Jewellery is one of the oldest, most traditional gifts. It is also an item that many people purchase for themselves as a way of expressing themselves and their own style. The variety of metals and precious stones available allow for genuinely individual, handmade items.
At the other end of the market, costume jewellery has made the idea accessible to all budgets. Retail experts Ebeltoft Group have recently conducted a survey into the latest retail trends. The innovative new fashions emerging offer real inspiration for both jewellery designers and those wishing to have their own designs custom made.
The great thing for jewellers is that some of the new trends are built around concepts that have long been fundamental to the jewellery industry. A great example of this is the new trend for consumer involvement, aiming to offer the purchaser excellent value based on the old adage that the customer is always right.
An example of the ‘old is new’ concept being put into place in the wider retail industry is the idea of crowd sourcing. This allows retailers to utilise technology such as smart phones and social networks to give potential customers the opportunity to effectively vote on the sort of new product they would like to see.
While high-end jewellers have always given the customer the ultimate say in the appearance and finish of their own product, crowd sourcing offers the potential to get customers involved in the design of whole ranges of jewellery. This can take place at any stage from the sourcing of raw materials to choosing the types of precious metals and stones that are used to make a particular range, right through to the shape and finish of the final product.
Customers who are actively involved in the design process are much more likely to purchase the final article, knowing that their ethics, preferences and choices have been taken into account.
Taking the crowd sourcing idea one step further is the somewhat recycled idea of customisation. Throughout retail as a whole, high-end producers have always been willing to customise items for individuals so this really is nothing new, especially in the jewellery industry.
What is perhaps changing now is the willingness of society to act as individuals rather than as a collective. For years, fashion has been all about following the crowd, with only the bravest and most creative among us being forward-thinking enough to stick their necks out by wearing something that they have designed themselves and been heavily involved in the creation of.
So it seems that new trends in retail are based around ideas that jewellers have always worked around. This makes now the ideal time to approach a jeweller with that design has been floating around in your head for years. Have an item customised to your own high standards that is the height of fashion now, but also creates a family heirloom for future generations with real history and originality.