BLOGS AND TRENDS

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2016/11/16

{TRENDS}

It is the jewellery trend that has had many a middle-aged woman running off to her local piercing bar – mix ‘n’ match studs.

 

Delicate stud earrings that can be sold singly and mixed or matched at the pleasure of their owner have been winning sales for jewellery retailers and brands. This is an extension of the trend for asymmetrical earrings – shoppers no longer wish to be dictated to about what makes for a great pair of earrings, they want to make their own decisions.

 

Stores, such as US retailer Stone & Strand, have been actively encouraging customers to be playful with stud selection by curating dedicated sections on websites, or in stores, of single studs, as well as suggesting that pairs of earrings can be interchangeable too. 

 

Stone & Strand is promoting the mix 'n' match trend on its site

Stone & Strand is promoting the mix 'n' match trend on its site

 

Mix ‘n’ match studs also tap into the trend for multiple ear piercings, which is not just a fashion for the young. Many mature consumers are reliving their youth and indulging in additional piercings, and filling these piercings are mismatched miniature studs.

 

Missoma has a great selection of studs that are sold singly

Missoma has a great selection of studs that are sold singly

 

So popular is this trend that British jeweller Dinny Hall has built an entire retail concept around it called the Singles Bar. The Bar displays the brand’s silver stud earrings, which are sold individually, and staff – rebranded as Matchmakers for this purpose – are on hand to help shoppers make their selections.

 

Dinny Hall has built a retail concept round this trend called The Singles Bar

Dinny Hall has built a retail concept round this trend called The Singles Bar

 

London department store Liberty has taken the concept one step further by introducing a piercing bar run by New York jeweller and celebrity piercer Maria Tash, which caters to a well-heeled clientele. Shoppers can retreat to a private room in Liberty where they will have a piercing made by a member of Maria Tash staff and then choose from the brand’s selection of ornate studs and hoops, some set with diamonds.

 

Celebrity piercer Maria Tash has opened at Liberty in London

Celebrity piercer Maria Tash has opened at Liberty in London

 

This is a great trend for many reasons: The mix ‘n’ match element creates a collectability that makes for great repeat purchases; it is a fun way to sell jewellery that will engage younger shoppers as well as appeal to more mature clients; and it has great flexibility – cater to different tastes and budgets by curating an offer that ranges from affordable silver studs to precious diamond and gold designs.


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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2016/10/26

{TRENDS}

When it comes to jewellery, women have most definitely won the battle of the sexes. The most important designs, the best stones, the highest sales volumes are all reserved for women, with men often treated as an afterthought with a few unisex lines directed their way or some bland cufflinks designed to tie in with watch collections. But as men are becoming braver in their jewellery choices, so should buyers and designers.

 

“Men want to accessorise, and they just can't find much out there,” says Amedeo Scognamiglio, whose jewellery brand Amedeo has recently increased its offering for men, driven by the designer and founder’s personal desire to find more exciting designs in the market. “It started with me. I wanted to wear jewellery and so I started to design pieces for me. I wear a lot of designer sneakers, I collect them, and I started to design jewellery that would go with my designer shoes from Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Givenchy and Balenciaga, as I thought jewellery and shoes always go together.”

 

Amedeo is known for its cameos, which can be worn on bracelets, pendants or rings, but also makes unusual pendants for men carved from black lava. Greek jewellery brand Minas, which says that much of its customer base is male, also works with dark materials, opting to oxidise silver designs until it gets a black, almost matte, finish. Many of Minas’ men’s jewellery pieces also have secondary functional uses, such as pendants that are working spirit levels or rings that double as cigar holders.

 

Minas creates silver men's pendants that double as spirit levels

Minas creates silver men's pendants that double as spirit levels

 

 

Minas also works with dark materials

Amedeo also works with dark materials

 

Some new men’s designs are embracing gemstones but doing so in a less obvious way, tailored to appeal to men who want the luxury of diamonds and coloured gemstones without it becoming too blingy. Russian brand Openjart has a collection of rings that sets diamonds on the inside of the band, so only the wearer will know they are there.

 

This Openjart men's ring hides its diamonds in the inside of the band

This Openjart men's ring hides its diamonds in the inside of the band

 

Others, however, are embracing the bold new spirit of men’s jewellery. Italian brand Federico Primiceri, for example, has included Pac-Man-inspired two-finger diamond-encrusted silver rings in its new men’s collection, while Sarah Ho has upsized her popular Numerati collection of rings designed around lucky numbers to offer men the chance to buy into the creative style in silver or gold.  

 

Pac-Man-inspired men's two-finger ring by Federico Primiceri

Pac-Man-inspired men's two-finger ring by Federico Primiceri

 

Sarah Ho is now offering the Number 3 ring, and all others from the Numerati collection, in men's sizes

Sarah Ho is now offering the Number 3 ring, and all others from the Numerati collection, in men's sizes

 

For jeweller Ana de Costa, who this year designed her first collection for men in a partnership with luxury car manufacturer Rolls-Royce – 18karat gold pins set with blue sapphires inspired by the history of the brand – it was not just about creating jewellery that men can wear but objet d’art that will appeal to those who appreciate the finer things in life.

