VOICE OF THE INDUSTRY: Time for fine to shine

Mark Milton and PepperPink Director Mark Milton on personal jewellery.

As the economy became more turbulent, we all saw statement jewellery being rejected in favour of more delicate signature pieces and the trend for charm brands has rocketed over the past few years. But with numerous copycat brands and poor replicas, consumers are on the search for a new jewellery trend, and fine jewellery is ready and waiting for its comeback.

While the rise of charm bracelets could be put down to brands that adapted the traditional charm bracelet concept to slip-on beads, it’s easy to see why consumers fell in love with the concept. After all, charm bracelets offer an element of nostalgia, embracing the feeling of friendship bracelets from childhood, and the wide selections of charms available on the market are passed between friends to represent memories, elements of their personality, or just a private joke.

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But as well as a desire for nostalgia in the recession, a decline in disposable income has meant that many consumers have shied away from the throwaway fashion trends of buying large quantities of poor-quality pieces and are instead drawn towards more timeless fine jewellery that will outlive the recession.

This increase in demand for fine jewellery does not mean that consumers have lost their appetite for charm bracelets, but trends are shifting and we will see products such as charm beads become less favorable as shoppers return to the traditional link design with clip-on charms, such as those available from our brand PepperPink.

Fine jewellery is once again being purchased for gifts as opposed to buying it for oneself, and jewellery designs reflect this. Consumers are becoming more interested in jewellery that offers a feeling of luxury and grandeur, whilst remaining personal and there is a returning trend to yellow gold jewellery with soft and organic shapes and finishes.

Many brands and retailers have already identified this change in consumer purchasing trends and have adapted their designs and buying strategies accordingly, but they must take into account the difficulty of designing pieces that are both timeless and contemporary. Consumers are more particular about signature pieces, and rightly so as they are used to represent their personality.

Fine jewellers must offer items that not only reflect their own ideas and themes, but also the ideology of the wearer. Adapting to this change may at first be difficult for jewellery retailers but in the end it will prove rewarding, as the trend for personal jewellery shows no sign of relenting but we can give it a fine twist.




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