Report from Tendence: Bold Beads and Daring Designs

"Experimentation in design" was the dominant theme among jewelry artisans exhibiting at the Präsent and Carat and the Carat Creative sections of the Tendence International Trade Fair, a consumer goods show held Aug. 24-28 in Frankfurt, Germany. Why travel to Frankfurt for jewelry? "Our niche is design," says Stephan Kurzawski, director of consumer goods fairs for Messe Frankfurt. "You'll find unique high-fashion designs here, such as gold mixed with rubber bands or gold and plastic." And because design—not materials used—is key, fine jewelry and costume jewelry share the same floor space. "Exhibitors don't want to separate high- and low-cost jewelry, because mixing materials represents modern design," explained Gerhard Gladitsch, managing director of Messe Frankfurt, during an international press conference held at the fair. Large colored beads were popular among buyers, and t

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