renks credit their success to a diverse client base. "We started at the high end with Henri Bendel and Anthropologie, but Kohl's was our third client. It's a democratic approach to fashion," said Linda.

On Thursday, you'll be able to accessorize like the stars of "Gossip Girl" for a fraction of the price. That's when the Renks will be holding their annual sample sale, exclusively in the Twin Cities.

According to Linda, you'll find offerings from the current fall and holiday season, including pearls at all price points and bangle bracelets. "They're an ageless gift -- women who are 16 and women who are 60 like them," said Linda.

sales and events


Lela Rose bridal trunk show: The designer's spring 2011 collection will be featured along with best-selling gowns from previous collections.

Through Dec. 11, L'atelier Couture Bridal Boutique, 493 Selby Av., St. Paul, 651-602-9492.

Holiday party: Joynoëlle, Penny Larsen Jewelry and Black River Tree Farm are hosting a night of cocktails and shopping.

4 to 9 p.m., 312 W. 42nd St., Mpls., 612-209-7822.


Vicente Agor personal appearance and trunk show: The San Francisco-based jewelry designer will present his current collection. Twenty percent of proceeds will be donated to LifeSource, an organization that supports tissue and organ donation.

Reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Fri.; trunk show from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat. and noon to 5 p.m. Sun. Max's, 3831 Grand Way, St. Louis Park, 952-922-8364, www.stylebymax.com.

Stacey Johnson Jewelry Design sale: The local designer's jewelry will be 50 percent off, including necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Prices for Johnson's 2011 private collection pieces and clothing and accessories from Bahu Boutique will be 20 percent off.

6 to 9 p.m. Fri. and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sat., Bahu Boutique, 99 S. 10th St., Mpls.


k.h. designs Jewelry Style Show: It's the ultimate ladies' night out with a live jazz band, social hour, sit-down dinner and runway show, plus wares from local boutiques and designers, including Houndstooth, Local Motion and Universal Pants.

Dec. 6, 5 p.m., Legends Golf Club, 8670 Credit River Blvd., Prior Lake, call 612-743-6417 for $60 tickets.

Yigal Azrouël Trunk Show: The designer's spring 2011 collection will be available.

Dec. 6-8, Grethen House, 4930 France Av. S., Edina, 952-926-8725.

Sara Glassman • 612-673-7177 sglassman@startribune.com

pick of the week

Rosette scarf by Simply Vera, Vera Wang, $36, from Kohl's

The temperatures are dropping, so it's time to preserve your precious body heat and give your winter ensemble a personal touch. Try wrapping your neck in this Vera Wang scarf, which will keep you toasty with a touch of glamour.