Category Archives: Fashion

Retails trends that could change the way you sell jewelry

Anti brandJWT intelligence reported emerging trends to watch for in 2015. JCK reporter, Rob Bates, does a great job in relating these trends in his JCK blog post that I repost here:
8 Retail Trends That Could Change Your Business

By Rob Bates, News Director
Posted on January 20, 2015

From nonbrands to BuzzFeed retail, technological advances and changing demographics could shake up how jewelry is marketed and sold in the coming year, according to JWT’s annual trend report.

Among the trends Lucie Greene, worldwide director of JWT Intelligence, sees as possibly affecting the industry:

The rise of the high-level affluent woman.

What Greene calls the “Arianna Huffington generation”—women in high-level positions who prioritize their careers—will eventually change how luxury goods are marketed and purchased.

“There are women reaching high-level management, even in emerging markets like China,” she says. “The impact on luxury is quite interesting. Jewelry is typically being marketed from men to women for occasions. But when you have women shopping for fine jewelry, the language and also the category needs to change.”

She finds that the “very expensive men’s watches that are usually aimed at male buyers are now being marketed to women.”

Celebrating singles.

Looking at demographic data, more and more Americans are deciding not to marry.

“The future is really singles, and that is across all different age groups,” she says. “The highest divorce rate in the U.S. is the over-50s. That is being led by China, and its famous Singles’ Day, but also it is starting to be adopted in the U.S.”

Being single is no longer looked at as being isolated and lonely, she says.

“Now single is considered being very social,” she says, adding that she is seeing much more self-spending on traditionally gifted luxuries.

Entertainment merging with retail.

“With the advent of Internet-connected television, entertainment and gaming is all becoming online and interactive,” she says. “That makes it seamlessly linked to commerce. A lot of retailers are using entertainment as a way to engage consumers. Amazon, one of the biggest e-tailers in the world, is producing original entertainment. To me, the next step is to make it very shoppable.”

She says that apps already exist that can let you buy products that appear on-screen.

Brick-and-mortar are now more about the brand experience.

Many physical retailers are now demonstrations of the brand experience, rather than places to shop, she says.

“Stores are becoming Disneyland,” she says. “It’s all about the entertainment. Lululemon is hosting yoga classes where they sell their items. Apple is hosting Q&As with creatives who use the iPhones. [U.K. department store] Selfridges has its fragrance lab where you go into a darkened room and they take you on this journey. Stores are just becoming places to hang out. With mobile, at this point, it doesn’t really matter where the transactions take place, as long as they take place.”

A change in how retailer space is used.

With online likely to keep cutting down the overall number of stores, many traditional retail-only malls are now becoming “mixed use,” with space for offices, pop-up stores, cultural events, even residential housing. Meanwhile, urban outlets are becoming “fewer but more massive,” Greene says, to offer more immersion in the brand experience.

BuzzFeed retail.

BuzzFeed is the site known for quizzes like, What kind of cat are you? As consumers continue to seek out personalized products, some e-tailers are using similar quizzes as a way to increase user engagement and offer customized items.


“We are seeing in our data that millennials are rebelling against the idea of fashion trends,” Greene says. “The trends have become relentless and overexposed.”

That is why fashion is experimenting with “genderless fashion” and “anti-brands,” which pride themselves on not advertising.

“[Eyeglass brand] Warby Parker says, ‘We haven’t spent a lot on advertising,’ ” she notes. “That is really resonating. Right now, consumers can find information about any brand. There is this awareness of how much sunglass producers are paying for their license. Warby Parker is really the antidote to that.”

Another example: Everlane, a clothing e-tailer which states up front how much margin is being made on each item, as well as where all the items come from.

“It’s a way of demonstrating complete transparency,” she says. “People are skeptical today when it says Italian leather, because it isn’t always from Italy. So not only this is more responsible, but it’s a good way to demonstrate your item’s quality.”

Luxury on mobile.

While this sounds obvious, Greene points to data that 40 percent of luxury brands have minimal or no online or mobile presence.

“There is now no upper limit to how much any luxury consumer will spend on their phone,” she says. “You have $3 million transactions going through the Christie’s app. E-commerce for luxury is the new emerging market.”

