We’re not psychics.
But after reading “8 Hot Topics for 2018,” you might wonder where we get our intel. It’s not that the eight buzzworthy issues and trends we’ve noted as conversation starters in the upcoming year are shockingly new: Beads, for one, go back to the ancients. It’s that the jewelry and watch market is prone to revisiting its greatest hits, and we pride ourselves on recognizing them before everyone else does.
On that note, here’s the forecast in a nutshell: In addition to the aforementioned beads, we’re predicting that the pre-owned watch market, purple gems, category crossing, the De Beers moniker, YouTube, Gen Z, and the next iteration of selling—aka Retail 3.0—will rule 2018.
We didn’t include gold on that list, but only because it seemed too obvious. Of course the yellow metal is poised for another trendsetting year. To quell any nagging doubts, turn to our Spotlight, a two-parter that includes “Gilded Rage” by Venessa Lau, mini-profiles of five designers fresh on the gold jewelry scene, and “For the Love of Gold Jewelry,” a fashion feature that takes the notion of accessorizing to a whole new level.
You may have noticed that for the first time in forever, we’ve featured a man on our cover. The handsome gent pictured with the beautiful brunette bedecked in layers of lustrous chains also opens our men’s jewelry section. That’s where you’ll find “A Man for All Seasons,” Martha C. White’s product-focused guide to male adornment for virtually any occasion. Special thanks to style blogger Marcel Floruss of One Dapper Street for showing us that being bejeweled and masculine is not a contradiction in terms!
This month we also explore the evolution of another occasionally contradictory concept: customer service. In “How to Meet (and Exceed) Customer Service Expectations,” senior editor Emili Vesilind says there’s a reason the phrase “sends chills down many consumers’ backs: The term has become synonymous with impersonal corporate call centers, slick salesmanship, and mentally checked-out sales associates.” As a result, she continues, “brands have replaced the expression with the more holistic customer experience.”
That should hardly come as a surprise. Experiences are a key to the new retail paradigm. And it starts with a spiffy-looking space. In “The Ultimate Retail Wish List” by Danny Smith, we’ve got dozens of gift ideas for retailers who want to spruce up their stores or simplify their lives. The list does not include a crystal ball—but hey, that’s why we’re here.
Constellation cuff in 18k yellow gold with 1.74 ct. African paraiba tourmaline and 0.93 ct. t.w. diamonds; $35,000; Adam Foster Fine Jewelry; 314-771-3390; fosterjewelry.com
(Gomelsky photograph by Nicholas A. Prakas; hair and makeup: Claudia Andreatta/Halley Resources)