What’s Happening in fine jewelry

Actress Krysten Ritter wears earrings by Ippolita

One of the most fun events in the whole fashion industry is the annual jewelry market each June in Las Vegas.

For a week each summer, the capital of the jewelry world is indisputably located in Nevada – and everything at the two big jewelry shows is over the top.

Touring the enormous and comprehensive JCK trade show at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center is a workout in itself.

It’s hard to convey how big this really is: Imagine how much jewelry you can see at a show with more than 2,500 exhibitors from some 22 countries.

The Couture Show at the Wynn Hotel is the crème de la crème of the industry. As their website says, “From the opening night reception to epicurean fare to evening retreats at poolside, (the show) is committed to making every minute at Couture an unforgettable experience.”

The carat count at this show is off the charts.

While we’re buying for next season, we love seeing our friends from jewelry stores in El Paso and around the region.

We can catch up with what’s available from the jewelry design houses and distributors that we know, plus meet new industry craftsmen, designers and vendors. For many fine jewelry retailers, this is a week of work and leisure.

Alas, for Tres Mariposas buyers, Las Vegas was tightly sandwiched between Dallas and New York market trips, so it was all work and little play this year. No worries: The festive upbeat atmosphere was still energizing.

The jewelry industry, like all industries it seems, has been working overtime the last few years to adapt to the new economic landscape. While consumer spending trended downward, gold prices spiraled to an all-time high, creating all sorts of challenges in the field.

I am happy to report to you a few positive emerging trends for you to keep in mind as you shop for your own jewelry this year.

  •  Innovation is key. Due to high gold prices, designers have been creative by incorporating gold and silver into beautiful two-tone combinations. The designers at Alwand Vahan do that beautifully in many of the stacked bangle bracelets and elaborate rings favored by both celebrities and women we know.
  • Some designers are doing very well. Despite new economic realities, many jewelry designers are thriving. This year’s Women’s Wear Daily’s WWD Couture Jewelry Preview issue of May 21 reported that Ippolita, a 13-year-old company, has seen massive growth over the past several years – a 500-percent increase overall since 2008.

Their secret has been on-target modern styling, and creating lighter weight, high-impact pieces without sky-high prices. Ippolita hit the sweet spot for the consumer and other designers have come up with their own formulas for success.

  • Color! Just as in fashion apparel, the jewelry industry is experiencing great success with color. Remember the incredible emerald earrings Angelina Jolie wore to the Oscars a couple of years back? Penelope Cruz was amazing this year in yellow diamond chandelier earrings – weighing in at a jaw-dropping 27 carats.

Turquoise is no longer about a tourist purchase in Santa Fe; coral goes beyond seaside resorts.

Designers are using truly beautiful and bright stones set in gold these days.

  •  Rose gold catches on. “Women don’t want to be trading the sea of sameness. They want their jewelry to be signature,” according to Eddie Le Vian, CEO of the 62-year-old New York jewelry design house Le Vian Corp. Wearing interesting pieces in the pinkish gold metal known as rose gold is one of the ways women are enjoying being different. It’s been around forever, but now it’s in hot demand.

So that’s your quick look at jewelry. Stay tuned for our market reports on what we saw in apparel!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>