Bravo to Tiffany’s!

I was in NYC earlier this week and had a chance to take a look at Tiffany’s new metal, Rubedo. The sale clerk identified the metal as a combination of silver, copper and gold. The price points that they are achieving suggests that is more silver and copper than gold, but is it ever beautiful. A bold statement in rose color and a sterling price point. Well done Tiffany! You get my “Keep it relevant” tip of the hat!!!!

Gemvara keeps on flourishing!

Gemvara, the online consumer driven jewelry design website just announced a third round of venture capital investment. This time for 15 million! In the current environment, this represents that venture companies see something very big for Gemvara! Read More

The future of shopping

So think about this relates to the jewelry industry…. Think Boucheron.

Ready for the Gen Y tsunami, jewelers?

This article is reposted from the July 21, 2010 edition of National Jeweler and is written by Jan Brassem.

Prepare yourself, jewelers. Here comes Generation Y (aka Gen Y), 74 million big-spending consumers, born between 1978 and 1995, who inspired a recent Gen Y Forum purported to be “the largest gathering of prestige marketers in North America.”

The forum’s official goal was to discuss the “characteristics, influence and brand affinities of tomorrow’s affluent consumers.”

In other words, the aim was to determine how Gen Y consumers make buying decisions–an ambitious task indeed.

In case you didn’t know, the 74 million Gen Y members purchase, directly or indirectly, $200 billion worth of goods or services a year, five times more than their parents did at the same age.

There are now more Gen Y members than there are baby boomers, and this demographic will represent 50 percent of the total U.S. workforce by 2015. Oh, did I mention that within the next five years, the Gen Y consumer will provide the biggest revenue source for any industry you can name?

The forum consisted of 22 thought-leaders from diverse fields, including a bureau chief for The Economist, the publisher of Teen Vogue, the chief of digital marketing for Microsoft and a member of the U.S. State Department, among others.

All of these “rainmakers” agreed that Gen Y members are technologically sophisticated shoppers who were probably using computers before their first day of school.

The computer became the “training wheels” for this group, which is often called the “Internet Generation.” It was also clear among the forum leaders that the technologically adept Gen Y consumer would make purchasing decisions using high-tech tools.

In a nutshell, here’s a rundown of some of the important points discussed. (The college marketing students I teach will wrestle with the rest.) Much of the information discussed at the event is the result of extensive U.S. and international market research.

Speedy decision-making: “Business will be as usual, but much faster,” was a common theme at the meeting. Simply put, the shopping process goes something like this: They click, they browse, they buy. It will be the retailer’s responsibility to keep up.

Design trends: Product design can no longer be developed by committees, research teams or in staff meetings. Such groups take too long to reach consensus, and styles change too fast. What a company should do is develop a network of blogs and tweets to inform styling decisions. Besides being inexpensive, these interactive forums allow for speed and dexterity.

An investment: Gen Y consumers see luxury products as investments, not as indulgences. They do not have an appreciation for “trendy” styling, and favor more “classic” designs. When they purchase an item, they generally use it. (It will not be placed in a drawer.) They expect exceptional quality.

Parents as reference: These young consumers consider themselves to be “equal opportunity buyers,” with an unspoken motto that “We buy the same as our parents, except … we want more.” Heritage plays no part in design, styling or reference decisions. While their parents considered luxury to be something special, Gen Y consumers understand luxury as something that they deserve.

Bling is blung: Ostentation is clearly out, and subtlety is in. Gen Y jewelry consumers seek simple designs that are cool, hip and “in the know.” Some visual expression is important, but it is not key.

Purchase rationale: Gen Y consumers have a need to add an emotional rationale to their buying decisions. For example, when purchasing a pendant, the shopper requires–as a rule–an additional use for the piece. She wants to be able to wear it to work, and to a party.

Reference groups: Positive feedback, (real or imagined) from their reference group is arguably Gen Y’s most important decision criteria. Whomever their peer group is–be it colleagues, friends, or fellow club-goers–acceptance by that group will close the sale.

Sale vs. deal: Beware of putting items on “sale.” Gen Y consumers consider that word to be the radioactive kiss of death. They strongly prefer the word “deal” as a way to communicate bargains or price reductions. Getting a great deal sounds–to their ears, anyway–better than getting something on sale.

