Tag Archives: jewelry trends

Three Trends

From instoremag.com:

Turquoise

Ask any retailer and they’ll exclaim that blue is the all-time bestselling gemstone color. For the benefit of those who haven’t gotten around to the trend report in this month’s INDESIGN, I’ll clue you in that turquoise is the variation on the color that’s getting the most attention lately. It’s a stone that’s usually thought of as a favorite of patchouli-wearing bohemians, but it’s appearing in jewelry of every discernable style, from hippie inflected to vintage-inspired, and in collections that haven’t used the stone much in the past. For stores that want to feature the stone, but with a shimmering effect, look for doublets made with turquoise.

 

Long Necks

By now, no one needs to repeat the refrain that the 1970s is the decade that’s most influential on the fashion front. With fashion designers looking back four decades for inspiration, plunging necklines are becoming just as popular as they were during the days of disco. Look for jewelry that complements the newly exposed swathe of skin. Lariats, y-necklaces and tiered pieces that rest on naked sternums will be plentiful at the Vegas shows, and they’re easier to wear than structured collar necklaces.

 

Linked In

No category of jewelry is more enduring than pieces featuring links. Customers are gravitating to jewelry with the classic elements because they’re easy to wear and are workhorses in a jewelry wardrobe. In bracelets and necklaces, they’re updated with unusual shapes and accents like touches of gemstones. But look for them to appear in pieces that less commonly use link elements, like earrings and rings, too.

Men Are Becoming Jewelry Collectors

From the New York Times—When Tom Fitzgerald proposed to his boyfriend Jamie Holloway in March 2014, he unveiled a ring that was a far cry from the traditional diamond solitaire. The piece, created by the London jewelry designer Hannah Martin, is a modern interpretation of a signet ring, with an octagonal-cut sapphire surrounded by emeralds in white gold.

“Hannah was able to present our own version of an engagement ring,” said Mr. Holloway, a fashion public relations director. The couple, who now live in Los Angeles but who will marry in Somerset this August, will be among the first to take advantage of Britain’s recent legalization of same-sex marriage. And, as such, “we are making our own new traditions,” said Mr. Holloway, engagement ring and all.

Ms. Martin, who describes her collection as men’s jewelry that girlfriends want to steal, said orders for gay wedding and engagement rings are the fastest-growing sector of her business.

While she does not expect most men, gay or straight, to start sporting engagement rings any time soon, she has seen significant growth in the men’s jewelry category as a whole since establishing her business 10 years ago. “It’s become much more acceptable for the average man to use beauty products, wear jewelry and spend money on their appearance,” she said.

Statistics prove her point. There are no jewelry-specific studies but, according to Euromonitor, the global men’s wear market grew 4.5 percent last year, outpacing women’s at 3.7. And the research company predicts men’s wear sales will grow another $40 billion, to $480 billion, by 2019.

Stores are extending their men’s offerings accordingly, and that includes jewelry. Mr Porter, the male counterpart of the Net-a-Porter online store, has offered jewelry for several years, initially selling entry price point pieces from fashion houses including Alexander McQueen and Bottega Veneta. It has since expanded the category, in response to customer demand, to include fine jewelry from independent designers.

“Wearing jewelry made a specific statement not so long ago. But with time, it’s become more acceptable,” said Simon Spiteri, Mr Porter’s accessories buyer. “We’re seeing a lot of people wearing a bracelet with a Rolex watch and a three-piece suit. In fact, we’ve seen huge growth in bracelets across the board, from understated Le Gramme gold cuffs to something a little more flamboyant, like colorful beaded bracelets from Luis Morais.”

Mr. Spiteri added that the company planned to continue expanding its collection of what he described as “subtle, grown-up jewelry,” emphatically not the rock ’n’ roll or bling-laden male jewelry of yesteryear: “We are planning a lot more entry price point pieces for a younger market,” he said. “We’re also looking to increase our fine jewelry offering.”

Dickon Bowden, vice president of Dover Street Market, the high-concept fashion store with locations in London, New York and Tokyo, echoes the observations. “It’s becoming far more apparent that men are interested in purchasing jewelry from us,” he said.

The store, which last month became one of the few outlets selected to introduce the Apple Watch, offers an eclectic mix that ranges from the gothic-inspired jewels of Chrome Hearts to the clean lines of the Japanese brand HUM.

Mr. Bowden said that, of the patrons in the store’s three locations, Japanese men are the most daring: “In Japan, men are far more open to wearing jewelry than in London or New York.”

Stephen Webster, the London-based jeweler who introduced his first men’s collection, Rayman, 17 years ago, agreed that the Japanese market is large. And, in South Korea, “they’ll even buy jewelry we make for women. They are completely comfortable buying something, if they like it,” he added.

