With the countdown to Baselworld 2016 less than 24 hours away, we continue our series of Q&A’s with a selection of the show’s exhibitors.
Professional Jeweller catches up with Michael Hakimian, chief executive officer of Yoko London, to discover the unique value the trade show brings to this pearl jewellery specialist.
Why is Basel such an important trade show for Yoko London?
Baselworld is unlike any other trade show in our calendar. The show is so global in nature, the potential there is endless. We have appointments with many of our most important clients and without fail we always meet prospective clients and open promising new accounts. We also have many important press appointments with media from around the world. We unveil many new designs at the show as it is such a unique platform.
What are you expectations for the 2016 edition of Basel?
We’re feeling positive in the run-up to the show. We’ve developed some fantastic new collections and added many exciting new pieces to existing lines, so we hope our clients will be as excited as we are when we unveil the pieces at the show.
How do you think pearls will perform in the market this year?
We feel that 2016 is going to be another great year for pearls. Pearls are very on-trend at the moment and Yoko London is at the forefront of this with our creative and modern designs.
What will Yoko London be launching this year at Basel?
This year we’ve placed much emphasis on coming up with modern and elegant new designs at very attractive price points. Our new pieces are highly glamorous and fashionable, but at price points that our customers can easily buy into. We’ve also added some very avant-garde pieces to our contemporary Novus Collection. Additionally, every year we create a number of one-of-a-kind, opulent sets to add to our Masterpiece collection, which we unveil exclusively at the show.
What are you plans for pushing into the UK market this year?
The UK has always been a key focus for us, but we have reassessed our approach for 2016. We have appointed Benjamin Caplan as sales manager for the UK for Yoko London, and together with his team their focus is going to be on developing this market. We can cater for a very wide range of needs, ranging from affordable everyday jewellery in classic designs, to bespoke, one-of-a-kind masterpieces. We understand that certain parts of the UK market call for a particular style of jewellery and price point and we are regularly developing new products with this in mind. For example, we have acquired the finest gem-quality freshwater pearls for use in our jewellery for the UK market.