That’s Show Business for You

The countdown has started until the industry’s premier jewelry show, JCK Las Vegas, begins May 29-June 1 at Mandalay Bay. With some 2,500 companies exhibiting under one roof, jewelers can maximize their experience by incorporating the insights of industry experts into their show strategy.

As you plan for the all important fall and holiday season, trends trackers suggest jewelers find inspiration in Pantone’s Color Palette, watch what’s happening on runways and red carpets, and explore new takes on bestsellers.

• Pantone Panache
The Pantone Colors have proven to be significant trends forecasters, a powerful tool for communicating color, cites Victoria Gomelsky, editor in chief JCK Magazine/jckonline. She hails an array of gemstones able to complement Pantone hues, particularly from gem families with lots of options like quartz, garnet, tourmaline, beryl, topaz, spinel, opal, sapphire, and diamond.

The top hues in the Fall 2015 Pantone palette: Desert Sage (greenish-gray); Stormy Weather (blue-gray); Dried Herb (organic and earthy); Oak Buff (golden-yellow); Biscay Bay (tropical teal); Reflecting Pond (anchor blue); Cadmium Orange (peachy hue) and Cashmere Rose (soft pink). While Marsala (winey red-brown) was named Color of the Year for 2015, Amethyst Orchid is considered the jewel in the crown.

Gomelsky sees blue gems remaining a market favorite, with turquoise important for the season. “Turquoise is always great for summer, but more and more it’s a gem that transcends seasons.” She credits fashion’s big ‘70s push as inspiring the use of turquoise and other hard stones in bold looks. And with that, a trend for cabochon gems. “We’re seeing strong statements for gem cabochons, bigger pieces in milky cabs, faceted and flat cabs for rings, earrings and pendants ranging from simple prong details to framed in a halo of gems,” reports Maren Rosen, vice president bridal and jewelry, Stuller, Lafayette, Louisiana.

• Red Carpet, Runway Ready
Tracking runway trends, Jennifer Heebner, senior editor, JCK Magazine/JCKonline.com says jewelers looking to accessorize the high necklines, prints, and ‘70s silhouettes seen at fashion week in New York should look to statement earrings, long swingy chains, metal-intense styles, motifs like owls and feathers, and lots of yellow gold. She hails fun earring jackets as appealing to younger shoppers. In fact, she advises fine jewelers give customers choices to buy into these modern styles in precious materials.

“Mismatched earrings and name jewelry was big on the runways for fall, so we’re looking forward to see variations of those trends as well,” says Laura Gladfelter, brand manager, Alison and Ivy, division of the Chicago-based Fantasy Diamond. Pearls also are wildly popular, citing pearl details and statement necklaces a huge trend at the Oscars. “Lupita Nyong’o’s Calvin Klein dress with 6,000 pearls made quite an impact and we’re expecting to see this trend carry over to the fall.”

The big push for color is also a big win for yellow gold, which has been showing up a lot on runways and red carpets lately. And, with gold prices down as much as they are, more consumers go back to gold. “The biggest trend on everybody’s lips is gold,” touts Karen Crowe, marketing and merchandising, Quality Gold, Fairfield, Ohio. “We notice strong sales in heavier weights of earrings, bracelets and necklaces.” Rosen cites the warm hues of yellow and green gold as enticing the market, particularly in special finishes, hammered, satin, and bead blast.

But platinum remains important, adds Rosen, particularly in bridal and across Stuller’s bench jeweler base for remounts and custom work. And despite silver getting a run for its money from lower gold prices, it remains a jewelry staple. Jessica Jaffe, Research & Content Development, Ariva Fine Jewelry, Pranda Group, Cranston, Rhode Island notes that the scale ranges from bold statement cuffs to demure pendants. As an alternative to the heavily textured silver from the last few years, she says reflective high polish metal offers a fresh perspective.

Basic But Different
There’s a strong back to basics direction, especially for rubies, emeralds and sapphires, says Rosen. She also cites greater interest in color diamonds set in rhodium-plated designs, both contrasted and tonal color schemes, in black, brown, blue, yellow, and some pink.

The market is also seeing new takes on the popular dancing diamonds and multi diamond designs like Fantasy Diamond’s Endless Embrace has been popular the past few seasons. “Endless Embrace uses a special touch setting that allows the diamonds to fit together without prongs, creating a big look at a fraction of the cost,” says Gladfelter, who sees this trend continuing with fresh, new designs.

Especially strong are stackable rings for bridal and fashion, cites Allison Goodman, director of merchandising, Frederick Goldman, New York. She notes that trends for color, individuality and personalization make stackable rings a classic that begs to be continually reinvented. “[It’s] one of the biggest trends in jewelry. You can mix and match, layering a variety of colors and styles.” Popular designs are mixing gold colors and featuring sapphire and color diamonds.

A huge theme at JCK Las Vegas, jewelers will see more brands and brand building manufacturers offering personalized jewelry. “It’s special because people know you took the time to customize it for them,” says Gladfelter, who cites Alison and Ivy’s Roman Numeral Date Jewelry, Morse Code Monograms, and Sophia Diamond Collection as examples of products that capture this market.

Crowe hails personalization is where it’s at in bridal, fashion and gift jewelry. “Our new mounting and bridal catalogs allow couples to personalize wedding bands with choices in metals, diamonds and gemstones. Personalizing cross pendants has been popular for the same reason. To keep up with demand for monograms our designers are creating new styles to expand custom options.”

Stay Connected
The best way to get and stay connected on the show floor at JCK Las Vegas is to visit lasvegas.jckonline.com, click on 2015 My Show Planner and start an account to find new exhibitors and products, set appointments, and track itineraries. This information is available on any mobile device via the JCK Mobile App, and is a grat way to navigate the show.

A must-see for buyers, Mark Smelzer, publisher of JCK Magazine/jckonline.com describes the Plumb Club as an essential part of the JCK Show experience. “The brands there are without parallel, and many are key part of the ‘stock in trade’ of most retailers, as well as a source of new, exciting ideas. And, the food and drink area in the center of the club is ideal for a moment’s rest, planning of next steps, or meeting with friends and associates!”

Showcasing 45 companies, the Plumb Club will look a bit different this year, reflecting a “Celebrate America” theme in the pavilion. In fact, the group’s keynote speaker at its breakfast presentation on Saturday May 30th is Salvatore Giunta, former U.S. Army soldier and first living person since the Vietnam War to receive the U.S. Medal of Honor. The Plumb Club also will sponsor social media contests worth tapping into. Visit plumbclub.com/getsocial for more information.

“There are many advantages to shopping the Plumb Club,” tells Gladfelter. “It’s the perfect opportunity to hear expert advice on the bestselling products and get a first look on the newest jewelry trends and displays. Interacting with the voices behind a brand will give you a huge edge when you’re selling to customers.”

In the Plumb Club, for example, Fantasy Diamond will have its graphic designer on site to show customers how the company can design marketing materials catered to their store! Swarovski will release its annual gem and jewelry forecasting information, Gem Visions 2016, in presentations during the show and curate a collection of tiaras and headbands created by designers from around the world inspired by its trends research.

“The spacious Plumb Club allows us to showcase all of our fine jewelry including three completely new curated collections,” shares Jaffe for Ariva/Pranda. “With an all new brand presentation, displayed in museum style cases, our customers can browse the jewelry, lifestyle imagery and brand packaging.”

In addition to the launching of many new jewelry collections, Patti Levi, vice president sales Gem Pak, Quality Gold reminds jewelers to consider display and packaging needs while shopping the show. She sees more investments by jewelers in their brand image, and cites JCK Las Vegas the place to be inspired.

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