Blogs and more blogs: The new–and hopefully permanent–Internet-based marketing vehicle is the blog. The blog is inexpensive to set up and maintain and its uses are abundant. Almost in unison, the thought-leaders at the forum expressed the conviction that blogs were the marketing tool of tomorrow–if not today. To be a successful Internet “player,” your store or site should be called out on a minimum of 25 blogs today and at least 250 in the future.

For those who are not Gen Y members, your knowledge of technology may be strained. Mine was. It is our job to become current in this technology and understand the negative marketing implications if we don’t. Let’s face it, we could end up in the same category as hand-held calculators and in-store flyers.

Stuller diamonds? There’s an app for that

The following is reprinted from National Jeweler

By Teresa Novellino

June 15, 2009

Stuller's "Live Diamond Try-On (brought to you by Red Box Diamonds)" iPhone application allows users to pick out a diamond engagement ring, try it out for size using an image of their own hand, share the image with friends and find a jeweler to buy the ring from.

Stuller's "Live Diamond Try-On (brought to you by Red Box Diamonds)" iPhone application allows users to pick out a diamond engagement ring, try it out for size using an image of their own hand, share the image with friends and find a jeweler to buy the ring from.

Las Vegas–Stuller has partnered with Gemvision Corp. on an iPhone application that allows users to pick out a diamond engagement ring, try it out for size using an image of their own hand, share the image with friends and find a jeweler to buy the ring from.

IPhone users can choose from among thousands of downloadable applications that allow them to use their phones while on the go to do everything from play video games to manage their money to get workout tips.

Soon to be added to the list is the diamond ring application unveiled by Stuller during the Las Vegas jewelry shows, which is called “Live Diamond Try-On (brought to you by Red Box Diamonds).” The application will be offered for free to iPhone users beginning in late summer via the iPhone store, said Kerry Hand, Stuller’s executive director of marketing services and public relations.

Hand and Ryan Koning, director of advertising, communications and events for Gemvision, demonstrated how the program will work.

The first step is to use the iPhone’s touch screen to go to the application, which then prompts a user to choose a diamond by carat size and shape, and then a mounting by precious-metal color, either white or yellow. There are a limited number of ring styles currently available through the application, but these include classic styles and additional choices that feature side stones.

After the user has made a diamond and precious-metal color selection, it’s time for the try on. The user then takes a picture of her hand using the iPhone camera. Then, using the iPhone’s touch screen, the user can position the ring onto the picture of the hand, adjusting for a perfect fit. The iPhone can also be held directly on the hand with the image tilted to enjoy the “sparkle” of the diamond image.

The image of the person’s hand, with the chosen ring, can now be e-mailed to friends and family, posted on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

At this point, the iPhone user can also track down where to find the ring through the “find a jeweler” function of the Live Diamond Try-On application, which uses the phone’s GPS function to pull up Google maps and place virtual pins on the nearest Red Box Diamond Jewelers, ranking each one selected based on proximity, Hand says.

“This is the beauty of the application. It drives consumers to dream big and them pushes them to spend big with Red Box Diamond retailers,” Hand says.

The new application is one of a number of new programs Stuller is offering that are designed to let jewelers take advantage of digital technologies to give consumers expanded options. During the JCK Las Vegas show, Stuller also unveiled the Virtual Diamond Selector program, which allows retail jewelers to go online with customers to choose from 10,000 diamonds by size, shape or color, and the Customized Earring Program, which provides retail jewelers with the chance to customize a pair of diamond earrings exactly the way the customer wants them.

Another new option, Stuller’s 3D Ring Engraver, allows retail jewelers to personalize a wedding band while sitting in the store with their customer, who can choose a unique message and a particular font, and then get a dynamic 3D preview of what the ring will look like once it is inscribed.

Jewelers who are interested in being part of the iPhone application must be Red Box Diamond jewelers. For details, contact Stuller via e-mail at or by calling (800) 877-7777.

