JEWELS A LA MODE
IJ Jewellery Trend Survey From
From seasons to celebrity weddings and the macroeconomic scenario of a country, there are any number of factors that give way to fashion trends, be it clothing or jewellery. We asked India’s top 120 retailers about what consumers want, and these are the trends they unanimously voted for. From brides going gaga over layering their neckpieces, flowers & animals being the country’s most favoured motifs to women having the utmost power when it comes to what jewellery they buy and how they buy it, here are Top 10 trends that are currently taking the jewellery world by storm. By Vijetha Rangabashyam
W hat is our industry without trends? Trends are relentlessly changing, what was in demand yesterday needn’t be so today, perhaps because of a blockbuster movie, or a big celebrity wedding, because of the increase or decrease in people’s disposable incomes or their exposure to other luxury items. We are a nation filled with brides who love their diamonds. But that was until yesterday. Today, brides want jadau pieces that complement their wedding outfits beautifully, thanks to celebrities like Anushka Sharma who wore jadau like a queen. Last year, retailers deemed chokers to be the most popular neck piece preferred by consumers; this year the tides have turned – women are loving the idea of layered necklaces. Though trends are ever-evolving, there are some that stand the test of time – like bold studs and emerald jewellery – perhaps it is the ease of wearability of the former and the ‘greenness’ of the latter, their love for these two trends haven’t faded away with time. To stay ahead of the game, place your bet on these styles and you won’t regret it!
Such a Stud!
Studs in all shapes and sizes are eternally favoured by consumers; the big ones that make a statement are especially popular. Interestingly, studs won the most number of votes in our survey last year as well. From art deco styles to vintage and retro, studs that were deemed fashionable once upon a time have been making a steady comeback. Gemstones are predominantly used in studs as the style enhances the beauty of any stone. Traditional diamond studs remain popular while plain gold in filigree designs, floral and geometric motifs, and rose gold studs have a huge demand amidst consumers today. While, mismatched earrings, drop earrings, danglers and tassels are bought for occasions, studs remain a favourite because of its wearability, convenience and mostly its versatility amongst women of all age groups.
Layering is not only exclusive to apparel but also jewellery. Mixing and matching a combination of gemstones at different levels lends any design character. While brides sometimes couple chokers with long necklaces, ready-made pieces with both chokers and lengthy haars are gaining huge popularity. From delicate layers of up to 2 strands to elaborate ones of up to 8 or even ten are now selling like hot cakes in the market. Minimalist multilayered diamond necklaces with a hint of gemstones like emeralds and rubies are always in demand while traditional ones with gold beads strung together are also fast moving. For everyday wear or a soirée, women tend to go for 2-3 tiered short necklaces while for weddings and other grand occasions, elaborate pieces in uncut diamonds or navratna stones are preferred.
Earrings for the Win!
We asked India’s top retailers what sells the most in their stores and the verdict was unanimous – earrings! They can be dainty, chunky, bold, mismatched, minimalist, elaborate and more! Earrings frame the face quite beautifully and can be created in any shapes and sizes to suit one’s face cut. They also remain one of the most purchased pieces of jewellery perhaps because of their wearability factor. Earrings are also available in various price brackets and the fact that a pair of beautiful earrings can be purchased in affordable price points is a major deciding factor for women who buy them. Drop earrings, hoops, danglers and tassel earrings are popular in stores besides ear studs.
Occasion-based buying still Big
While retailers in India have come out with collections like work wear and everyday wear, Indians by and large still hit the stores either during weddings or festivals. Gold jewellery is considered both auspicious and aspirational in Indian culture, hence they are continued to be bought when there are celebrations in the families. Dhanteras and Diwali witnesses biggest demand while retailers also cash in on akshayatritiya. More than 50 per cent of jewellery bought in India are for weddings. While demand for everyday, casual jewellery amidst younger women is high, the older generation still views gold as an investment and hence believes in buying the same during specific occasions.
