Glittering shamballa bracelets could rescue Christmas for jewellers.
Shamballa bracelets could rescue Christmas for independent retailers, if the jewellers that I spoke to at IJL yesterday are to be believed.
The fashion phenomenon – glittering beads woven into friendship-style bracelets and necklaces – is potentially the first mega jewellery trend to emerge from the social networking revolution. It is being driven by the UK’s hottest celebrities, who are layering on the jewellery before stumbling out of gigs and clubs where the paparazzi are gratefully snapping them.
Parking its tank firmly on the lawn of this craze – or, in the case of IJL, parking its big black bus bang in front of the show – is Tresor Paris.
The brand has been heavily featured in the fashion press this summer, thanks to it being worn by a host of stars including JLS, The Saturdays, Alexandra Burke, Amy Childs, and even, darling of Vogue, Emma Watson.
The Tresor Paris range starts with a kids collection, which sits in the jeweller’s current favourite price point of about £150, and tops out at diamond-encrusted limited editions retailing at up to £2,000.
Bizarrely, the brand has no connection beyond its company name to Paris (many of its bracelets are also named after French cities). It has emerged from the venerable jewellery quarter of London, Hatton Garden, and is run by one of its most traditional jewellery industry families, the Hasbanis. That hasn’t stopped the business exploiting the most modern of marketing machines, Twitter and Facebook, to generate a following among its young customer base that is several thousand strong.
As I waited to speak to Tresor Paris’s press officer, Leroi Hanniford, he was deep in conversation with his PR agents, discussing how to utilise the brand’s friendships with the likes of The Only Way is Essex star Amy Childs, who will be turfed out of the Big Brother house at some point during this weekend’s final. When she is celebrity magazines are certain to carry pictures of her, and Tresor Paris intends to be in them.
As with any burgeoning business opportunity, Tresor Paris has not found itself ploughing a lone furrow for long. IJL has more than one Shamballa brand, with one of the newest competitors, Lucet Mundi, generating strong interest despite only launching three months ago.
Jewellers in the shires will have heavy hearts as they push 18ct gold jewellery or Longines watches aside to make room for a Shamballa bracelet window display this Christmas, but if the Twittersphere is anything to go by, this is a sales opportunity that should not be ignored.