 

“The sapphires blend seamlessly into the blue gold lacquer but the brilliance in the stones helps them to sparkle and twinkle subtly when the light catches them,” says de Costa. “They are understated but still visible. The man who would wear one of these pins would be someone who is a connoisseur of luxury but also of craft and design.”

 

Ana de Costa has created a collection of precious men's pins in partnership with Rolls-Royce

Ana de Costa has created a collection of precious men's pins in partnership with Rolls-Royce

Ana de Costa has created a collection of precious men's pins in partnership with Rolls-Royce


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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2016/10/18

{TRENDS}

Humans have been adorning themselves with brooches crafted into animal figures for centuries. Whether you identify with a butterfly, poodle or something altogether more mythical, like a dragon or unicorn, there is a brooch out there for you, and not just in antique stores.

 

Arctique polar bear brooch by Boucheron

Arctique polar bear brooch by Boucheron

 

 

The Pursuer horse brooch by Wallace Chan

The Pursuer horse brooch by Wallace Chan

 

As brooches become fashionable once again – they were prevalent on the AW16 catwalks, from spiders crawling up fluffy jumpers at Les Copains to clusters of vintage-style pins on lapels at Dolce & Gabbana – more contemporary designs are being made, making it time for jewellers to look again at how precious pin-ups can be incorporated into a jewellery offer.

 

While most of the European luxury jewellery houses have included brooches in their new collections this year, Van Cleef & Arpels went one step further with an entire collection of animal brooches that was unveiled to its clients and the general public simultaneously at an open exhibition in Paris this month.

 

Arche de Noe koala brooches by Van Cleef & Arpels

Arche de Noe koala brooches by Van Cleef & Arpels

 

The inspiration for the L’Arche de Noé collection of 60 pairs of animals – some brooches featuring two animals, while others were split into two separate brooches that have to be bought as pairs to keep the animals together – was the biblical tale of Noah’s Ark, or at least an artistic imagining of it.

 

“The concept of staging 60 or so animal pairs in connection with Noah’s Ark originates from a painting by Jan Brueghel the Elder, exhibited at the J. Paul Getty museum in Los Angeles,” explains Van Cleef & Arpels chief executive and creative director Nicolas Bos. “I will never forget the shock I felt as I stood gazing at the painting The Entry of the Animals into Noah’s Ark, and the journey it embarked me on at once.”

 

While Van Cleef & Arpels’ L’Arche de Noé was a wild expression of animal prowess, other jewellers have been more subtle, hiding animal brooches within transformable jewellery designs. Chopard, for example, included detachable gem-set titanium butterflies in a cuff presented as part of its haute joaillerie collection at the beginning of the year, with two transforming into a pair of earrings and the third, the largest of the trio, to be worn as a brooch.

 

Butterfly brooch by Chopard

Butterfly brooch by Chopard

 

Fei Liu has also made his latest animal brooch deliver multiple functions. The Unicorn brooch – a horse’s head carved from Russian nephrite and accessorised with a flowing articulated diamond and white gold mane – offers two looks and can be worn as a brooch or as a necklace when attached to a dramatic lava rock and diamond neckpiece.

 

Unicorn Brooch Fei Liu Fine Jewellery

Unicorn Brooch Fei Liu Fine Jewellery

 

Perhaps the reason that we are so attached to animal brooches is the symbolism they carry. This can be something deep and meaningful – a wild horse, a settled butterfly, a busy bee – or something more obvious, such as a koala for an Australian, perhaps, or a cat brooch for a lover of felines. So get busy unlocking your customers’ connections with the animal kingdom, as this traditional trend is coming out of hibernation this winter.

 

Bee brooch by Theo Fennell

Bee brooch by Theo Fennell

 

Jewels Verne Langoustine brooch by Stephen Webster

Jewels Verne Langoustine brooch by Stephen Webster


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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2016/10/17

{BLOG}

One of the biggest talking points in the jewellery industry right now is lab-grown diamonds. Will they take off? Where will they sit in the market? What impact will they have on the diamond industry? There are lots of questions flying around, and for many in the industry the question is not if but when.

 

Earrings set with la-grown diamonds by The Promise of Created Excellence

Earrings set with lab-grown diamonds by The Promise of Created Excellence

 

Gold bangles set with lab-grown diamonds by The Promise of Created Excellence

Gold bangles set with lab-grown diamonds by The Promise of Created Excellence

 

A major concern for many in the industry is transparency and whether these lab-grown diamonds will be passed off for mined diamonds. This is a valid worry, but here let’s focus not on the ethics of lab-grown diamonds but the potential for these stones to become a jewellery trend.

 

Primrose ring set with lab-grown diamonds from Nurture by Reena

Primrose ring set with lab-grown diamonds from Nurture by Reena

 

There is a general admission within the diamond industry that it has failed to engage with Millennials, and many companies are now reassessing strategies with a view to appeal to the younger generations. Yet many of the concerns that Millennials have about mined diamonds could be answered by lab-grown diamonds. As they are made in a lab, they are fully transparent and so there are no environmental or social ethical concerns. They are less expensive, and so appealing to a consumer group that wants to spend its stretched budget on lots of other things – travel, tech, high fashion, property, experiences.

