JEWELLERY EDITORIAL

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2016/09/30

{ BLOG }

The downscaling of the high jewellery portion of the Paris Biennale des Antiquaires was the source of endless stories in the press and was the main topic of conversation among those who attended the press preview.

 

All 14 jewellers who exhibited two years ago, at what is considered by many to be the most important arts and antique fair in the world, opted out this year. This included iconic French brands Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Boucheron; Hong Kong jewellery artist Wallace Chan; and Italian jewellery house Bulgari.

 

However, the show did go on beneath the vaulted glass dome of the Grand Palais with four established high jewellery houses of diverse backgrounds and offerings. Out of the four, only the Swiss jeweller, de Grisogono, had exhibited at the Biennale previously. For Boghossian and Nirav Modi, it was their first time at the event. For Cindy Chao, it is her first public exhibition ever.

 

Cindy Chao had the most popular exhibition space during the press preview. Photo by Anthony DeMarco
Cindy Chao had the most popular exhibition space during the press preview. Photo by Anthony DeMarco

 

The most anticipated of the jewellers was Chao. Several times during the press preview, her exhibition stand was roped off because there were too many people inside. The Taiwanese jewellery artist specialises in artistic and exacting gem-encrusted one-of-a-kind pieces that could upwards of three years to complete—most notably her iconic gem-encrusted butterflies.

 

One of Cindy Chao’s iconic butterflies. Photo by Anthony DeMarco
One of Cindy Chao’s iconic butterflies. Photo by Anthony DeMarco

 

Chao brought 12 new pieces celebrating her 12th year in business along with some of her other signature jewels.

 

Geneva-based de Grisogono went largely green and white for its high jewels at the fair, using emeralds cut in a number of ways and pairing them with white diamonds and white precious metals.

 

Fan-shaped earrings with diamonds and emeralds set in titanium by de Grisogono. Photo by Anthony DeMarco
Fan-shaped earrings with diamonds and emeralds set in titanium by de Grisogono. Photo by Anthony DeMarco

 

Among the high points were a pair of fan-shaped diamond and emerald earrings set in titanium; and a suite of encrusted emerald and diamond jewels, including a bejewelled watch, which also featured these gems in various briolette and square cuts.

 

Indian jeweller Nirav Modi presented a fanciful jungle-like display, with bird sounds, for its high jewels, including a moving jewellery piece, the Embrace bangle, which expands and contracts. This is complimented with a number of suites centred with large necklaces. Among those suites was the “Water Lily Story,” inspired by Claude Monet paintings, which uses oval, pear, marquise and round diamonds mixed with various coloured gemstones.

 

The Embrace Bangle by Nirav Modi

 

Exceptional gems combined with fine craftsmanship are certainly the hallmarks of those who dabble in high jewellery. Boghossian turned this up a notch with innovations like hidden settings for diamonds and gems and working with a variety of materials. The family is fairly new as a high jewellery brand but goes back more than a century in the gem business gradually moving from the Middle East to Europe.

 

A statement necklace with diamonds and coloured gemstones with hidden settings by Boghossian. Photo by Anthony DeMarco
A statement necklace with diamonds and coloured gemstones with hidden settings by Boghossian. Photo by Anthony DeMarco

 

Albert Boghossian, who founded the high jewellery business based in Geneva, says the pieces tell the story of the diverse family heritage.


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone, and it does not necessarily reflect the opinions of JewelleryNetAsia, UBM Asia Ltd or any employee thereof. JewelleryNetAsia is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the bloggers. 

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2016/09/29

{BLOG}

Who are the HENRYs and why do you need to understand them?  HENRY stands for High Earning, Not Rich Yet.  HENRYs have household incomes between $100,000 and $250,000 but haven’t built wealth. Income refers to how much money comes into the bank.  Wealth refers to how much moneys stays in the bank.  Eventually HENRYs will be wealthy but they have a long way to go. 

 

Many HENRYs are Millennials with advanced degrees and good paying jobs but their expenses are also high. Paying back college loans can eat up a substantial chunk of their paycheck.  High-paying jobs are often in locations like New York or Silicon Valley where housing is expensive. A $100,000 income in most parts of the US will buy a nice house and a comfortable lifestyle but in the high rent areas, that same income will get a small studio apartment and a struggle to make ends meet.

 

A different mindset

HENRYs are not just about earnings and potential, they have a different outlook on what money can provide for them. They value experiences over possessions, spending more money on travel and adventure than luxury items. Yet they understand and appreciate quality products.  A status symbol has a different meaning. Rather than buying a Rolex or Patek to show off how much they earn, a low to mid-price rugged sports watch will give them the bragging rights of an active lifestyle.

