7 Insights From Jewelry Week: Jewelry Trends & Talk From the 2013 Shows

The dust of 2013 jewelry week—JCK’s LUXURY and Elite Enclave, JCK Las Vegas, Couture, and more—has settled and orders are being filled. If you weren’t able to attend, here are my takeaways on business and jewelry trends. (And don’t miss JCK’s July–August “Best in Show” issue, chock-full of Vegas highlights and recaps.)

Retailers Opening Their Minds—and Wallets—More? Overall and according to anecdotal reports throughout the week, the shows had healthy traffic and sales. Couture designer Lauren Harper told me her retailers were “hungry,” “not as apt to be nervous,” and “buying a lot of things that were really sellable.” Among her highlights: rose gold, which was new for her, as well as yellow gold and big pieces.

A rep from Efva Attling gushed that one “dream account,” a luxury retailer based in New York City, had bought into the line, now in its second year at Couture. This is a welcome move from the long-established trend of merchants waiting years before ordering from new designers, who dread that infamous “watching” game.

Beloved and design-savvy merchant Marie-Helene Morrow of Reinhold Jewelers in Puerto Rico told me she loved the newbie designers that Stephen Webster brought to Couture, and “bought from every single one of them,” as well as Lisa Jenks, Efva Attling, and Monique Péan (to name a few). “I feel like kissing all of their feet!” she exclaimed, giddy at the depth of new designs she saw at the fair.

On the flip side: Though the Berg family of Lee Michaels—with four locations in Louisiana, one in Mississippi, and one in Texas—told me business was up 18 percent over last year, they planned to only go deeper into already established vendors like David Yurman and Ippolita.

Pushing the Design Envelope? At Couture, Colette’s Colette Steckel showed hand-to-wrist pieces and fossilized ammonite; meanwhile, LUXURY exhibitor A & D Gem Corp., well-known for its traditional gemstone looks, showed numerous multi-finger rings. Suzanne Kalan (Couture) showed a gorgeous baguette diamond jewelry line, and JCK’s What’s Your Sign and Miiori (at Elite Enclave) offered pieces with spinning components. And in addition to key retailers like Morrow, Stephen Webster’s crew of newbies also had editors talking.

Punk Motifs There’s no question here: Punk themes rocked the shows. Borgioni showed spikes and chains, while LUXURY’s S&R Designs offered cool padlock styles. Tanya Farah (LUXURY) had elegant interpretations as well, evident in long, slender earring silhouettes.

Padlock necklace from S&R Designs

Padlock necklace from S&R Designs

Blue Story. This was, by far, the biggest trend story at the shows. Blue hues were everywhere—from tanzanite, bi-color tanzanite, and Paraiba and paraiba-like tourmaline to still-going-strong opals. Vendors who offered blue hues include LUXURY’s Vianna, Jordan Scott, and Sutra Jewels, among others.

Price Point Merchandise Still Selling. Price point styles were popular in bridal—at Sylvie Collection and Tycoon, both in the LUXURY show—as well as in fine fashion lines. Mary Esses at Couture, meanwhile, said a new oxidized silver and brass feather-motif bracelet with gray diamonds “made her show” thanks to multiple orders.

Mary Esses bracelet in silver, brass, and gray diamonds

Bracelet in oxidized silver with brass chains, a feather motif, and 0.5 ct t.w. gray diamonds, $2,120; Mary Esses

Bridal. Twist motifs, rose gold, and rose and white combinations were widespread. For more, see “5 Bridal Jewelry Trends from 2013 Jewelry Week.”

Still More of the Same. Textured metals and black rhodium were among other notable (and already-reported-on) trends of 2013, but there were fewer line extensions than in Basel. And while some trendwatchers had commented on a lack of color at the VicenzaOro Winter fair earlier this year, designers like Mauro Felter at Couture and Yael Designs (LUXURY) proved they’re still deeply committed to it.

Earrings from Mauro Felter

Colored stone earrings from Mauro Felter