Marketing director on individuality and hidden gems for grooms.
The February 2013 issue of Professional Jeweller is dedicated to the wedding jewellery market and the emerging trends and market evolutions that will shape it in 2013. Here Andrew Sollitt, marketing director at jewellery manufacturer Domino, talks to us about why individuality is shaping the market, the allure of platinum and hidden gems for grooms.
Professional Jeweller: What have been the main changes to the wedding market over the past year?
Andrew Sollitt: Weddings today are all about individuality. People are marrying later and they are creating wedding services, wedding breakfasts – everything about the day, including the jewellery – to reflect their own personal style. Manufacturers and retailers have responded to this trend towards personalisation with a far greater choice of wedding jewellery than in the past. Domino’s latest wedding collection reflects this trend by offering many opportunities for personalisation and a bespoke service.
PJ: Have you detected a price sensitivity in the wedding jewellery market?
AS: There will always be shoppers who are price conscious and work to a budget – and that’s why Domino has created a range that offers smaller pieces at lower price points. However there are also those who want to buy bigger pieces and we aim to cater for everyone. Our new guaranteed carat weight offering, for example, offers customers a range of stone set wedding rings with guaranteed carat weights from 0.15ct to 1.0ct, so customers can still get the desired look but at a price that suits their budget.
PJ: What are the most popular stone choices for engagement rings at Domino?
AS: The market is still dominated by the big two – round and princess cut stones. We have had an increased demand for the more unusually shaped stones and demand for shoulder set products in particular have been higher than ever in 2012 – but our reinterpretation of essentially classic styles still seem to be the most popular choice. The classic styles are still the most popular choice for us but with the individual, and unique contemporary twists that having our own in-house design department can provide. Our customers also have a wide range of options in terms of widths and alloys and a number of profiles.
PJ: What is the most popular metal at the moment with retailers selling wedding bands?
AS: Platinum is undoubtedly the most popular metal for wedding bands and has taken market share from 18ct white gold rings. We find that women tend to opt for a metal that matches their engagement ring and here too platinum is the most popular. Palladium is definitely on the up as a choice for men.
PJ: Are diamond-set wedding bands selling well at Domino?
AS: Diamond-set wedding bands are on the up and up for women and we have increased our range to accommodate this trend. Where diamonds are chosen by men, they tend to be as a subtle finishing touch. To offer men more choice our new collection offers two contemporary bands set with either diamonds or black sapphires on the edge of the profile and these are already causing a bit of a stir with our customers.
PJ: Is there a trend that stands out for you in the bridal market?
AS: The vintage look is absolutely key this season and for followers of fashion our vintage inspired collection offers delicate, feminine styles that have been inspired by the latest vintage trend, plus new eternities, shaped weds and mens signets. We have also increased our range of finishing touches to provide a choice of metal textures and accent diamonds. These include a great selection of designs in a choice of polished or satin finishes to allow the customer to add a truly personal touch.
PJ: Domino is always investing in new technology. What’s the latest gadget?
AS: All Domino jewellery is created using a mixture of cutting-edge technology seamlessly matched with traditional hand skills. Our latest piece of equipment is a 3D scanner which allows us to provide fast, cost-effective, bespoke wedding bands to match with absolute precision existing engagement ring profiles.
PJ: What new product launches is Domino releasing into the market in 2013?
AS: We have just recently created a brand new wedding ring collection, launched officially at Spring Fair. Created in house by our award-winning design team it boasts popular classic styles as well as more contemporary designs. Of particular interest is our luxurious bi-colour ring. This has an 18ct white gold outer with a subtle layer of 18ct yellow or rose gold on the inner to provide a luscious secret interior. We have also extended our diamond set range and our new guaranteed carat weight offering has had rave previews from retailers. These range from 0.10ct to 1.0ct and are available in round or princess cut diamonds.
PJ: What do you believe the mood will be with 2013’s brides and grooms?
AS: I think people will continue to want to enhance their wedding jewellery with more diamonds and extra finishing touches but not in an ostentatious or flashy way – it’s going to be more a question of subtle added extras. Our finishing touches are perfect for this, allowing the customer to add a personal touch by choosing from extra grooves, millgrain lines or diamond look centres to name a few in a choice of polished or satin finishes. Our bi-colour rings where the difference is on the inside – rather than being visible – and rings with diamond details in the setting are perfect examples. That said, the Domino range aims to offer something for everyone and our designers constantly monitor trends to ensure that all eventualities are covered so if it’s flash you want we can do that too.