 

Attracting HENRYs

Marketing to HENRYs takes a unique blend of two opposite approaches. Traditional luxury marketing based on status brands will miss the mark, but a focus on high quality and functional luxury will draw them in. At the same time, take a lesson from mass-marketing to point out the value proposition of a product.  A Henry is turned off by cheap, low-quality items but won’t want to spend extra for an empty bit of status. Given a choice of “Good,” “Very Good” or “Best-of-the Best,” they will most likely take the middle “Very Good” item as long as it provides quality and value. Why buy a $500 purse that holds nothing when a $100 purse is perfectly capable to hold the remaining $400? 

The importance of service

HENRYs have the expertise and confidence to buy anything they want online and for many products that will be their point of purchase. But for some things of a more personal nature, like jewellery and watches, the buying experience takes on a greater importance. Don’t base a sales pitch on the status of ownership. They have already researched like crazy and have a good idea of what they want. Point out the quality features that will enhance their life experiences and sell them on how your excellent service and after-sale care will take the worry out of their lives. 

 

Future value

Most HENRYs eventually will become wealthy with enough disposable income to purchase high-end goods.  Offer a generous trade-up policy with all purchases, especially jewellery and diamonds.  Right now, they may prefer a high quality ½ carat diamond over a larger lower-quality stone but at some point they will be in the market for a 2- or 5-carat diamond of similar high quality.  If you allow them to recover the value of their initial purchase, they will feel good about moving up to a bigger diamond in your store.

 

Cultivating HENRYs will take effort, but remember, their future holds tremendous potential for your future so they are worth pursuing. 


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone, and it does not necessarily reflect the opinions of JewelleryNetAsia, UBM Asia Ltd or any employee thereof. JewelleryNetAsia is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the bloggers. 

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2016/09/27

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In a car park in central London this month, some of Britain’s most innovative new jewellery designers gathered to showcase their work as part of London Fashion Week, and one of the overriding themes was jewels with hidden extras. 

 

One of the most exciting jewellers exhibiting at London Fashion Week was James Ganh, a Central Saint Martins’ graduate who has spent time working with Boucheron in Beijing and Fabergé in London. Ganh describes himself as a “jewel engineer” and uses his workshop in London to create luxury jewellery that have an element of transformability.

 

Studrop earrings by James Ganh
Studrop earrings by James Ganh Studrop earrings by James Ganh
Studrop earrings by James Ganh

 

Ganh’s signature design is a gold cuff set with diamonds and coloured gemstones that can be pulled outward and extended to create a tiara. Other innovative offerings include his Studrop collection of earrings with long gemstone drops that can be wrapped around the stud for a more understated look, and a collection of interchangeable floral-inspired pendants that can be attached to chains, to create a necklace, or to a ring shank.

 

Tiara Bangle by James Ganh Tiara Bangle by James Ganh
Tiara Bangle by James Ganh

 

Elsewhere at the show, jewellery designers were offering designs with all manner of hidden extras, from the gold ants that Frances Makes subtly includes in her Thieves collection – which was artfully displayed beneath magnifying glasses within the curated Rock Vault section of the show – to Rachel Boston’s hinged ring that can be flipped to create two looks for the price of one (see a video of it in action here).

 

Thieves ring by Frances Makes (Image credit - Juliet Sheath)

Thieves ring by Frances Makes (Image credit - Juliet Sheath)

 

 

Reversible ring by Rachel Boston

Reversible ring by Rachel Boston

 

Other designers chose to use gemstones to add quirks. Sammie Jo Coxon’s new Stellar collection includes gold and pearl earrings that are set with gemstones in cool colours on one side and warm colours on the other, offering customers that chance to choose from two looks by simply swapping which side faces out. GFG Jewellery by Nulifer also experimented with this theme by setting a delicate eternity-style gold band with white diamonds on one half and black or green diamonds on the other, encouraging the wearer to twist the Claire ring to create different looks.

 

Stellar earrings by Sammie Joe Coxon

Stellar earrings by Sammie Joe Coxon

 

Claire ring by GFG Jewellery

Claire ring by GFG Jewellery

 

These designs are fun and innovative but they are also indicative of a time in which consumers are looking for jewellery that offer a point of difference and value for money. Many of the jewellers at London Fashion Week reported that customers are seeking out luxury designs in gold, rather than more affordable silver options, but this does not mean that they are insensitive to price. Fashion-conscious shoppers want to invest, but they want more for their money, which is why fine jewellery with hidden extras and multiple looks are a winning design.


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone, and it does not necessarily reflect the opinions of JewelleryNetAsia, UBM Asia Ltd or any employee thereof. JewelleryNetAsia is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the bloggers. 

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2016/09/22

{ BLOG }

In the US and other parts of the world, the talk used to be about the “self-purchasing woman” – in other words, women who buy their own jewellery to match their own lifestyle rather than waiting for their significant other to buy jewellery as a present.
 

There isn’t much talk about that anymore because it is now commonplace for women all over the world to buy their own jewellery. This has greatly changed the industry, including how jewellery is marketed.

 
Danish design house Georg Jensen knows this quite well and has been on the forefront of actively bringing women into its brand during the past few years. The company’s recently launched global ad campaign fits right in with this direction. Instead of using professional models to showcase its new jewellery pieces, it used five female role models to head its new campaign with the tagline, “You can never be too much you.”

