Fresh investment makes 2010 the launch that should have been 2009’s
Spring Fair International, or The Jewellery Show at least, was surprisingly upbeat this year. Christmas seems to have been more buoyant than expected for many retailers and this fresh wave of optimism was clearly evident at the show, with buyer numbers appearing to be significantly higher than last year’s snowy shambles.
As well as the healthy turnout, the exhibition itself is looking better. Last year we were promised a whole new look to the jewellery halls at Spring Fair with the grand launch of The Jewellery Show at Spring Fair International, but looking beyond a few different-coloured carpets and signs, not much had changed.
The organisers tried to discredit such comments by saying that last year was a soft launch, but when a dedicated minisite appears on the website and a whole section of the show is rebranded, the build up doesn’t exactly scream soft.
This year, the low-lit entrances draped in luxurious deep purple felt a world away from the stack-‘em-high halls that characterise the rest of the giant home and gift trade show. And this is exactly how it should be. Jewellery is a luxurious, glamorous industry and the volume attitude of Spring Fair has held the jewellery halls back from attracting the types of brands that present at IJL, or any of the international shows.
As well as some good-looking aesthetics, a new addition to The Jewellery Show was the Pandora Catwalk Cafe; a light, bright, trendy area sponsored by the branded jewellery behemoth, that featured seriously slick live catwalk shows and seminars.
Apart from the usual grumbles about the additional noise from exhibitors near by, the catwalk show was an out-and-out success. Visitors and exhibitors alike raved about the catwalk and the kudos that it brought to The Jewellery Show.
Models were accessorised with jewellery pieces from exhibitors, teamed into trends styled by forecasting agency WGSN. There are not many large statement pieces to be found at The Jewellery Show – except perhaps from first-time Spring Fair exhibitor Australian Peter Lang – but the models overcame this difficulty by walking out into the crowds, allowing for a closer look.
The look and feel of the Pandora Catwalk Cafe – and big, bold stands from brands such as Aagard, Pandora itself and Spinning Jewellery – made the exhibition feel more like an international show. The seminars also went down well, providing The Jewellery Show with an identity and giving the jewellery halls, and so the industry, the special attention and respect from the organisers that it was sorely missing.
It seems that after a very soft launch last year, The Jewellery Show has finally found its identity. Whether or not the trajectory will continue to 2011 remains to be seen, but the for all the promises of last year, it is 2010 that has seen The Jewellery Show really arrive.