Retailers may scoff at new jewelry trends, because the stars who initiate them are generations younger than the average fine jewelry consumer. Traditionally, a 50-year-old woman had so-called mature and conservative taste. The 21st century, however, is breaking those fashion rules, as women ignore the candles on their birthday cakes and pay attention to fashions that make them look and feel young.
Women’s Wear Daily recently reported that women of all ages are looking for modern, updated styles that, historically, would have been targeted almost exclusively to junior buyers. According to the Lifestyle Monitor by Cotton Incorporated, nearly half of women in a recent survey thought that keeping an updated wardrobe was important. Specialty stores like BCBG, Victoria’s Secret, and Banana Republic have harnessed the fountain-of-youth trend. Walking through any outlet of these chains reveals a cross section of women from generations Y and X, along with baby boomers. In cosmetics, proof positive is in the proliferation of chains like Sephora that appeal to women of all ages.
Gone are the days of “looking your age.” Women want to look fresh and modern, whether they entered adolescence during the presidency of John F. Kennedy or Bill Clinton.
This trend also can be traced to the appeal of celebrity style. What Sarah Jessica Parker wears on Sex and the City is seen by both 20-somethings and 50-somethings.
For jewelry, this means a more rapid proliferation of trends and interpreting them at various price points and for a variety of customers. Teens may have sought the Tin Cup necklace in sterling with freshwater pearls, but the style rapidly reached platinum and South Seas status for the affluent baby boomer.
It’s important to note that, according to Lifestyle Monitor, women ages 16 to 19 not only represent the cutting edge of fashion but also are the group most often asked for advice about what’s hip.