Rapaport Magazine – Industry trends


Business at JCK Las Vegas and Luxury shows surprised many sellers with the generous number – and dollar value – of sales.

On the first day of the JCK Luxury show, Anil Maloo sold seven diamond necklaces. It was surprising for two reasons: first, the owner of Baggins Pearls is known for his pearl jewelry, and second, no one really knew what to expect at one of the first big shows in Las Vegas since June 2019. Maloo turned out to be good. Fortune continued, “We were slammed for the next two days,” he says.

He was not the only one ; many exhibitors at the show were pleasantly surprised with their sales. With an increase in Covid-19 cases in the United States and a reduced number of show attendees – visitors and exhibitors have declined by 30%, according to Sarin Bachmann, group vice president of organizer Reed Exhibitions Jewelry Group – everyone could guess how the business would go. . But as the jewelry sold steadily throughout 2020 and into early 2021, buyers who came were serious about restocking. Even with the drop in attendance, final JCK figures revealed 1,200 exhibitors and over 10,000 qualified buyers. Perennial occasions like birthdays and anniversaries always require celebration, whether or not there is a pandemic.

“Those who came were intentional, opening orders that were double what they usually are,” reports designer Jacquie Earle of Willow Diamonds, who sold her pierced diamond designs at Luxury. “People normally worry about overspending, but not at this show.”

Diamonds: bigger and better

“Go big or go home” is apparently the new motto of diamond collectors. In Luxury’s first two days, Christopher Slowinski of Christopher Designs found that people were spending twice as much as usual. One of her clients purchased 12 diamond bracelets, as well as pendants and earrings, for a low price of $ 240,000. “It was a big buy for me,” he says. “No one is afraid to buy.”

However, he continues, “the problem is a shortage of goods.” Indeed, shortages – along with ongoing staff struggles and fewer overseas cutters working because of Covid-19 – pave the way for price increases. “People are afraid that if they don’t buy today, the price will be higher in a few months,” Slowinski explains.

The prices that customers are looking for are also on the rise. Customers of Amit Sofer, who runs the Beny Sofer and Roberto Demeglio brands, were looking for larger, more intense styles in diamonds in the $ 2,000 to $ 10,000 range at Luxury – far higher than its previous sales of $ 500. at $ 2,500. These included tennis and riviera necklaces, and fancy shapes such as cushions, ovals, radiators and canopies.

Earle has received more and more customization requests and says no one is asking about the cost. “I have two clients, one outside of San Francisco, [California,] and another in Austin, [Texas,] who had their best years.

Color rules

After 18 months of Covid-19, many buyers are ready for some lightness. Enter the colorful gemstones, which have graced many collections. Even diamond specialist Rahaminov dipped his toes into the rainbow, surprising luxury buyers with aquamarine and blue spinel alongside his diamond offerings. “Black tie events don’t happen, but people still want to look their best in pieces they can wear.” [for] occasional or [dressing] in place, ”explains Melanie Goldfiner, director of business development for the brand.

Other blues sold included sapphire, tourmaline, and turquoise. Jeweler Omi Privé struggled to keep Paraiba tourmaline in stock, and Brazilian designer Ricardo Vianna of Vianna Brasil – one of the brands at elite design center JCK Las Vegas – saw a keen interest in the stone. rare from his country. “It had been difficult to sell Paraiba in the United States, but the more customers learn, the more they understand that it is a good investment and unique to wear,” he says.

Puja Bordia de Trésor, also in the Design Center, saw strong sales of rainbow moonstone, turquoise, sapphire and more. “Color wise, everything sells,” she says. Even before the fair started, she made sales on a Zoom call before the show, and serious buyers abounded at the fair itself. “We have opened so many new accounts.

Ditto for Andrea Kamhi, vice president of Izi Creations, who landed at least 10 new accounts Sunday towards the end of Luxury, in part thanks to gold necklaces with turquoise and diamonds on paperclip chains. “We don’t come out of here with a million dollars, but those who were present were interested in buying,” she reports.

Links, leather and new talents

Paperclip chains have remained a staple in almost every booth. Other trends included charms, fancy diamond shapes, diamond tennis necklaces, men’s designs, gold links, and the combination of leather and gemstones.

Rahaminov’s Triple Threat diamond pendant collection features trios of fancy shapes, and one of Earle’s most popular styles is dangling earrings with princess-cut diamonds. For Julie Romanenko of Just Jules, leather bracelets with charms were very popular at Luxury, as were pendants with precious stones such as opals.

Meanwhile, emerging design talent Manvi Golcha from Clarté, who exhibited in a corner of his father’s Valentine Jewels booth at JCK, sold link designs, enamel pieces and styles from his Gatsby-inspired collection. 1920s. She received positive feedback, as well as good orders. “People liked my collections to be modern and relevant classics,” she says.

Journalist’s notebook

Being back at JCK Las Vegas after two years was a joyful experience: I saw – and kissed – friends, handled and tried on jewelry, and learned how great the business had been for many. (This lack of travel certainly helped jewelry sales from 2020 to early 2021.) Working on the show again was like having a drink in a fire hydrant in terms of people and products, but it ‘was refreshing nonetheless. We’re on the verge of getting back to normal, which will hopefully always mean that customers value jewelry as a way to celebrate special occasions.

Those who came to the shows despite the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases nationwide were serious buyers. It was as if everyone was grateful that they could shop in person, unlike the myriad of previous trade shows, where retailers seemed less serious about their purchases. Designers have always dreaded the “hold-for-confirmation” warning that customers issue at jewelry shows in early June, as it lets designers hold their breath until the call arrives in September to confirm or cancel. the orders. However, this year’s August show was close enough to the fourth quarter that manufacturers didn’t have that stress; retailers had to order immediately if they wanted stock for Christmas. Ongoing shipping delays to all parts of the world ensured fast and safe orders in Las Vegas to restock empty crates in time for the holidays.

Finally, about those rumors of last minute cancellations by exhibitors and attendees: they did happen, but didn’t stop those in attendance from enjoying the deal live and doing business – with masks. I felt safe and couldn’t have been happier for coming. Long live Las Vegas.

Article from Rapaport Magazine – October 2021. To subscribe click here.


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