When the calendar turns to September, the fashion world is giddy with excitement, but are jewelers? You should be. That’s because while the former finalizes last-minute runway presentations, the latter should get pen and paper ready to note the new couture debuting at fashion shows worldwide. Runway presentations dictate the next season’s necklines, silhouettes, and colors, all important takeaways for jewelers who’ll be accessorizing the new frocks.
“People always read magazines and surf social media for fashion trends, usually highlighted around September and February,” confirms Kendra Bridelle, president of IDD Luxe. “Jewelry is an accessory to be paired with those fashion trends.”
To wit, her brand’s Rising Star earrings are the fun, flirty, and feminine touch to pair with fall business suits or “additional movement to the liquid dress trend,” she adds.
For sure, jewelry frames fashion, according to Shah Luxury’s Puja Malpani. “Jewelers have to understand that our product tends to be the bookends, in that the fashion trends will dictate what style of jewelry will match, and therefore sell,” she explains.
Shah Luxury’s karat-gold and diamond designs speak to many looks and trends, thereby serving as ideal accessories for trickle-down design influences. However, her brand believes that what’s even more important is building a community that comes together to share regional trends. “We can track things on large scales, but having conversations from store to store and community to community will help narrow down more precisely what jewelry types will work in what markets, as they are all different,” she explains. “Be open to what our next consumers consider jewelry. Ideas, as in fashion, will get more intricate, more personalized, more ‘out there,’ and jewelers must be ready to accommodate them in the same way the fashion industry has adjusted.”
And while manufacturers might stress over the short production cycles from genesis of idea to garments on the rack, jewelry retailers can easily capitalize on new looks by curating selections of relevant jewels already in store.
“At the retail level, [fashion week is] a great way to showcase pieces that you already have throughout the store,” points out Valerie Fletcher, vice president of design and product development at ODI.
Instruct salespeople to identify runway trends, followed by curation work in cases. “Create mini collections featuring inspiration photos from the runway with complementary jewelry pieces,” she suggests.
Of course, not every runway look is a fit. “The clothes and jewelry you see on the runway don’t always translate to your customer base, so it’s best to highlight trends that are simple and wearable,” adds Fletcher.
A case in point: super-low, belly-revealing waistlines. Kim Kardashian may be owning that trend as well as a diamond-studded belly chain, but most women will not dig that look. Instead, focus on a more flattering and audience-appropriate trend—like Barbie pink!
While the color is specific to the film, Viva Magenta was crowned the 2023 Pantone Color of the year way back last December, giving a year full of creative license to anyone wanting to adopt any hue from Pantone’s set colorful path.
Merchandising is super important to drive home fashion week trends. Malpani urges merchants to aggressively merchandise, and don’t forget to deliver everything as a memorable feast for the eyes. “Fashion weeks are about experience creation, and our industry will have to do the same to keep up.”