JCK Las Vegas: Trendspotting

While many jewels on the show floor at JCK Las Vegas feature familiar materials and styles—diamond slices, oxidized silver with karat-gold accents, and charms—we saw a few new (and newly revisited) ideas in the booths at Mandalay Bay.

Organic materials like horn, bone, and wood; price-point–sensitive pieces; jade in a multitude of colors; thin line or friendship bracelets in a variety of materials (and prices); and yellow gold bridal designs, which have been noticed by retailers like Adam Gorman of I. Gorman Jewelers in Washington, D.C. In the bridal category, Gorman carries Todd Reed and Bez Ambar. “Bridal is predominantly white, but there is a growing market for yellow gold rings,” he told JCK during the show on Friday. (In the market for yellow gold bridal styles? Look to Design Center exhibitors Dawes Design and Kothari, among others, for options.)

Organic materials such as bone and wood are evident at Mauricio Serrano and Fern Freeman, who’d sold about a half-dozen of her new oversized carved wood charms accented with 22k gold and diamonds. Also popular: mother-of-pearl dog tags. “They are on everybody’s orders,” said Freeman.

Momentum is also building for thin stacking/friendship bracelets. The skinny styles—generally fashioned out of cord and chain—are meant to be layered and feature matchstick-sized bands of sometimes gem-set metals. Mayda Dulgerian of ZDNY & Co. has a bevy of offerings, from enamel and pearl-accented numbers on cord ($340) to 18k gold and diamond versions (upwards of $1,500). “We’ve seen a steady increase in sales since last summer,” she said. The bracelets mix well with others since they’re so dainty and can be made by any designer—not just the charm-bracelet companies.

New price-sensitive merchandise includes a line of silver and topaz styles from Sutra Jewels in LUXURY at JCK, with retail prices starting at $400. New Design Center -exhibitor Lusciouss offers gold-plated silver styles—her newest line is dubbed Goddess—starting at $195. “I have buyers coming over saying they are trying to figure out if this is a direction they want to go in,” explains designer-owner Kendra Bridel Weinman. “They like our light, airy, and lacy-looking styles—and the prices.”

Speaking of prices, many retailers JCK interviewed were on the hunt for vendors with great “bang-for-the-buck” buys, such as Lau International’s steel and diamond pieces retailing for $500.

“In tough times like this, it represents a pleasure for me to offer the ladies styling without breaking the bank,” said Alex Weil of Martin’s Jewelry in Manhattan Beach, Calif. Weil loves the vintage-inspired jewels of Ivanka Trump, for example, but fears his shoppers will shudder at some of the prices.

Of course, fall fashions play a role in determining the jewels that shoppers will buy. Runways featured high collars and necklines, which should inspire purchases of choker and bib-style necklaces—some with velvet or ribbon replacing chain—and button and stud earrings to help balance outfits. Amáli in the Design Center is launching a new Button collection of jewels at JCK.

Meanwhile, heavy pendant necklaces and sautoirs (big for spring) still speak to the 1970s vibe in fashion, while long pearl strands—à la Erickson Beamon for Donna Karan—are ideal for ladylike ensembles. Additionally, red—a revved-up variety of Pantone’s color of the year, honeysuckle—stones, enamel, or resin can help punctuate some of fall’s vividly hued graphic ensembles (that ’70s trend again!).

And awards-show viewers know that green has been a strong color of late; emeralds were in abundance at the Oscars and the Cannes International Film Festival, and the popularity continues here at the show. East Continental Gems in LUXURY had some stunning selections, while peridot set in silver—part of BELLARRI’s new Madame B. line—and enamel styles from Belle Étoile offer entry-level shoppers a way to buy into the color. Also abundant show-wide: tassels, à la Natalie Portman at the Oscars.

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