In a sad bit if year-end new, SoHo stalwart Robert Lee Morris (pictured right among his designs) has closed his longtime West Broadway boutique after being a fixture in the neighborhood since the late 1970s. One can only presume that rent issues have prompted the longtime presence to vacate the shop after 20 years, but the innovative jewelry designer remains undaunted, promising, with a note on the door and a post on his Facebook page, that the hunt is on for a smaller, quieter "jewel box" location uptown. Though his bold fashion jewelry designs have been highly influential over the years, Morris has also been a force in elevating American fashion jewelry design. His first store, Artwear, also served as a showroom of sorts not only for his own work, but for other up and coming designers at the time like Ted Muehling and Cara Croninger among others, whose editorial credits were often written as being "for Artwear", emphasizing a more artisan as opposed to commercial point of view. After 1994, Morris struck out on his own when his brand exploded, helped along by high profile collaborations with Calvin Klein, Geoffrey Beene and Donna Karan to name a few. His designs, based on natural forms and made of anything from semi-precious minerals to oxidized metals to sterling silver and gold, have become iconic, so hopefully, New York won't be too long without a Robert Lee Morris store. We'll be keeping an eye out for a new location soon.