Trend File: To Bead or Not to Bead?

When I moderated the “What’s Next in Trends” panel at JCK Las Vegas last week, we ended the session—which featured prominent jewelry editors Kareem Rashed (Robb Report), Shane Clark (Brides), and Lauren Eggertson (Who What Wear)—with a kind of “hot or not” game. I called out a trend (“Enamel!”), and everyone on the panel gave it a “hot,” “warm,” or “cool” rating to signify how popular they felt it was.

Mostly we were in agreement (see my colleague Amy Elliott’s coverage of the panel). But the panel split in half on the haute-ness of beaded jewelry. While everyone agreed that beaded styles are a jewelry store staple, the consensus was that the style is more a lure for older jewelry fans—while younger necklace consumers have flocked en masse to metal chain necklaces.

But perusing the exhibitors at the LUXURY, JCK Las Vegas, and Couture shows, it became clear to me that trend-driven designers are testing the waters when it comes to beaded styles—gauging just how covetable beaded pieces can be/become.

Some convincing evidence:

 

 

Dean Harris emerald and gold bracelet

Dean Harris emerald and gold bracelet

Miracle Icons matte hematite rosary necklace

Miracle Icons matte hematite rosary necklace

Uno de 50 bracelet

Uno de 50 beaded bracelet

Ark necklace
ARK necklace with ruby beads

Meira T Coin and Bead earrings

Meira T Coin and Bead earrings

The Mazza Company topaz and peridot gold bracelets
The Mazza Co. topaz and peridot gold bracelets

Harwell Godfrey Elements beaded necklace

Top and above: Harwell Godfrey Elements beaded necklace

 

Feathered Soul beaded silk cord bracelet
Feathered Soul beaded silk cord bracelet

The budding trend for beads is, if you think about it, a logical next step in the trajectory of spiritual/talismanic jewelry, which—thanks to brands such as Jacquie Aiche and Foundrae—has become wildly popular.

Jewelry brand Miracle Icons (which is stocked at Barneys New York) creates necklaces that riff on the beautiful beaded Catholic rosary. And jewelry brand Harwell Godrey, which is famous for its bold, spiritual-feeling gem-and-rock jewelry, is suddenly dabbling in more delicate styles that feature gem beads.

Certainly in this topsy-turvy world, jewelry that evokes peaceful or meditative states of being is enticing. And if I were a betting gal (verdict’s still out!), I’d put my money on beads as a major player in whatever’s coming next.

JCK Magazine Editor