Here at JCK, when we want to know which way the jewelry-trend winds are blowing, we call Randi Molofsky. Before she cofounded For Future Reference, a bicoastal brand development agency that counts some of the industry’s most buzz-worthy designers as clients, Molofsky was a jewelry editor (at National Jeweler), a marketing and communications director (at Gemfields), and an author (of A Girl’s Guide to Buying Diamonds).
Her roles have varied, but one thing that’s stayed consistent throughout Molofsky’s 20 years in the jewelry industry is her sixth sense for style—especially emerging trends. That’s one of many reasons why JCK asked her to serve as its jewelry director in 2017, a position she retains despite her busy day job.
We asked Molofsky to identify the year’s top jewelry trends and also to reflect on the biggest style changes she’s witnessed over the past two decades. Not surprising, her answers are the best trend cheat sheet you’ll find all year.
Six Jewelry Trends You Can Count On In 2021
- Protection motifs
- Rainbow palettes
- Neon enamel
- Signet rings
Four Trends You Can Pack Away (For Now)
- Ear climbers
- Double-finger rings
- Super dainty jewelry
One Trend Every Retailer Should Stock This Year
“Having personalized pieces like letter pendants/rings or birthstone options is a no-brainer for this year.”
On How the Pandemic Affected the Ways in Which Designers Are Approaching New Collections
“We’ve been launching smaller capsules more often, rather than large collections once or twice a year. That gives us more ability to stay nimble and test pieces without making massive financial and creative commitments.”
On the Biggest Change to Jewelry Style Over the Past 20 Years
“The industry used to be driven by a handful of names at the top of the heap—the heritage brands, the big department store names—and now the process is more democratic. Often times, it’s the smaller, rogue designers who get the most attention. This has led to more creative, dynamic design that’s more boundary pushing and more outside the box.
“There’s been a shift from the ‘big three’ colored stones to a real desire for interesting semiprecious in designer jewelry, and a movement from all faceted to a lot of inlay. I think there was an idea that fine jewelry needed to be ‘sparkly’ and ‘blingy’ for a long time, and now luxury in this category can also be understated, whimsical, or sculptural in other ways.
“There’s also much more interest in a mix-and-match jewelry mentality. Things used to be matchy-matchy, and now people love to combine different metals, gems, and styles in one jewelry look.”
On What Hasn’t Changed
“Those power pieces that will never go out of style—a great pair of hoops, gold chains, a variation on a pearl necklace. Investment jewelry that will stay with you forever.”
On the Democratization of Vintage
“Social media has brought vintage jewelry into the spotlight, and it’s not just for serious collectors anymore. ‘Vintage’ used to be more of a style—jewelers doing a look from an older era—but now people want the real thing in addition to their contemporary pieces.”Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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