I’m just back from 3 days exhibiting at AccessoriesTheShow in New York City. Here is my take on the trends I saw at the show.
Same old same old…
Buyers are settling for lots of inexpensive, imported jewelry made from wood, pearls, leather, glass beads and even plastic! Some of it looks good (even very good), but it is beginning to all look the same! And it’s not authentic! Most of it is beaded, multi-strand, chunky and ethnic.
What I’d like to see for Fall
However, come Fall, I’d love to see more interesting designs emerge. With the increases in silver and gold prices, I’m hoping the styles will trend toward more refined looks. Perhaps (fingers crossed) more detail, subtle color, and intricate workmanship will make a comeback. As always, jewelry designers will have to be innovative with new materials to capture buyers who are bored with heavy beads, ribbon, and leather and charms – but who can’t afford to spend money on heavy metal jewelry. Perhaps lighter and shorter chains will be back after a few seasons of heavy layered looks.
Diamonds and other real metals
Diamonds will continue to add value to handmade designer jewelry – even if they are only 1 or 2 pointers. We’re going to see a variety of cheaper metals used, in order to keep prices low. German Silver – a metal that doesn’t contain any silver and doesn’t tarnish – along with vermeil and other plated metals are already commonly used. Brass and copper have their advantages, and I like them because they are not artificial. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t want to stop using “real” metal – especially silver and gold.
Color, of course, is one of the best tools jewelry designers have to help them fabricate distinctive collections.
There’s no substitute for good design and innovation
As always, designers are going to have to rely on good design and innovative use of materials and, unfortunately, will have to watch costs even more closely than ever before.