It was a hot August afternoon when we caught up with Phillip Maroof, vice president of marketing at the Royal Chain Group, but the conversation was all about the looming fall season. From his perch at one of the country’s largest gold jewelry manufacturers, Maroof has a bird’s-eye view of emerging trends. So we tapped him to answer a few questions about specific styles that are on the upswing for the fourth quarter. No. 1 on his list: paper clip chains, in bracelets, necklaces, and two- and five-link earrings. While there’s nothing revolutionary about the industrial-chic style, it’s spot-on for this moment, when all we want to do is get back to business.
What trends are you forecasting for the holiday?
Chains and chain looks—like layered chains—are going to be very big. Something we’re very strong in and see people still demanding are paper clip chains, mirror links, longer chains layered with shorter chains, and chokers. [See some of Royal Chain’s styles below.] Vintage styles reimagined—that’s a continuing trend through the holiday. Lighter-weight novelty pieces are going to be important to hit price point—things that can retail for under $300 is something we’re very focused on.
Oh—and one other thing we’re doing is we’re playing with the theme of the ’20s with art deco, flapper-inspired looks, bringing back a vintage reinterpretation of that period. We’re thinking the Roaring ’20s. This year definitely started with a big roar.
Has the price of gold affected demand?
It’s been surprisingly OK. Gold is still strong. The price started getting a little wacky. I haven’t seen it dramatically affect people’s desire to buy gold, probably because whoever’s really interested in it is not really concerned about a couple hundred dollars here and there. However, we are conscious about it as we get into the fourth quarter and will develop items that will be more price conscious. That’s part of the conversation today, especially as you get into holiday with gifting. People want something they can buy easily, and we have plenty of things in that category as well.
What do you think the industry needs to do to end the year on a good note?
I believe it’s really in the hands of the industry to help create the demand that’s needed out there. It’s in suppliers’ hands to make an effort to reach out to retailers and say, “Here’s what we have that’s new.” Not just sit back and wait for demand, but continue to move forward. That’s what we’re going to be doing. At the end of the day, most consumers out there still want to buy. Yes, it’s been a tough few months, and there may be another tough few months, but we’ll get through it.
Top: Royal Chain’s art deco pendant in 14k gold with black onyx inlay, $1,200Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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