Bling for the boys?

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What the children’s jewellery market has to offer boys.

Children’s jewellery will always be predominantly associated with little girls, and when it comes to designing for little boys, the camps are ultimately split.

Some brands have happily created lines aimed at boys, or with pieces that are at least gender neutral, while others say that boys’ jewellery is a route they would be unlikely to go down.

Kit Heath Kids, for example, has what it has termed unisex pieces such as its nautical themed necklaces on blue cord and silver ID and simple ball chain bracelets. However, chief executive Jeff Lancaster says that the brand has “no plans at present to move into jewellery for boys”.

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Likewise Erica Illingworth of Molly Brown says boys’ jewellery is an unlikely direction for her brand, not only because of the market but also because of Illingworth’s own view on jewellery for boys. “I have been asked to consider this on more than one occasion but I don’t think our pink packaging will go down that well with the boys,” she jests. “Also, I’m not a big fan of boys wearing jewellery anyway and so I wouldn’t want to invest in a whole new brand solely for this purpose.”

The investment put into jewellery for boys may be the reason other brands have shied away from the option, or otherwise ceased creating jewellery aimed at boys. Hot Diamonds, for example, used to produce a number of children’s jewellery collections including one named Scribble, which featured bracelets for boys featuring charm motifs such as cars, boats and planes.

Adryan Cresswell, head of commerce at Hot Diamonds, says it is no longer producing children’s jewellery as it is concentrating on its women’s lines, however he says the brand will consider “more peripheral categories” such as children’s jewellery soon, with a possible new children’s launch in 2013 or 2014.

On the flipside, D for Diamond, the brand owned by Gecko Jewellery, is very much involved with creating jewellery for boys; something it says will remain part of its repertoire for some time. “The boys’ market is definitely a big part of our focus,” reveals head of design Vicky Leyshon. “D for Diamond has had a boys’ range for a few years now and we are seeing a steady rise in sales in this area.”

Like the girls, Leyshon says that boys and their fathers are being influenced by celebrities and footballers “who enjoy their accessories”, and says that as a result it has created leather necklaces for boys that are a nod to the trend in men’s fashion and accessorising.

Though he says boys’ jewellery is “more niche” than girls’, Graham Stock of Lily & Lotty concurs that the sporting theme is certainly one he would consider. " We’ve thought about it and it is such a tiny market but we’ll keep it in mind," he says. "It’s a tough call but we’ve been heading towards some unisex designs so maybe we’ll do it.”

 

This article was taken from the May 2012 issue of Professional Jeweller magazine. To read a digital version of this issue click here.

 

 

 

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