A closer look at the new incarnations of these popular bracelets.
The magnetic bracelet has been reborn in a host of styles, mixing mesh with pops of colour, gold plating and sparkling CZs. Kathryn Bishop finds out how the this arm candy trend is attracting sales.
When it comes to jewellery, trends are often fleeting styles, a temporary infatuation with a brand or designs that, come next Christmas, consumers might just have forgotten about.
However, the vogue for sparkling, magnetic bracelets is enduring. While the bracelets’ main design elements of a magnetic clasp and mesh body are typical from brand to brand, the various incarnations are winning fans both in terms of buyers and customers shopping in stores and online.
The evidence is there for the taking; the companies creating these bracelets include Pure Attraction, Vamp London, Bouton, Nour and IBB London, while the retailers selling them range from Robert Gatward and Tzefira to QVC and high street stalwarts Beaverbrooks and Ernest Jones.
For Vamp London, creating the bracelets has been a game-changing move. "Our mesh collection has been our most successful collection to date," explains Vamp London brand director Emma Lyons. "All of our mesh is manufactured in Italy to ensure a high quality and excellent finish, [meaning] the completed item is a substantial piece of silver jewellery that is more high end than the price tag."
Indeed, these bracelets’ attainable price points have helped to place them at both a self-purchasing and easy gifting level. At Pure Attraction RRPs start from about £25 for a simple mesh bracelet with no adornment, peaking at about £235 for a triple wraparound sparkling mesh bracelet complete with cubic zirconia dazzle.
"We have been selling these bracelets for about two and a half years and they are still going strong," explains Howard Graham, co-founder of Ntinga, which creates the Pure Attraction range. "The price points are very good considering the bracelets are silver and gold plated."
As a result Pure Attraction boasts more than 200 stockists in the UK, from Aberdeen through to the Channel Islands. Graham believes that, while the bracelets offer plenty of bling, it is their understated, streamlined design that ensures they are wearable and have that all-important everyday appeal.
For Lyons, their collectability is a winning selling point. "Mesh bracelets also create the perfect stacking platform, allowing the customer to mix and match tones and colours, plain mesh and sparkles and be creative and individual with how they wear their bracelets," she explains. "[This] allows us to offer a range of retail prices and allows our customer to buy into one mesh piece and build up their look."
Bracelet brand Nour is sold through QVC and, like Lyons, its associate buyer for fashion jewellery Amber Arkell says the trend has caught consumers’ attention through its layerability. "The bracelet trend is fuelled by a renewed interest in individualism, combining different textures and styles to build up a unique, layered look that reflects the personality of the wearer," she explains. "The success behind the mesh styling is the contrast of its bold, sleek design combined with the fluidity of the movement that the mesh creates. Simplicity is key and [brands such as] Nour seek to create beautiful contemporary designs that give maximum impact effortlessly – which is why their bracelets are so popular with our customers."
Most often these bracelets are offered in sterling silver or steel with gold or black rhodium plating to pick out design elements, while bolder examples are bi- or tri-coloured.
Rose gold plating offers a warmer hue that translates from summer to wintry months, and as a result the colourway has proven a hit. "Rose gold plate is very strong," Graham notes, adding that his offer of black rhodium-plated styles is also doing well, providing male shoppers with a conduit to buy into the trend.
IBB London offers a range of classic silver and gold plated styles, but has extended the collection with brightly coloured versions of the magnetic bracelets that combine silver beaded chain and cord in hues from lime to lilac, hot pink to orange. Immediately the design is refreshed, befitting a much younger audience.
After the bracelets, what comes next? Aside from the hoop and stud earrings and rings that have been created by a number of brands already, it is also about product development to offer something different but in keeping with the wider style.
At Vamp London, the brand aims to stay one step ahead with its designs, and hopes to develop the collection to incorporate unique elements in each bracelet to make them more meaningful and akin to charm bracelets. "We are also looking into a few more development ideas, all involving lots of sparkles, bling and maybe even a range of bracelets directed at males," Lyons explains.
For Pure Attraction, the next step is a range of new bracelets featuring diamond-cut beads threaded onto chains, as well as a new colourway that Graham describes as an autumn leaves hue. This new colour has been created to offer a vintage aesthetic, and will be applied to its mesh bracelet collections in the coming months.
With pocket-friendly price tickets, styles that translate from daytime to night out, and an ever-growing number of incarnations, these magnetic bracelets are an eye-catching way to attract sales.
To view this month’s Trends in pictures, click here.
This Trends feature was taken from the November issue of Professional Jeweller. To read the issue in full online, click here.