For the May edition of Professional Jeweller magazine, we asked independent jewellers and suppliers to help us analyse the silver jewellery market.
Using the results from UK jewellery industry experts, we have compiled a list of the top ten silver jewellery trends shining for SS17.
- Personalised Jewellery
When it comes to sterling silver fashion jewellery, the personalised trend still comes up top. However, independent retailers around the UK are experiencing differences in the type of personalised jewellery that is doing well in store. Some have noticed a dip in charms and the concept of adding to collection, while others have seen no signs of this concept slowing down. Many agree though that personalised jewellery is doing really in the gifting market, with many favouring lineal designs which can be engraved, or subtle nods to the recipients personality such as necklaces with an empowering meaning, or a charm symbolising the different birth months. Fabulous owner Jo Stroud sums it up well. She comments: “The most important thing for our customers is that a piece is relevant for the recipient – so the meaning of the piece is the compelling factor in what people are asking for or deciding on, rather than just the look.”
- Branded Goods
It will probably come as no surprise to you to hear that branded goods are still soaring for many independent jewellery retailers around the UK. Neil & Barker co-owner Allison Aldridge, explains: “Customers are quite price conscious but are always looking for something new and their spend is still often brand name driven, so this makes it a slow process for new brands to become popular.” John Pass Jewellers director, Andrew Pass, adds: “The rise in popularity of branded jewellery means that it is a great category to trade within.” Best selling brands noted by jewellers include Pandora, Thomas Sabo, Clogau, ChloBo and Vamp London to name just a few.
- Layering Necklaces
As the trend for stacking bracelets and rings continues, consumers are now experimenting with layering necklaces – whether that’s combining a sterling silver piece, with a gold plated design as the popularity of mix metals rises, or putting a variety of pieces together from the same designer. In response to this trend brands such as Dollie Jewellery and Kit Heath have been designed neckwear pieces which can be worn at multiple lengths. “We have designed specifically both shorter and longer neckwear options to create a variety of looks at different price points,” shares Kit Heath creative director, Katie Nickell. Dollie Jewellery distrubtor, Stephen Reece-Raybould, echoes: “In response to demand for this trend from retailers and consumers, we are now offering stacking necklaces in three different lengths.”
- Selfie Culture Adornments
With the art of the selfie still being perfected by millennials, the demand for consumers to adorn their ears has never been bigger. Some are opting to layer their ears with lots of piercings showcasing dainty designs, while others want large statement designs. One thing that is for sure is that ear jackets and ear climbers are still very popular, with jewellery giant Pandora investing in this trend for the very first time in its SS17 offering. Thomas Sabo UK managing director, Jon Crossick, comments on the trend: “We are definitely seeing growth in our earring and ear stud business. The selfie culture has meant that it is all about the face, and so big bold earrings, as well as lots of studs, are doing well.”
- Torques and Chokers
They say fashion trends come and go, well at the end of 2016 the 90s starting having its time again, with the choker leading the way for this era in the jewellery industry. The choker has moved a long way since the Spice Girl days, when kids walked around with an elastic necklace resembling a tattoo. Now brands are offering consumers a wide variety of designs, and expanding popular necklace ranges to include chokers and torques versions. Daisy London is the latest brand to do this as today it launched a Chakra Choker collection, taking one of its bestselling designs and transforming it to meet today’s consumer demands.
- Bolder and Brighter
For SS17 jewellery is getting bolder and brighter, a trend which has come directly from the catwalk. Gecko creative director, Desiree Pringle, explains: “We have definitely seen a move in our Beginnings collection towards bigger pieces and our recently introduced torques and bangles have been a huge hit. Colour has been a popular addition in our Elements Silver collection and our sets of Swarovski crystal pendant and earring sets in soft blues, peach and opaline have been particularly well received in the bridal market.” With the festival season up us, and the sun (hopefully) shining, SS17 provides the perfect time for consumers to add a splash of colour to their accessories and favour bold and bright designs over minimalism.
Similar to consumers making waves towards bolder and brighter designs, across many jewellery categories consumers are looking for showstoppers. Whether a big statement ring which will catch people’s attention, a large necklace, or a wide cuff, consumers are investing in sterling silver pieces which feel like good value for money. They are testing the weight of a piece and looking for something which will be noticed. Rachel Galley, founder of the eponymous brand, explains: “I think there is a call for heavier pieces. As such I am focusing on some showstoppers within my range as well as those essential every day pieces.” Jewellery designer Lucy Quartermaine, who has seen a rise in larger necklaces this quarter, adds: “It’s all about Jewellery with a twist at the moment. Statement pieces that stand out and offer something different.”
- Birthstone Twists
As personalised jewellery comes in all different shapes and forms at the moment, the classic birthstone has been transformed by many brands to make this style of personalisation suitable for fashion conscious consumers. First of all, consumers no longer have to stick to a classic birthstone piece, they can no pick something more trend driven – whether that’s an ear jacket from the new Dower & Hall Twinkle range, or a stackable semi-precious stone adorned bangle from Chrysalis. For brands, the birthstone offering needs to stay fresh, and for retailers, new adaptations of jewellery reflecting a certain month provides opportunities for exciting and eye-catching window displays.
- Perfect Plating
Rose and yellow gold plated pieces are also the order of the day for independent jewellery retailers in the UK, with a particular emphasis on making sure they only stock brands with a good track record of the plating being resistant. Consumers are savvy than ever before and millennials in particular will review a product before they even set foot in a store, so it is important to invest in good plated pieces. Dollie Jewellery distributor, Stephen Reece-Raybould, explains: “I am sure that this [the plating trend] will grow more as the year goes on, and customers will mix their stacks depending on what they wear. Rose gold plating will need to be high quality though as the consumer expects the finish to last.”
- Long Live Classics
While other trends may come and go, there will always be a need for classic designs. Neil & Barker co-owner Allison Aldridge shares: “Recently, I think customers are looking for more longevity and are turning to more classic pieces of jewellery with pendants and earrings.” Classic by no means has to mean boring though, and brands such as Curteis, Kit Heath and Gecko have been expanding their selection of timeless designs with geometric shapes, elegant flows and tiny details. Curteis sales and marketing manager, Claire Davies, explains: “Our customers are searching for very simple, elegant shapes and recognisable symbols with a look of quality and longevity. A simple sweeping circle or flowing infinity knot can be a thing of beauty when executed correctly.”