SMALL IS BIG

Light­weight jew­ellery de­mand has grown 20% in the last year. Self-pur­chases, gift­ing and work wear drive the de­mand. Soli­taire In­ter­na­tional in­ter­viewed re­tail­ers and de­sign­ers to check out what’s hot in this cat­e­gory.

Solitaire - - DESIGN CORNER -

In the last few years, the quan­tum of light­weight jew­ellery pur­chased has been grow­ing steadily. To­day, women pre­fer to dress up every day even if it is for work, pair­ing their modern out­fits with dainty con­tem­po­rary jew­ellery. Also, the no­tion that jew­ellery is for the lock­ers is a thing of the past. Women want jew­ellery which makes them feel spe­cial every day. The gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to bring down the cap on pro­duc­ing a PAN card on jew­ellery pur­chases from R5 lakh to R2 lakh in Jan­uary 2016 am­pli­fied the de­mand for light­weight jew­ellery.

“To­day’s young women and girls are opting for light­weight jew­ellery as it en­ables them to opt for sub­tle styling. The dis­tin­guish­ing fea­ture of this cat­e­gory is that the jew­ellery is func­tional and ver­sa­tile and the wearer can pair it with any ensem­ble,” in­forms Su­nil Dat­wani, founder of Gehna Jewellers, Mum­bai. “Light­weight jew­ellery is do­ing very well as com­pared to last year – the to­tal sales vol­ume in this cat­e­gory is as high as 30%. The jew­ellery pieces are typ­i­cally priced be­tween

R30,000 and R2 lakh,” adds Dat­wani. Kr­ishaa Ghanas­ingh, mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor, Ghanas­ingh Be True, notes that there has been a tremen­dous growth in the pur­chase of small-ticket, light­weight jew­ellery. She rea­sons, “The de­mand for light­weight jew­ellery is so great, that we even sell such pieces through an e-com­merce por­tal such as vel­vetcase.com and ama­zon.in. Th­ese pieces work well for the modern woman, who likes to wear del­i­cate yet ver­sa­tile jew­ellery.”

For di­a­mond jew­ellery de­signer, Leshna Shah of Aurelle, there has been a 20% growth in the light­weight cat­e­gory. “Con­sumers now pre­fer light­weight fine jew­ellery, es­pe­cially in rose gold, in the price bracket of R7,000 to R35,000. Most of th­ese pur­chases are ei­ther for gift­ing or to wear while trav­el­ling. Work wear jew­ellery is pop­u­lar th­ese days. Dainty yet de­signer neck­pieces, earrings, and rings are pre­ferred to add a hint of glam­our to one’s look. In fact, more and more con­sumers, es­pe­cially mil­len­ni­als, are look­ing at self­pur­chas­ing gem-stud­ded pieces.”

Carat Crush, a high street fine jew­ellery brand from Dia­mantina has also seen a growth of 20% in light­weight jew­ellery. Aan­chal and Ar­pan, spokesper­sons for the brand, point out that the pop­u­lar price range is be­tween R5,000 and R1,00,000,

but ma­jor­ity of the quick mov­ing pieces are be­tween R15,000 and R50,000.

The use of 3D print­ing tech­nol­ogy has boosted light­weight jew­ellery pro­duc­tion. The use of 3D print­ing ma­chines to cre­ate moulds as well as di­rect print­ing al­lows man­u­fac­tur­ers to cre­ate in­tri­cate and com­plex de­signs that are light­weight yet af­ford­able. Blue­stone.com, an e-com­merce web­site that uses 3D print­ing, has also re­ported a rise in light­weight jew­ellery sales in the last year. “While the com­pany is grow­ing at 70% year-on-year, the av­er­age or­der value on Blue­stone.com has grown by 15-20% and is cur­rently around

R27,000. The av­er­age price bracket for the light­weight cat­e­gory is in the range of R20,000 to R40,000,” in­forms Gau­rav Singh Kush­waha, CEO and founder of Blue­stone.com.

Khush­waha goes on to elab­o­rate on the trends within the seg­ment. “Stack­able rings is a no­tice­able trend as they are ex­tremely func­tional. One can wear the rings in a stack or sep­a­rately. An­other note­wor­thy trend is the lar­iat neck­lace – an easy and light­weight style that can be worn every day. Both th­ese jew­ellery trends al­low for easy desk to din­ner tran­si­tions. It is also im­por­tant to note that there is a slow but steady shift to­wards de­mand for light­weight con­tem­po­rary jew­ellery. While tra­di­tional jew­ellery has not lost its im­por­tance or charm, con­tem­po­rary jew­ellery is some­thing that makes for easy daily wear.

