PARIS — In a sign of the times, bracelets sporting uplifting symbols or messages were among key items in the spring collections presented at the accessories and jewelry trade shows, Premiere Classe and Eclat de Mode-Bijorhca. The events ran Sept. 3 to 6 and Sept. 2 to 5, respectively, at the Portes de Versailles here.
Visitor numbers at Premiere Classe and sister apparel show Who’s Next increased 6 percent to 48,778 versus the equivalent session in 2010. Foreign buyers represented 32 percent of total visitors, versus 34 percent last September. The shows saw an 11 percent uptick in French visitors; however, the number of German and U.S. buyers declined significantly, by 33.5 percent and 28.2 percent, respectively.
Buyers lauded the salons’ strong offer of creative yet commercially safe product.
“The challenge is not being too scared of trialing things but on the flip side remaining commercial,” said Darren Giffins, a buyer for Bentalls, a department store focusing on premium fashion brands which has stores in Kingston and Bracknell in England. His buyer colleague Sarah Jackson said she saw a lot of ultrafine jewelry lines at the shows and friendship bracelets galore.
Among other general trends, key materials for bags included leather, canvas, cork and basket. Slouchy hobo shapes were strong, in both brights and neutrals. For jewelry, nature was a key theme, from animal-inspired charms and motifs to organic materials.
Clélia Moretton, owner of Paris concept store Dalia and Rose, lauded Swedish designer Hanna Wallmark’s range of handmade necklaces, bracelets and rings made from reindeer leather embroidered with pewter thread. The collection is inspired by indigenous Saamis reindeer breeders from Northern Scandinavia. Retail prices range from 29 to 220 euros, or about $40 to $290.
Gabi Baumann, a buyer for Switzerland’s largest luxury multibrand retailer, Bon Génie-Grieder, which operates 84 stores, predicts that neon will be big for spring across categories. She particularly liked Maison Bonnet’s leather belts with neon accents.
Certain buyers said designers were being too rigid on prices, considering the economic context.
“It’s tough negotiating, you have to have 15 calculators out. It’s a question of selecting ultraunique product that justifies the high price,” said Mariana Lima, a buyer for Hype Logistics, a buying office for a number of multi-brand stores in Brazil.
Meanwhile, Cyril Meunier, president of French leather goods brand Loxwood, said: “We sense that multibrand stores are really affected by the economic downturn.”
With jewelry brands struggling to absorb sharp increases on precious metals and certain gems, buyers observed price hikes on jewelry collections by up to 30 percent.
“They’re using smaller diamonds and ultrafine lighter designs,” said Camille Nato, owner of the eponymous multibrand boutique in Paris.
“It’s terrible. We’re used to the gold increases but now the same thing is happening with high-quality diamonds. I think the whole jewelry world will change now, people are beginning to change the materials they work with,” commented Paris-based designer Vanessa Tugendhaft, who comes from a long line of diamond cutters and dealers based in Antwerp’s diamond district.
Showing in the Cream by Eclat de Mode-Bijorhca section, Tugendhaft, who launched her brand seven years ago with a simple red string bracelet sporting a dot diamond, will present a new line of affordable diamond jewelry line at Premiere Classe’s second edition in October. Madonna and Kate Hudson count among celebrities who have worn her pieces.
Audrey Savransky, founder and designer of Hong Kong-based jewelry brand AS29, said that many of the buyers at Premiere Classe seemed to be totally unaware of spiraling raw material costs.
“It makes a difference, especially on the small pieces,” said Savransky, whose family also works in the diamond trade in Antwerp. With demand still healthy for luxury items, the designer, who launched in 2008, showcased her most expensive piece to date at the event, a sapphire encrusted gold-plated cuff in the shape of a spinal cord, retailing at 60,000 euros, or about $80,000 at current exchange rates. The piece sports 9,000 stones.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion