For Japanese custom clothing manufacturer Kashiyama, creating a tailored suit that fits to perfection has become a big business with four (and growing) U.S. showrooms. Now, the brand is bringing its same proprietary technology to custom jewelry.
Kashiyama’s fine jewelry seeks to blend high design with accessibility and personalization, says Alessia Mather, who is using her jewelry background to develop this business for the brand. Kashiyama wants to establish itself in jewelry as well as its overall name as a fashionable, customizable brand, she says.
“With customization, you have infinite options,” Mather says, describing the jewelry Kashiyama makes as “new classics” that allow customers to play with their design before settling on a final piece for production.
Here’s how it works: Customers browse the fine jewelry on the Kashiyama website using the brand’s propriety technology. This tech is finely tuned to go through every step of the design process with care, using the expertise Kashiyama has gained from its custom suiting, Mather says.
Next, its Los Angeles–based jewelry manufacturer crafts the custom piece and prepares it in the Kashiyama packaging. It is then delivered to the customer’s home from as soon as 10 days to an average of two weeks, just like its custom suits. Think of it as a just-in-time inventory system, where Kashiyama produces only what a customer orders and doesn’t have to have jewelry set up in its stores or big batches in a warehouse.
While Kashiyama is an omnichannel brand, Mather says it has jewelry samples only in its New York location; the brand has other stores in Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. Customers can work with a Kashiyama style guide in the store to find their size or work with a virtual stylist, but they must complete their purchase online.
Kashiyama is also working within the jewelry industry’s highest standards of using only certified gold and conflict-free diamonds that have been certified by the the Kimberly Process. While its jewelry offerings are just about a year old, it is hoping to boost brand awareness as its expands post-pandemic around the United States, Mather says.
Its rings come in a variety of styles from an eternity band to a spiral twist ring to a signet style. Ring prices range from $85 for a plain ring in 10k gold to into the thousands if you upgrade your stone or its size. Earrings come in on-trend styles such as the stud stone, letters, hoops, and ear cuffs. Earring prices start at $95 and run as high as $9,000 if you add every possible diamond to the loop stone halo earrings, for example.
“Everyone [who has tried it] loves to play around with the customization; that’s the fun part of it,” Mather says. “What we see from our clients in terms of jewelry is that most of them are buying for themselves. But some are also buying presents—at a recent pop-up shop, we had a mom who created a ruby ring for herself and then a smaller one for her daughter.”
Kashiyama is part of the Onward Group, which dates back to 1927 and is based in Japan. Onward has more than 60 brands internationally, including J. Press. It is one of the largest fashion group in Asia, Mather says, and it has found huge success with its custom suiting.
The Onward Group launched the Kashiyama brand in 2017 as a made-to-order suit business that employs a proprietary factory strategy “to realize low prices and quick deliveries,” the company said on its website. It has more than 50 stores in Japan and around the world, and suits start at around $300 and go up to about $1,500 for Italian wool.
Top: Kashiyama launched as a custom-suiting brand, but it is expanding to include fine jewelry in its offerings, hoping to take advantage of more people buying jewelry for themselves and wanting to customize it as they wish, the company says (photos courtesy of Kashiyama).
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