Q&A: Charlotte Kimber shares advice for emerging designers

charlotte-kimber

Charlotte Kimber, assistant buyer at EC One, shares her trend forecast for the next 12 months and give advice to emerging designers looking to launch collections next year.

What trends have been selling best at EC One in the past 12 months?
Dainty fine jewellery in 9ct and 14ct yellow gold and the rise of one-of-a-kind pieces using show stopping stones.

What bestselling trends from 2016 do you expect to remain popular next year and why?
We have seen the rise and rise of the piercing trend, with designers such as Maria Tash taking over a whole room in Liberty it is something that cannot be ignored. We are working alongside an established and respected piercer and jeweller to provide for this customer within our boutique. I believe the single stud look and piercing trend will continue to perform well and it will become more acceptable for fine earrings to be sold as singles.

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What new jewellery trends do you expect to emerge next year and become bestsellers?
Pearls have had a major revival and become very “cool”, a single pearl on an intricate chain or elegantly styled wire earrings are a modern take for millennials on a classic look. Along with tiny fine earrings in upper lobe piercings there will be a rise in bold earrings such as Shaun Leane’s Signature Tusk pieces. I think the general aesthetic will be juxtaposed between delicate jewellery with colour and sculptural simple metal jewellery paying homage to the Alexander Calder exhibition.
What do you look for in a jewellery brand or designer when choosing pieces to stock at EC One?
When looking at a designer’s work I need to feel excited. Is it crafted beautifully? Have they interpreted a classic look in a fresh light? Have they considered every aspect of the design? Are they using stones or materials in an unusual way? Does it communicate the designer’s story? Some designers create beautiful one-off pieces but not cohesive ranges which is why at EC One we invest time nurturing our designers to produce great collections for our customer.

What advice would you give emerging designers looking to launch collections into the UK jewellery industry next year?
Know your customer, where they shop, what clothes they wear and their life style and how your designs will fit into their life. Don’t spend your time focusing on branding or packaging and not your product, yes sumptuous package is lovely but it’s an add on. It is your jewellery which is what the customer see on the shelf and the packaging only comes out after they have made the decision to purchase.

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