 

 

Georg Jensen's Video Campaign "You Can Never be Too Much You"



The global video and print campaign encourages women to be themselves and to chart their own path to success. This values-driven approach is the vision of Eva-Lotta Sjöstedt, who was appointed the first female CEO of Georg Jensen earlier this year and today leads the senior management team, where half its members are female, including Meeling Wong, US president.

 

“At Georg Jensen, we’ve always encouraged women to be themselves and make their own success. Our campaign is the extension of that very philosophy and the women featured are the embodiment of that,” Sjöstedt said.


 
The role models featured in the campaign are award-winning film director Susanne Bier (Denmark); WBA, WBC and WBO welterweight world champion Cecilia Brækhus (Norway); award-winning comedian Sarah Kendall (Australia); professional motocross rider Behnaz Shafiei (Iran); and Michelin star chef Dominique Crenn (US).
 

Iranian professional motocross rider Behnaz Shafiei Iranian professional motocross rider Behnaz Shafiei

 

World boxing champion Cecilia Brækhus Award-winning comedian Sarah Kendall
Left: World boxing champion Cecilia Brækhus; Right: Award-winning comedian Sarah Kendall

 

Michelin star chef Dominique Crenn Iranian professional motocross rider Behnaz Shafiei


What all these women have in common is they defied conventions and rose to the top of their professions, Sjöstedt said.

 
“Georg Jensen is for women all over the world who embrace their voices and create their own path, and don’t let anyone else define them,” she said. “We wanted this campaign to transcend ideals about beauty, putting focus on personality first. The women featured are powerful role models, and we’re very proud to be featuring them in the campaign.”

 
The campaign is the product of creative agency Forsman & Bodenfors and director Lærke Herthoni.

 
The company also noted that in addition to reflecting contemporary women, it also serves as a nod to the heritage of a brand, which has been influenced by men and women. This includes master silversmith Georg Jensen’s wife Laura and daughter Lise who were part of the early business and more recently female designers such as Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe, Nina Koppel and Zaha Hadid who collaborated with the design house.

 

Award-winning film director Susanne Bier 
Award-winning film director Susanne Bier


Image Credits: Georg Jensen


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone, and it does not necessarily reflect the opinions of JewelleryNetAsia, UBM Asia Ltd or any employee thereof. JewelleryNetAsia is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the bloggers. 

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2016/09/22

{ BLOG }

World Diamond Council (WDC) members from across the globe gathered in New York City on September 8 for the organisation’s 12th Annual General Meeting. Hosted by the United States Jewelry Council, more than 100 representatives from the diamond industry, government, civil society and media came together to study new proposals for current industry self-regulation procedures, as well as proposals for the 2017 Kimberley Process (KP) review process.


 
The meeting was held prior to the annual United Nations General Assembly also in New York.
 

“The WDC has been tasked with maintaining stability in the diamond world, building upon the successful eradication of 99 percent of the world’s conflict diamonds,” said Andrey Polyakov, president of the WDC and vice president of ALROSA.

“This success is being realised through active participation, transparency and continued dialogue.”


 
The keynote address was delivered by Maurice Tempelsman, chairman of the board of directors of Lazare Kaplan International Inc, who praised the progress the diamond industry continues to make and its ability to collaborate across diverse groups.
 

“It is vital to maintain a sense of direction and the WDC is a rarity in that its mandate requires strategic dialogue with governments as well as non-governmental organisations,” he said.


 
Other speakers included government representatives who complimented the work of the WDC and discussed international efforts to strengthen the KP. Expressing the UN’s perspective, H.E. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, permanent representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, said, “The WDC is the strongest lobbyist for the diamond industry within the Kimberley Process and a perfect example of an organisation coming together to accomplish goals through compromise during a time of continuous global instability.”


 
Andrew Keller, deputy assistant secretary for counter threat finance and sanctions in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the US Department of State, echoed this theme and further complimented the WDC’s success over the past 15 years. “I’d like to personally recognise the WDC’s support of the KP review system,” he said. “We must keep tackling the issues facing us to ensure the integrity of the world’s diamond supply chain from mine to market.”


 
WDC members also heard from Robert Owen-Jones, assistant secretary of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who will become the next KP Chair in 2017. During his speech he applauded the relationship between the WDC and the KP. “It is something you don’t see a lot of in other intergovernmental processes. It is not just an open forum but a true lasting partnership.”


 
The meeting provided a platform for WDC members to discuss industry issues, share educational information and hold the organisation’s board of directors and business meetings. Since the formation of the KP Certification Scheme in 2003, the establishment of best practices and voluntary guidelines like the WDC says its System of Warranties has transformed the diamond industry.

 
 


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone, and it does not necessarily reflect the opinions of JewelleryNetAsia, UBM Asia Ltd or any employee thereof. JewelleryNetAsia is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the bloggers. 

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