 

Then there is the star power. Leonardo DiCaprio has publicly endorsed and invested in Diamond Foundry, a Silicon Valley lab-grown diamond producer. DiCaprio, who has more than 16 million Twitter followers, took to the social media platform to describe Diamond Foundry as a company that is “reducing human and environmental toll by sustainably culturing diamonds.”

 

Leonardo DiCaprio has invested in lab-grown diamond company Diamond Foundry

Leonardo DiCaprio has invested in lab-grown diamond company Diamond Foundry

 

Internet sensation Murad Osmann – a photographer whose now iconic #followmeto photographs of his hand holding that of his wife’s as they travel round the world won him 4.4 million followers on Instagram – has also invested in lab-grown diamonds. Osmann proposed to his wife with a lab-grown diamond engagement ring, and to capitalise on their following, they have set up a lab-grown diamond bridal jewellery company called Follow Your Love.

 

Murad Osmann and his wife Natalia Zakharova on their wedding day - Image by Murad Osmann

Murad Osmann and his wife Natalia Zakharova on their wedding day - Image by Murad Osmann

 

Murad Osmann has commercialised his huge online following by launching lab-grown diamond bridal company Follow Your Love - Image by Murad Osmann

Murad Osmann has commercialised his huge online following by launching lab-grown diamond bridal company Follow Your Love - Image by Murad Osmann

 

 

Lab-grown diamond Lotus ring by Follow Your Love

Lab-grown diamond Lotus ring by Follow Your Love

 

 

Lab-grown diamond engagement ring by Follow Your Love

Lab-grown diamond engagement ring by Follow Your Love

 

When it comes to actual sales, there are reports from producers of lab-grown diamonds that the market is already taking off in the US. Thierry Silber, chief executive of Madestones, which claims to be the largest producer of lab-grown diamonds, describes that market as “growing amazingly fast,” while Europe and the UK are warming up.

 

What is lost, for many, with lab-grown diamonds is the romance. Instead of gemstones that have been forged by nature under the ground over millions of years, you get diamonds that are created by men in lab coats over a matter of months.  Because of this, experts like Silber believe that the very top end of the luxury jewellery market will never engage with lab-grown diamonds. But a tech-appreciative, price-sensitive, ethically minded Millennial consumer? That’s a different matter altogether.


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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2016/10/05

{TRENDS}

If you see a large hunk of white gemstone in a jewellery design, the chances are that it’s rock crystal. This clear quartz has been winning favour with luxury jewellery designers of late due to its versatility and, should you believe in the power of stones, its healing properties.

 

The term rock crystal is applied to the purest examples of quartz; a material that has been used in art, jewellery and tableware for millennia. The Ancient Greeks called it κρύσταλλος (krustallos), a name deriving from a word that translates as ice or icy cold. Their legends told that the gods had cried for men on earth and when their tears fell they turned to ice and rock crystal is their eternally frozen tears.

 

Jyamiti rock crystal ring by Flora Bhattachary

Jyamiti rock crystal ring by Flora Bhattachary

 

Later uses for rock crystal were as faux diamonds. While technology has moved on and rock crystal would no longer pass for diamond, it can be used alongside them when a designer wishes to create scale without adding the sort of mark-up that would be required of a diamond of the same size. Lebanese jeweller Christina Debs shows this off beautifully with her Crystalline earrings that have large rock crystal drops faceted in the style of diamonds hanging from floral-inspired gold and diamond earrings.

 

Crystalline rock crystal earrings by Christina Debs

Crystalline rock crystal earrings by Christina Debs

 

Other rock crystal jewellery designs use the optical properties of the quartz to create visual illusions. The stone is transparent but will magnify objects below it, leading brands like Pasquale Bruni and Carrera y Carrera to place gemstones beneath rock crystal to draw attention to extra details in the design.

 

Bon Ton crystal rock bracelet by Pasquale Bruni

Bon Ton crystal rock bracelet by Pasquale Bruni

 

Océanos rock crystal ring by Carrera y Carrera

Océanos rock crystal ring by Carrera y Carrera

 

Some jewellers, like Boucheron, will even place miniature jewellery inside rock crystal pendants, trapping their creations between layers of quartz. This can work well with lockets too, keeping moving parts safe and secure.

 

Peacock rock crystal medallion by Boucheron

Peacock rock crystal medallion by Boucheron

 

One of the benefits of using rock crystal rather than glass is that it adds an extra element to the story of the jewellery. For those who believe in the healing power of crystals – US jewellery designer Temple St Clair included – rock crystal is believed to be one of the most powerful, with its champions proclaiming its ability to increase self-confidence among other benefits.

 

Owl rock crystal amulet by Temple St Clair

Owl rock crystal amulet by Temple St Clair

 

Whether for spiritual reasons, magnification purposes or the chance to supersize a design, this ancient gem is definitely enjoying a comeback.


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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