The fashion jewelry that populates boutiques, department stores, and accessory shops starts mostly with the wholesale jewelry at shows for retailers and on pads in wholesale showrooms. It seems to magically appear everywhere with a signature look centered on themes for each season. How does that happen?
Fads and themes play a big part in guiding wholesale jewelry designs that will show up in fashion magazines and fill the showcases and racks of retailers. Henrik Vejlgaard ably points out the difference between fads and themes in his book, Anatomy of a Trend. Fads are short term, often one season, and are limited in the area they appeal to and genres they affect. Trends go much deeper and wider. They often brew under the radar for a long period before they surface and become wide spread in fashion. They can also affect other fields such as furniture, art, or literature.
Remember the skull jewelry that surfaced a couple of years ago when The Pirates of the Caribbean came out. That was gone in one season and was definitely a fad. On the other hand, classic design has remained a major theme in fashion jewelry over the last four seasons or more. This is a trend that appears in apparel, accessories, and even auto manufacturing with the return of retro design in cars-something people love. Trends are more long term and can evolve over a decade.
So how does this season’s wholesale jewelry fit into the picture? Let’s start with bright colors. Orange, yellow, and apple green are on the palette and doing very well. These are the citrus colors and they appeared in the late eighties to provide color shock everyone loved, but they only lasted one summer. They have reappeared at least three times since then and each time only lasted one summer. This summer, like always, consumers love these vibrant colors in fashion jewelry, but they are unlikely to be back next summer in the same vibrant shades. We have to call this a fad.
Now what about the classic fashion jewelry with looks that include gemstone and Murano style glass? They have already enjoyed four seasons of popularity and are likely to continue. This is the heart of classic trends that include apparel and spreads to other areas that influence our life. Classic is the central theme of fashion and may continue for several more seasons. Of course there will be evolutions in design, but a look forward to next season’s fashion previews sees continued classic trends.
Inspirational jewelry with engraved messages is a child of classic trends. Classic is retro-a look back-and whenever we think of our roots and history, values automatically come in play. This jewelry expression is already in its third season and shares the trend category with classic looks.
Finally, what about theme jewelry? Theme jewelry is immune to fashion trends. Themes appeal to the heart rather than fashion instinct. The theme pendant and earring line on our site sold right through the mid nineties when another trend, minimalism, promoted a natural look and evaporated the appeal of dramatic jewelry statements and bold colors. This is the safe haven when dramatic jewelry loses its fashion appeal and is neither a trend nor a fad. Theme jewelry is a steady item that continues to attract attention regardless of fashion.
The better we understand fads and trends, the better we can direct our business towards fulfilling the consumer’s wants and build success in an ever changing industry.