Marilisa Barbieribusiness consultant and luxury brand expert.
Luxury lifestyle brands with a creative mind and an eye for trends serve as muses for the New York design community. And with the return of face-to-face business, many luxury jewelers are once again participating in trade shows like NY NOW to continue fueling their passion, brand growth and business expansion.
Trade shows are a great opportunity to meet a diverse buyer’s market. In fact, I’ve seen many brands in the community, including brands like Eden Presley Jewelry and Dana Kellin Jewelry, take advantage of participating in in-person markets as a way to access influential buyers with proven buying authority. In particular, major centers such as New York, the design capital of the US, give luxury jewelry brands a reputation that is hard to match.
The luxury lifestyle community has made a comeback in a post-Covid world with a keen eye for the modern luxury consumer, sustainability and forging long-lasting partnerships. Here are some insights into the challenges jewelry brands face today.
Jewelery for the modern luxury consumer
Luxury consumers are always looking for thoughtful, high quality and elegant designs that will stand the test of time. One of the goals of any luxury brand should be to create creations that can be enjoyed for many years to come and will be passed down as an heirloom to live another life. Items such as fine jewelry act as a vessel of quirky meaning and sentimental value, so finding a unique piece is often the goal for the modern luxury shopper.
For example, the combination of yellow gold with white diamonds is a classic combination that always performs best; however, with the color green trending in fashion, emeralds have found their way into the stacking and layering of customers.
Another interesting buying trend among wholesale buyers is their assortment. I see how they prefer more depth with their designers these days so they can better articulate a designer ethos to end customers. One takeaway from recent exchanges is that wholesale buyers have been less price sensitive and more than ever interested in showcasing a designer’s complete and cohesive collection in their showcases.
Cultivating lasting relationships will be key for 2023
In addition to gold and gem supply challenges, the economic uncertainty requires the ability to give retailers confidence to take entrepreneurial risks for new designers.
To solve these challenges, one of the steps you can take is to ensure that all new styles have strong and recognizable brand elements in every piece, regardless of price. For example, in a survey of what New York jewelry stores are doing, I see brands like Rachel Atherley Jewelry and Paragon Jewelry Strategy putting more emphasis on design for the shopper, specifically jewelry designs that are in tune with current trends in fashion and apparel and not against price points that may require spouse consent.
Meaningful outreach and intimate connections with retailers can continue to pay dividends for those willing to put in the work and time. With more and more people working remotely, it can be challenging to find people who want to work in-house. And since the techniques take a long time to master, with a training period of months, this makes consciously seeking and cultivating lasting partnerships even more important as we move into 2023.
Certified Recycled Precious Metals and Ethically Sourced Gemstones
As the modern luxury consumer is drawn to jewelry made with ethically sourced metals and gemstones, the jewelry industry is increasingly committed to developing a sustainable business model. Even if there will never be a perfect circle of sustainability within the jewelry industry, the pursuit is worth it.
Customers want products that are not just handcrafted, but handcrafted with exceptional craftsmanship. Jewelers I have consulted notice a lot of enthusiasm for unique and unique gemstones. Positioning as a sustainable jewelery company means working with recycled metals, using post-consumer recycled diamonds and fair trade gemstones, while still creating unique pieces.
Using the success of Karin Jacobson Jewelry and Kate Maller Fine Sustainable Jewelry as examples, you should strive to find stones whose histories can be traced from the mine to the gem merchant to the finished product, and make a commitment to sustainability in reflect all of your business practices. For example, partnering with organizations to promote social justice, women’s rights and environmental protection are all ways to pursue sustainability in business.
A community of professionals essential to business expansion
With so much talent and ingenuity from the New York luxury lifestyle community, many successful jewelry companies find a place in the wholesale market to build connections and friendships with other designers.
Having a community of professionals to connect with can play an important role in growing your business and keeping up with luxury trends.