Pop Culture: Turn Trends into Transactions

gossip girlThe economic downturn has meant jewelers must buy smarter and better than ever before. At her JCK Las Vegas session, “JCK Style: What’s Hot and Why You Should Care,” Jewelry Information Center spokesperson Helena Krodel will provide much needed insight on how to turn hot trends into transactions for your store.

To prepare to buy right, and for the right trends, Krodel says to consider key fashion influencers, such as:

* Pop Culture: Television shows like Gossip Girl, which follows the lives of privileged young Manhattanites, are gospel to fashionistas.
* Top Influencers: New First Lady Michelle Obama has brought fashion back into the White House, influencing what people wear (and where they buy it).
* The Eco/Green Movement: Consumers with a conscience continue to push for more environmentally-friendly and organic products, including jewelry in an effort to Recycle, Reduce, Reuse!
* Technology and the Internet: Even if you’re not ready to jump on sites like Facebook, you need to be aware of how the latest web technologies are influencing consumers — and enabling both positive and negative information — to travel instantly. As a challenge, check out how to Twitter!
* Fashion Sources: Traditional media like bridal and fashion magazines continue to influence consumers and have been joined by fashion-focused Internet sites like

Take The Tip:

* Attend Helena Krodel’s presentation: “JCK Style: What’s Hot and Why You Should Care” at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, May 28.
* Visit for more insight on trends.

Pantone’s color seers say earth tones for fall

This is a reprint of an article in National Jeweler May 14th, 2009 written by Catherine Dayrit

Just Like You Design citrene ringNew York–Each season, the world-renowned color experts at Pantone release a report detailing the palette of hues that fashion designers expect to be indicative of the season. And for fall, designers are placing their bets on a rainbow of earth tones, from true red and deep orange to vibrant blue.

“The fall 2009 palette is more unique and thoughtful than the typical autumnal hues of years past,” Pantone Color Institute Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman said in the report. “Designers recognize the desire for fundamental basics that speak to the current economic conditions, but also understand the need to incorporate vibrant color to grab the consumers’ eyes and entice them to buy.”

Among the top 10 colors designers identified as the most directional hues for fall are: “American Beauty,” a balanced, true red; “Purple Heart,” a jewel-tone purple; “Honey Yellow,” a warm, more subdued version of the sunny “Mimosa Yellow,” Pantone’s 2009 Color of the Year; “Burnt Sienna,” an earthy shade of orange; “Rapture Rose,” combining the vibrancy of fuchsia and the softness of pink; “Warm Olive,” a rich yellow-green; and finally “Majolica Blue,” a deep teal.

Helena Krodel, spokeswoman for the Jewelry Information Center, says that what these trends mean for jewelry is a proliferation of large gemstones in earth tones or rich deep colors. The stones will be combined with chain-links or charms in precious metals, making for oversized statement necklaces.

As for basic colors for the season, designers surveyed by Pantone selected “Creme Brulee,” a grayed-down beige; “Iron,” a grounding color somewhere between brown and gray that coordinates well with all colors in the palette; and “Nomad,” which serves as a bridge between the beige and light gray.

Such tones serve as an ideal canvas for jewelry, whether that means sticking to the monotone look with one of the all-metal statement necklaces that will be big for fall, or selecting colored gemstones with intense hues that pop.

Leatrice says that of the 10 colors, the neutral Iron received the highest rating from designers, a choice that points to practicality.

“Designers are very aware that consumers are conscious of how they’re spending their money,” she says. “They want something very consistent.”

She also adds that over the last few seasons there has been more of a trend toward “trans-seasonal” dressing, in which apparel and accessories can be used from one season and into the next, so trends linger and aren’t thrown out the door quite so quickly.

“If you love something, it’s a shame to hang it in the closet,” she says.

And that goes for jewelry too. While precious stones tend to be pricey, perhaps making for an initial barrier at the sales counter, their classic nature helps to make them pieces worth investing in, items that can be worn time and again.

Trend Blitz: Affordable Jewelry

Costume jewelryOne of the best effects of the current costume jewelry craze is its impact—or lack thereof—on the wallet. Designers are eschewing precious metals and gemstones for non-traditional materials like textiles and wood, driving prices down in the process. In fact, some of our favorite jewelry labels at the moment are some of the most affordable we’ve found in a long time, proving that you don’t need to spend a lot to make a statement.

