How Jewelry Trends are Born

Not too long ago, I spoke to a sales rep for a small design firm who declared that most of the fashion editors in our industry “must make up trends.” I found that incredibly interesting, since I am a fashion editor in the jewelry industry. I assured her that doesn’t happen (not at JCK, anyway, and I’m fairly certain that our competitors don’t either). Nonetheless, I thought an explanation of where jewelry trends come from might be useful.

There are three key areas where jewelry trends come from: collections, celebrities, and clothes. JCK scours the international jewelry shows to see what the design community is making for seasons ahead. JCK watches celebrities to see how their stylists are dressing them and what they’re wearing (particularly at the important awards shows). And of course, Carrie Soucy studies the runway trends carefully because necklines and couture trends help dictate the styles and colors of jewels made and worn.

There are reasons for every look and style that ends up on our pages. JCK looks ahead for trends, wanting to publicize items that are just showing up on our fashion radar (not those that have been in stores for a long time already). There must be enough design firms committing resources, time, and energy to the look for JCK to write about it. The designs must also be considered precious metals and gems—not plated or base metal—in order for JCK to publicize it since our readers are purveyors of fine jewelry. And, the look must be able to grow legs in industry. For example, JCK started talking about titanium years ago, right when the material was first being experimented with by a handful of jewelry makers. After we covered the topic, copycat jewelry firms cranked out their versions, and the category of titanium jewelry rooted itself in industry. Titanium took off because it was something new to offer to consumers, affordable to work with, and had particular appeal to men, who are often a tough sell on any type of jewelry and don’t wear as much as women.

What’s next on the fashion radar? Well, at any given time, there are multiple trends occurring. Areas where JCK publishes trends are in its biannual JCK Style Magazine, the “A La Mode” section of Luxury Magazine, and the Upfront Fashion department of JCK Magazine. Photo shoots in JCK Style Magazine typically cover the most significant jewelry trend of the moment and/or looks that compliment couture clothing trends from the runway (pay special attention to this shoot because it helps you stock the right merchandise to compliment the season’s current fashions).

Getting your material into the magazine is pretty simple. Consistently—all year long—send us high-resolution images of new items along with brief descriptions of the pieces and suggested retail prices. In this way, your information is here in the office and it’s readily available for consideration at any time.

A bit of insight: if the editors have just written an article about pink gold, a jewelry maker might think it’s a good idea to alert the team to his or her pink gold jewelry, but actually, we won’t cover that topic again for a while. However, send us your material anyway; items can always be used in the “What’s New” section of JCK Magazine. With three magazines to fill, the fashion editors always want new to know about (and see) your new jewelry.

Email your high-resolution images (huge—1MB—300 dpi JPEGs), jewelry descriptions (materials used, collection or piece name), and suggested retail prices to: JHeebner@reedbusiness.com, or mail to Jennifer Heebner, JCK Magazine, 360 Park Ave South, New York, NY 10010.