Fashion’s Color Connection

The seasonal color palettes promoted by Pantone can help jewelers connect with fashion. Speaking the Pantone language communicates color in a way that resonates with consumers by reinforcing popular hues seen in other categories.

The Pantone colors can help jewelers to market jewelry in new and exciting ways, especially because they go hand-in-hand with fashion and people are paying attention. A lot of clothing will be represented in these colors, and referencing the Pantone colors gives jewelers a heads up as to what’s coming.

“Jewelers forget that fashion is a part of jewelry,” says marketing consultant Andrea Hill of the Chicago-based Hill Management Group. “You walk into most jewelry stores and you never see the connection. We’re an industry known for diamond engagement rings when we should be known for color, fashion and gemstones. Jewelry is part of the way we dress and style ourselves every day.”

“Use the fashion aspect of the Pantone story to help market and sell color stones to your customers,” says Amanda Gizzi, director of public relations for Jewelers of America. “Pantone can be a conversation-starter for gems beyond birthstones. Take the birthstone story to a new level by introducing non-traditional stones when discussing color and fashion.”

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, sees the Color of the Year as an opportunity to educate consumers that some gems come in colors they may not have known. Thinking of Ultra Violet, Pantone’s Color for 2018, one would call out amethyst as a purple stone. But there are many gems that come in purple hues, including sapphire, garnet, and spinel. It opens up the conversation to share new information.

Show & Tell
The key to success with color is offering an assortment of gemstone jewelry in fashion and classic styles, advises Allison Peck, Color Merchants, New York City. “Trends are shared online via social media in a way that it doesn’t matter if you live in New York or Alabama people are seeing the trends simultaneously. Customers are walking into stores with pictures in hand of what they like and want to see. Even for jewelers who think what’s trendy is only for urban areas, jewelers need to carry some fashion with their classic jewelry to show alternatives. You need a balance of trendy and timeless.”

Color opens the world of customization, and many brands offer custom services to retail partners. “Everybody has a favorite color and color stone jewelry sells year round,” says Cora Lee Colaizzi, director of marketing and catalogs and senior merchandiser Quality Gold, Fairfield, Ohio. “With everyone wanting to be a designer and personalize their jewelry, why not offer family jewelry or custom services in color? Family jewelry is all color. Quality Gold has a prototype kit to help retailers with family jewelry sales, and our entire bridal collection is available for custom design. Every mounting can be designed with a color center or accent stones. We’ve seen an increase in demand for both the last six months.”

Alisa Bunger, director of sales, B88 Division of the Dallas-based Prime Art Jewel, “Elle Jewelry advocates jewelers set up color stories in their displays so they can encourage add-on sales. Not everything has to be perfectly matched but show complementary pieces women can purchase to style with.”

On Stylist Mode
Atlanta designer Sara Blaine says women want to be empowered with knowledge and confidence to explore how they can create their own signature style with jewelry. She advocates jewelers create displays that show fashions, color swatches and jewelry together to help customers make the connection between a trend and its jewelry counterpart.

Even more important, Blaine encourages sales staff to wear jewelry from stock to model how the designs you offer accessorize the fashions worn by those who live and work in your community.

“This is a great opportunity to inform buyers,” says Eiseman. “For example, many people think of matching their jewel tones to the colors they’re wearing. But that doesn’t mean you couldn’t wear a yellow gem when you’re wearing purple. Yellow is complementary to purple, reaching across the color wheel to enhance each other. The word complement in color terms means they complete each other. Purple never looks more purple than it does with yellow.”

Jewelers who spend time educating their staff will sell color to consumers, says Douglas Hucker, executive director of the American Gem Trade Association. “Consumers want questions answered. They want to explore how jewelry and fashion work together. They want to hear stories about the gems you are showing.” When selling color you have a lot more to talk about. “Take the most popular color blue. There are many gem options to choose from including sapphire, tanzanite and iolite and each has Quality its own story.”

Hucker advocates jewelers promote color on social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest that are visual mediums. “These platforms allow more information to get out there affordably. There’s a real opportunity for jewelers to have interesting content that can be specifically targeted. That is great for color!”

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