Retailers Talk Celebrities and Jewelry Trends

Q: How influential are celebrities when it comes to jewelry trends?

A: “Celebrities can be very influential because of the global reach of media coverage. We have seen this with many of our pieces. Rihanna, Rachel Zoe, Madonna, Nicole Richie, Courteney Cox, and others have worn the Kathy Rose Jewelry cuffs for well over a decade. With the Internet, a trend can [generate] heat and spread in no time. Geography plays a role because New York and Los Angeles continue to be where the largest ­concentration of celebrities and media call home. Still, it takes Middle America to accept the trend and promote it forward.”
—Kathy Rose, co-owner, Roseark, Los Angeles

“Regarding celebrities, I think that what jewelry they wear is influential for a certain type of customer. She is fashion-savvy and considers herself a trendsetter. Celebrities will often break trends to the masses. A great example is the handlet or palm cuff, which Sarah Jessica Parker broke on the red carpet and has now made its way onto the cover of the recent InStyle with Drew Barrymore. I have already seen the ­fashion-obsessed crowd wearing this style on the streets of New York and in the Instagram feeds of bloggers and bright young things. Will it trickle down to the masses? That remains to be seen. But it’s irrefutable that women look to celebrities and emulate their style in fashion, beauty, and jewelry.”
—Jennifer Gandia, co-owner, Greenwich Jewelers, New York City

“I think [celebrities] definitely have an influence on jewelry trends. You have to consider how many people all over the world watch and study their fashion on red carpets and in their everyday lives, really. The world we live in today is driven by this ­powerful celebrity force; it carries over into what looks and trends are popular. The look that stands out in my mind that became an active request has been large colorful earrings. Angelina Jolie’s emerald earrings at the 2009 Oscars got so much attention, so things like that do spark interest. I get people coming to me requesting ‘large colorful ­earrings,’ or something similar, so they can replicate looks and styles they saw on a celebrity. New York has a very [high] fashion concentration with New York Fashion Week and major designers living there, and there is a heavy concentration of celebrities in Los Angeles—they are both major hubs that influence trends.”
Martin Katz, founder and CEO, Martin Katz, Los Angeles

“I think back to when Angelina Jolie wore those emeralds to the Oscars. At the time I was selling my jewelry to Bergdorf Goodman and do I remember people coming in specifically asking for large emerald earrings! That was the first time I saw the direct impact of a celebrity wearing something and then the actual consumer coming in and looking specifically for that look—and not even specifically for that designer or that pair of earrings—but just for something similar. When Cate Blanchett wore the opal earrings for the Oscars this year—I can’t say for sure, but I would imagine that we’ll see people asking for opal earrings the same way they were asking for Angelina Jolie–style emerald earrings. We’re all used to seeing giant platinum, diamond, and sparkly chandelier earrings, so when someone wears something that’s a bit of a departure from that, I think that that can spark a trend.”
—Liseanne Frankfurt, owner and designer, LFrank Jewelry, Venice, Calif.