“When it comes to gem­stones, emer­alds and ru­bies are the most pop­u­lar gem­stones, whiles sap­phires come a close third. Our tour­ma­line col­lec­tion called The Flo­ren­tine was very well re­ceived. The de­signs of the col­lec­tion had a very Re­nais­sance in­spired feel to them, and have seen huge pop­u­lar­ity with cus­tomers look­ing for some­thing unique,” Khush­waha sums up.

Within the light­weight cat­e­gory, stud­ded jew­ellery takes prece­dence over plain gold for Dat­wani. He in­forms that 70% of the pur­chases in the seg­ment are di­a­mond-stud­ded pieces – mainly ten­nis bracelets, charm bracelets, di­a­mond studs, two-fin­ger rings and del­i­cate long di­a­mond-stud­ded chains. Rose gold is also big this sea­son. It works bril­liantly for day, night, the party sea­son and every­thing in be­tween. “Any piece of jew­ellery be­comes even pret­tier when crafted in rose gold. It is also very easy to stack rose gold with yel­low and white gold thus giv­ing the wearer the op­tion to wear mul­ti­tone jew­ellery ef­fort­lessly,” says Dat­wani.

At Ghanas­ingh Be True, too, coloured stones are in de­mand. “Our jew­ellery is mostly en­crusted with tan­zan­ites, ru­bies, emer­alds, tour­ma­lines, topaz and gar­nets. Among the most pop­u­lar items in this cat­e­gory at their store are modern gold bracelets with charms, in­clud­ing the evil eye mo­tifs, hand of hamsa, the clover leaf, crowns and more. Ear cuffs, sin­gle or worn as a pair, are do­ing well,” says Kr­ishaa Ghanas­ingh.

An in­ter­est­ing point Kr­ishaa shares is that even though de­mand for con­tem­po­rary de­signs has in­creased tremen­dously, the first-time buyer prefers clas­sic pieces. Also, when it comes to pair­ing del­i­cate jew­ellery with Western out­fits, rose gold and white gold are more pop­u­lar, while yel­low gold works well with eth­nic sil­hou­ettes. “We have re­cently

launched the 9 to 5 col­lec­tion of dis­tinct, fuss-free, work wear jew­ellery which is in­tri­cately de­signed, light­weight jew­ellery in 22-karat dual-toned gold set with bril­liant-cut di­a­monds.”

At Carat Crush, per­son­alised jew­ellery is very much in de­mand. Even within the cat­e­gory, wrist wear is very pop­u­lar. “Ev­ery­one wants to have a strong and unique stack of dif­fer­ent mismatched wrist wear that work to­gether as a whole. A com­bi­na­tion of white, yel­low and rose gold, di­a­monds and coloured stones and per­son­alised pieces make for a strong wrist game. Del­i­cate and chunky chok­ers are also in vogue,” in­forms Ar­pan.

While pop­u­lar jew­ellery de­signs have shrunk to fit the new bud­get, in­no­va­tions within the sec­tor are well re­ceived. “Modern de­signs with new in­no­va­tions work bet­ter,” Leshna Shah points out. For in­stance, our flex­i­ble Atom col­lec­tion earrings that have slight move­ment within each el­e­ment of the ear­ring, or our slid­ers that can be worn in more than three ways as well as our gift­ing Enamel col­lec­tion that has new in­no­va­tive mo­tifs and charms are all the rage.”

Gehna’s Durja col­lec­tion, a trib­ute to the ma­jes­tic ele­phant, is a col­lec­tion of light­weight earrings, rings and pen­dants which is do­ing amaz­ingly well. “To­day, the jew­eller stands at the thresh­old of a new and ex­cit­ing be­gin­ning in de­sign and tech­nique in­no­va­tion. One of the ma­jor trends now is the con­flu­ence of East and West as the client de­sires to be dif­fer­ent. We need to reg­u­larly launch ex­per­i­men­tal col­lec­tions with new con­cepts,” says Dat­wani.

Blue­stone

Gehna Jewellers Ghanas­ingh Be True

Ghanas­ingh Be True

Ghanas­ingh Be True

Aurelle by Leshna Shah

Aurelle by Leshna Shah

Carat Crush

Blue­stone

Carat Crush

Carat Crush

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