Maria Lau
Since graduating from London’s Royal College of Art in 2003, Maria Lau has gained a following for her intricate pieces made from materials normally found in clothing. Her most recent collection, “A Skin Less Ordinary,” takes root in the aesthetics of Masai jewelry but has an effect that’s far more ethereal than you’d expect. Nude stockings are braided, twisted and knotted with strands of semi-precious stones to create regal neckpieces and headbands, while magnetic hematine minerals are used to create long, layered chain necklaces. Select pieces from the collection are available at , starting at $75.

Sabrina Dehoff
Sabrina Dehoff is best known for her knotted cord pieces, which are reminiscent of the drawstrings on a hooded nylon parka. This season, she’s taken her collection’s urban wilderness theme even further, adding natural materials like spruce, perch, oak and plum woods. The rough, outdoorsy feel of the collection is balanced out with 23k gold plating and Swarovski crystal accents, which glam up a series of pyramid stud earrings, floral-shaped brooches and tiny pendants in the shapes of woodland creatures. The collection can be found at Opening Ceremony, where most prices are less than $250.

Johanne Mills
A former creative director for Donna Karan and consultant for everyone from Matthew Williamson to Bulgari and W magazine, it’s no wonder that Johanne Mills’ eponymous jewelry line is as eclectic as her résumé. Her collections combine graphic shapes, unusual raw materials and an arts and crafts sensibility, with most pieces hovering around the $300 mark. A pair of sleek drop earrings is made from onyx discs and brass tubes, while a cheerful bib necklace is crafted from looped silk cord, dotted with triangular studs in calcite, adventurine and metal. and carry a diverse range of Mills’ creations.

—Erin Magner

Reprinted from the JC report. An excellent source of information on the fashion world.

Diamonds, white metals snag Grammy spotlight

Jennifer HudsonLos Angeles–Coldplay, Jennifer Hudson and John Mayer were among the recording artists who scooped up top honors at last night’s 51st Annual Grammy Awards, but in terms of jewelry, diamonds set in white metals were the night’s big winners.

While the Grammys are generally noted for their more outlandish displays of fashion, a number of men and women performing and presenting on the Feb. 8 stage went classic in terms of their jewelry choices, especially with diamond jewelry.

Diamond drop earrings were ubiquitous, as were vintage pieces, line bracelets and right-hand rings.

Best New Artist winner Adele performed her “Chasing Pavements” hit in Stephen Russell diamond drop earrings, an antique diamond-flower brooch and an antique diamond and tortoise-shell hair comb. And “I Kissed a Girl” crooner Katy Perry played up her retro Varga-girl style in an H. Stern vintage diamond bracelet, diamond floral ring and diamond “Sofia” bangle, finished off with Jacob and Co. princess-cut diamond drop earrings set in platinum.

American Idol alum and Grammy nominee Jordin Sparks picked a diamond link bracelet, diamond stud earrings and ring from Damiani, while fellow nominee Sara Bareilles chose diamond and platinum bracelets, earrings and a ring, all from Neil Lane.

And the guys didn’t lay low on the diamonds either. Jamie Foxx chose diamond stud earrings and cuff links by Neil Lane, while Jay-Z picked Lane’s diamond and black onyx tie pin and diamond shirt studs. Grammy winner Lil Wayne went the black diamond route, choosing a Chris Aire watch with a full black diamond case, dial and bracelet.

In addition to the more traditional styles, playful looks weren’t too far off. Whitney Houston helped to open the show in a Lorraine Schwartz cuff bracelet and disco-ready fan earrings, both in blackened platinum with diamonds, while Gwyneth Paltrow paired a metallic mini-dress with silver-toned earrings plus a heart-shaped diamond ring from Chopard. Miley Cyrus proved that she’s already a veteran in jewelry wardrobing, expertly mixing Lorree Rodkin and Stephen Webster pieces for her performance with Taylor Swift. Meanwhile, Jennifer Hudson accepted her Grammy for best R and B album in a Cartier diamond and onyx panther cuff and long, geometrically shaped diamond earrings.

Reprinted from February 09, 2009 National Jeweler