From the Editor, May 2017



Jewelry and fashion: The two have always had a ­complicated relationship. As late as a decade ago, the idea that fine and fashion jewels could happily coexist was still news to the industry. It took the financial crisis of 2008 to fuse the categories—and we’ve been thanking the fates ever since.

In JCK’s first bona fide fashion shoot in ages, we’ve set aside conventional notions of how fine and fashion jewelry differ to promote one all-inclusive message: This season, it’s time to make a statement.

Some years are about dainty looks and ­layering—2017 isn’t one of them.

That’s something to think about when you head to Vegas next month for the JCK and LUXURY shows (for more on the latter, check out Show Biz). To get the scoop on what product trends retailers are investing in this year, read contributor Kristin Young’s annual preview of the shopping frenzy that is jewelry market week.

For the complete fashion picture, don’t miss “Spring Awakening,” a color-­infused still life that not only spotlights some of the best designers working in fine fashion jewelry but also serves as a subtle reminder that green is the season’s fresh and stylish throughline, and “Fall Forward,” Venessa Lau’s incisive recap of the trends on the fall 2017 runways.

Elsewhere in this issue, the second to show off the magazine’s sleek new look, we ­tackle the underlying factors transforming the ­jewelry industry. In “Retail, Disrupted,” part one of a two-part series exploring the changing retail landscape, senior editor Emili Vesilind makes a compelling point about traditional, full-priced retail: The model will survive—“but only if other aspects of the brand experience sweeten the value proposition for consumers.” Look for part two in our June issue.

The good news is that despite the jewelry industry’s preoccupation with millennials, the boomers are primed for sweetening. Thanks to tax regulations on retirement savings that kick in at age 70½, boomers are about to receive mandatory 401(k) distributions. Read Whitney Sielaff’s “Boomer Town” to find out how some luxury jewelers are capitalizing on the impending cash stream.

We close out our features with tips and tricks culled by Daniel P. Smith on how to succeed on the art fair circuit. As with most retail endeavors, a wide product selection is key. All the more reason to open your minds—and wallets—to the bounty of fashion jewels livening up the marketplace.

Top: Here’s one way to make a statement: a spectacular two-finger ring (I saw this Sutra design at Baselworld).

(Gomelsky photograph by Nicholas A. Prakas; hair and makeup: Claudia Andreatta/Halley Resources)