Russian men on the whole are conservative but, Mr. Webster noted, they are the biggest spenders among his clients, favoring his custom-made, bejeweled Russian crosses, which sell for as much as $50,000. “The men are so macho, but a flamboyant cross is acceptable,” he said. “And like all men, they love the bespoke service. It’s like choosing the finish of a new car.”

Different cultures

Notions about jewelry’s being effeminate still prevail among many in Europe and the United States. But in India, male appreciation for jewelry is nothing new: “If you see pictures from the past, the Mughals and maharajas wore more jewelry than the women did,” said Tarang Arora, chief executive and creative director of the Jaipur-based brand Amrapali.

Mr. Arora said men’s jewelry continues to do well in his home market as it is gaining traction elsewhere. The company recently added men’s pieces, including bracelets, rings and cufflinks, to its Dark Maharajah collection. At Harrods’ fine jewelry boutique in London, Amrapali’s largest market outside India, its men’s headpieces, cufflinks, bracelets and necklaces are displayed alongside women’s jewels.

Regardless of in-store locations, Mr. Webster believes that selling jewelry to men is about putting it into the context of their world. “You want to connect with the way they look at a watch,” he said, explaining that this love of mechanism and function was part of the inspiration for his new Ceramic Link bracelets, which come with detailed, interchangeable clasps inspired by classic cigar cutters.

Todd Reed, a Colorado-based designer, has experienced firsthand the growth in the men’s jewelry market. While he has always made men’s jewelry, last June he introduced a formal collection including dog tags, bracelets, rings and belt buckles that already has grown to account for 14 percent of his company’s total sales.

Mr. Reed said there is no typical male customer, a love of jewelry being less about someone’s age or particular style and more about an appreciation for design, whether it be for clothing, architecture or cars: “I have sold a $20,000 belt buckle to a 20-year-old kid and the same one to a 62-year-old executive out on the golf course.”

Mr. Bowden at Dover Street Market believes this eclecticism reflects men’s growing sartorial confidence and a wider shift to a more individualistic approach to fashion: “Things aren’t trend-driven so much these days. People are creating their own styles.”

Confidence is crucial, however, if you want to wear jewelry as a man, said the private London jeweler Harry Fane, who recently made his first men’s piece, a snake bracelet of carved horn with emerald eyes: “You have to have a bit of flair to carry it off.”

Even for a dedicated gem lover, it’s all about wearing the right jewelry on the right occasion. For example, Levi Higgs, who works for David Webb, the New York jewelry brand, has a collection of brooches. “I wear them regularly on a lapel to a museum event or party, but nowhere too casual,” he said. “I don’t want to overdo it.” And his most valuable, opulent piece, a large zebra brooch designed by his employer? “I’d only wear it if I wanted to make a larger statement.”

Mr. Spiteri hit a similarly cautious note during a discussion about the possibility of selling men’s necklaces on Mr Porter: “It’s more of a statement to wear a necklace. You can always hide a bracelet if needed.”

But Ms. Martin believes that the male psyche already has produced a change. Once a man becomes comfortable wearing jewelry, he becomes a loyal client, she said. “The male collecting syndrome kicks in — and jewelry becomes an extension of that.”

Are Body Chains The New Trend?

From the L.A. Times:

 

There is no denying the staying power of a $4,950 pair of diamond-bedecked hoop earrings by Louis Vuitton — even when they are mismatched by design. And while a pearl necklace may sound like a safe investment, we are not talking that timeless strand of cultured pearls from Tiffany & Co. or Mikimoto, but rather a sculptural, fashion-forward $15,200 pearl-embellished collar necklace by Brazilian designer Ana Khouri, whose jewels are worn by the likes of Madonna and Jennifer Lawrence.

Even body chains have been elevated to elegance since Jennifer Aniston stepped out at the SAG Awards in January in black tie attire and a $5,200 black diamond body chain by Los Angeles-based Amrit Jewelry. Diane Kruger wore a version by local jewelry designer Jacquie Aiche to Coachella last month.

Newer fine jewelry brands are showcasing an array of harmonious styles — particularly ear cuffs, jackets, climbers, studs, hoops and bars — meant to be collected and worn singly, mixed or mismatched. Aiche has built her brand on this layered look and says that her earring category has grown more than 100% in the last two years since she introduced ear jackets, worn as a decorative backing with any stud earring.

Those mismatched Louis Vuitton Monogram Idylle hoops, worn singly or with the French fashion brand’s coordinating $1,030 single ear studs, can create a wardrobe of looks — and are arguably as versatile as diamond stud earrings.

“We are seeing more people embrace asymmetry and multiple lobe piercings,” says New York-based jewelry designer and body piercing veteran Maria Tash, who has been selling upscale, Indian-inspired single earrings for more than 20 years under the label Venus by Maria Tash.

“People do not feel like they have to have matching first hole studs or matching first lobe rings. [They are] treating each earlobe piercing as its own autonomous vehicle to adorn.”