Green & Gorgeous Emeralds
Not much has changed since last year or the year before in the gemstone department. We got a vociferous yes for emerald being the most favourite gemstone amongst retailers. The rarity factor, the vibrant shade of green and the fact that it pairs so well with other gemstones like diamonds and rubies, make it the most sought after stone for consumers. Thanks to redcarpet style statements and stunning emerald creations by celebrity jewellery designers, emeralds have become the most envied stone across the board including India. While faceted emeralds are widely used in pendants and earrings, emerald cabochons are also becoming extremely popular in cocktail rings, earrings and necklaces.
India which is known for its obsession with diamonds, emeralds and rubies, the usual suspects, is slowly showing its liking towards tourmalines, especially pink ones. Higher disposable incomes and a growing appetite to own gemstones with rare origins are making semiprecious colour stones popular and tourmalines are definitely are high up on the radar. They lend the same luxury as rubies and pair beautifully well with diamonds and emeralds. The richer, reddish pink variety, commonly known as rubelites are becoming popular in the bridal jewellery segment as well.
Of Birds, Bees & Flowers
Nature has always been an inspiration for jewellery and consumers continue to show their penchant for jewellery that has been created with nature as its central element. Nature however is such a vast subject and in jewellery, animal and floral motifs don’t seem to lose shine. Earrings and necklaces are seldom seen without floral patterns in them – they are feminine, elegant and have an instinct appeal amidst consumers. The younger, more modern women, who like to experiment with their jewellery prefer more adventurous motifs like animals. From butterflies to bees to the more experimental tortoises and crabs, jewellers are trying their hands at various animal motifs. Peacock however remains a mainstay in most designs owing to its cultural connotation and symbolism in India.
On a Padmavati High
Though Jodhaa Akbar set the trend for elaborate jadau pieces, consumers are currently fascinated by Padmavati’s arsi finger rings, haath phools, mattapathis, elaborate chokers and more. Every consumer who comes asking for such pieces identifies herself with the character in the movie; this is one of the main reasons why celebrities and movies play a major role in setting a trend. The Padmavati collection by Tanishq is an assortment of naths, rings, bangles, necklaces, chokers, head accessories, borlas, todas and ear cuffs. With such films, girls want to go in for the completely traditional look for their weddings.
What Brides Want?
When it comes to brides, the choice is quite clear – they want their pieces to be one of a kind, traditional and resonate with their culture. After Anoushka Sharma & Sonam Kapoor’s weddings, the clear winner is jadau jewellery. ‘Acceptability of jadau jewellery has drastically increased and henceforth wearability has also increased. Indian women feel that they are expressing their best with jadau jewellery because it is traditional and also an all occasion wear,’ says Abhishek Raniwala, Director, Raniwala Jewellers. The craze for jadau is so high that right now it is taking over diamond jewellery. ‘Jadau has become more popular than polkis and diamonds amidst brides, thanks to celebrities. I think brides pefer jadau more because it is more spread out,’ says Umang Agarwal, Director, Aisshpra Boutique
Pick, Choose & Swipe – Self-purchase by Women on the Rise
Gone are the days when women were dependent on their husbands or the elderly folks of their families to buy jewellery. In metros and even tier 2 and 3 cities, women have complete authority over the kind of jewellery they want to buy. “In Lucknow 80- 90% of my customers are solo women buyers. Only when it comes to solitaires, their husbands come along and this is probably because it is a high value purchase,” says Umang Agarwal. The whole perception of jewellery has changed amidst women. Quips in Tanya Rastogi, “Earlier 55% of the jewellery were bought as an investment and the remaining for wearability. Now the trend has completely reversed. Girls are wearing jewellery for the pleasure of wearing it.” The trend of women walking in and purchasing jewellery on their own is on an upward slope for the last two years. “Women come, they pick what they like, swipe their card and they leave. The women of today are extremely confident in their choices and don’t need anybody’s approval to buy a piece of jewellery,” says Ashraf Motiwala, M.D., AS, Motiwala.