With the internet presenting vast competition for jewellery brands, British designer Lucy Quartermaine knew she needed to make her offering stand out from the on screen crowd. Here she shares her London Fashion Week inspired idea with Professional Jeweller…
They say a picture paints a thousand words, but when it comes to jewellery, images can only do a piece so much justice. Ideally, jewellery needs to be seen with the naked eye, it needs to be felt, tried on and admired. But with a high amount of shopping being done online nowadays, how can the industry work around these problems?
At International Jewellery London, British jewellery designer Lucy Quartermaine unveiled her innovative answer — catwalk videos.
With online slowly becoming one of the most profitable sides of the business, Lucy Quartermaine has been investing a lot of time and energy into building a site that is user friendly, effective and price competitive in the online marketplace.
The next step for the Chester-based British designer was to make sure her jewellery was being showcased in all its glory. While images have been key for the brand and still have a place on the website, Quartermaine wanted to go the extra mile to make sure consumers and retailers viewing her jewellery on a desktop or mobile device could get a better feel of the craftsmanship, design and style of the pieces they were viewing on screen.
“With the launch of the new website I really wanted to create something to grab the customers’ attention,” explains Quartermaine. “I felt that the still photos and a description of each piece just didn’t show the jewellery off enough. I wanted something that would make the customer see how my jewellery moves and cascades on the skin. I also wanted them to see each piece from all angles.”
After being inspired by videos on display at the infamous London Fashion Week, Quartermaine set out to showcase her range of handmade sterling silver jewellery in a fresh and unique way on her website.
For Quartermaine, developing a catwalk video for each collection seemed the best way forward. With unique designer jewels on offer, the brand wanted to create something which highlighted the distinctive style and quality of the brand and its offering.
The end result? Several short videos each showcasing a different collection in a catwalk scenario.
In each clip the model has been dressed in an outfit which represents the mood of the collection being worn at a given time. In addition, the look of each model reflects how each piece can be worn — whether for day or night, or dressed up or down.
Like a catwalk, in the videos the models walk towards the camera. The camera then zooms in on a particular piece of jewellery and allows consumers to see how the jewel looks close up and moves freely on the wearer.
“The main reason for creating the videos was to show the end consumer how my jewellery flows on the skin and how it moves as you move,” explains Quartermaine. “I also wanted to ensure that my retailers would feel confident about purchasing from our site and that they would know exactly what they were getting with regards to size, quality and design. There is nothing worse than an image of a piece of jewellery not offering a true likeness and the customer having to return the items as it’s not what they expected. We certainly don’t want to disappoint anyone.”
She adds: “However, I think that the videos have also taken us a step further with regards to our brand as they are so unique and really portray the quality.”
While at the moment the videos can only be viewed on the Lucy Quartermaine website, longer clips have been created that can be used for trade events and award presentations.
Due to a positive response at International Jewellery London Quartermaine will also be offering the catwalk videos to stockists who will be free to use them on their websites and on screen in store.
“The positive reaction has been more than I could ever have hoped,” Quartermaine shares. “We had many people stop at the stand to watch our film. I really felt that having the plasma on the stand displaying how each piece of jewellery can be worn really brought the brand alive for customers.”
“I am pretty sure that we are the first jewellery brand in our market to showcase our collections on the website via a catwalk in the UK. I’m excited that we can now offer the end consumer a ‘real life’ view of my pieces. I think this view of the jewellery will really help with sales and make the brand more memorable. Similarly, showcasing the videos at trade events will also help the brand to stand out from the competition and help it stick in buyers’ minds,” Quartermaine adds.
The roll out of the catwalk videos will be slow as the brand wants to maximise opportunities to show them off at trade and consumer events.
Quartermaine comments: “By Christmas we are hoping to have further videos from the catwalk created to show the consumer more about the story of Lucy Quartermaine and how our videos came about. We created a ‘behind the scenes’ video of the day that we’re editing now to show the customer the story behind the brand and what goes into creating videos like this. I think it’s so important to involve consumers and retailers in your story to make the brand approachable and memorable.”
In addition to the videos Quartermaine will continue to send out regular newsletters highlighting new designs and launches, and spend time keeping the website fresh. Quartermaine tries to post blogs on the site once a week and uses the brand’s social media channels to driver customers to it.
“At the moment we are loving Instagram. It is a great way to engage with customers and to get their feedback, view what other jewellery and complementary brands are doing and to show off my pieces at their best. It is also an ideal forum for our catwalk videos and for launching new pieces to the world at large. We will be focusing on increasing our Instagram followers this year.”