JEWELERS AT THE JA NY SUMMER SHOW held a couple of weeks ago at the Javits Center in New York City took a no-holds-barred marketing stance on improving sales in this sluggish recessionary economy, with surprising and beneficial results.
—The overall modus operandi was to think creatively, outside of the box, and not get caught up in traditional habits and common-place design methods.
According to one retailer, “The designers have realized that we are in a completely new era and they are changing their ways.” How? By using new, less expensive materials. By designing items that use mixed metals, to reduce the price from an all-gold venue. By reevaluating semi-precious stones, and finding new ways of working with them. .
EVEN MORE SIGNIFICANTLY, designers are taking another look – we might say a long look – at costume jewelry, to see what they might learn from this important jewelry segment. The costume jewelry field has long been highly imaginative in its use of materials, working with everything from feathers to rough stones, plastics, and the like. Now, fine jewelry makers are discovering that these methods can produce high quality products at much lower prices than they’ve been used to, and they are literally digging into them with gusto.
TAKE A LOOK AT COSTUME JEWELRY IN A NEW WAY. YOU CAN GET FABULOUS QUALITY AND DESIGN HERE AT A FRACTION OF THE COST OF FINE JEWELRY:
- Petite silver-plated chandelier earrings offer radiant sparkle of crystal in choice of rich colors.
A New Era
“The designers have realized that we’re in a completely new era and they are changing their ways,” declared Marie Helene Morrow, a retailer from Puerto Rico. Supporting her point of view is jewelry designer Todd Reid from Colorado, who is offering darkened silver bangles inlaid with rough diamonds and gold.
–The lower cost materials allow Reid to sell the bangles for $1,000, compared to the $15,000 cost of his typical fine jewelry bangles.
The Tiny Jewel Box in Washington has been very successful retailing less costly mixed metal jewelry pieces made of silver and gold. The store is also experimenting with new, essentially unknown designers who have yet to make their mark on the jewelry field. These designers produce jewelry at lower costs, and often boost the store’s design status by giving it looks that are creative, new, and anything but “ho-hum.”
A number of exciting design pieces were on view at the JA exposition, among them gold-plated crystal shoulder duster earrings. These earrings retail for just $40 to $60, and sold very well. We should point out here, however, that the JA Show has traditionally been a fine jewelry exposition, but now we are talking gold-plating, which is costume jewelry. This cross-over is something to pay attention to!
GOOD COSTUME JEWELRY HAS ALWAYS LED THE FASHION INDUSTRY IN DESIGN INNOVATION AND PRICE CONSCIOUSNESS. YOU CAN BENEFIT FROM IT NOW WITH SOME OF THESE WELL-PRICED ITEMS:
- High fashion necklace fringed with clusters of well-arranged beads on gunmetal chain.
- Long swinging Lucite necklace with speckled amber and shiny black baroque beads.
Bold Cocktail Rings
Also important is the fact that many retailers, who formerly sold only fine jewelry, are now selling good costume jewelry as well, and doing so quite successfully.
Bold cocktail rings, semi-precious gemstone pendants, colorful earrings in modified chandelier styles and long teardrop designs all sold well. Pave diamonds were very popular. Circle shapes and floral designs also did very well.
Morrow noted that her clients are willing to spend money if it’s something creative and unique. “They’re not splurging,” she said, “but if they see something that is different, they will buy it.”