WWD.com/accessories-news/jewelry/retro-active-1872838/
View Slideshow
Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD Jewelry & Watches issue 12/01/2008

From classics to cult favorites, retailers across the globe divulge hot items for holiday.

This story first appeared in the December 1, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Morgan’s Jewelers, two stores in Palos Verdes and Torrance, Calif.

“The usage of precious gemstones that have been blended with white gold and yellow gold in necklaces and bracelets and earrings is popular,” said Dru Brammer, general manager. “Marco Bicego is one of the key designers in that area, specifically with multistrand necklaces containing different color gemstones that are faceted in briolettes.”

He also said elegant dangle earrings of multiple lengths with diamonds by the likes of Chopard, Leslie Greene and Roberto Coin are popular.

Neiman Marcus

Lisa Kazor, the luxury retailer’s senior vice president and general merchandise manager, cited fine watches as a key category. Styles include Chopard’s limited edition Happy Sport chronograph with rose gold, white ceramic and diamonds on a white rubber strap, which sells for $25,820; Cartier’s 18-karat rose gold and diamond Santos 100 watch on a white rubber strap at $30,350, and Harry Winston’s rose gold and diamond Ocean Lady Biretro watch with a white alligator strap at $37,900.

“Our customers are responding to classic, timeless watches with a fashion edge, like the Chanel J12 and the Cartier Ballon Bleu,” she said.

Tiny Jewel Box, Washington

Jim Rosenheim, chief executive officer of Tiny Jewel Box, said pearls, gold and diamond jewelry in the $2,000 to $10,000 range are what’s in demand.

“When things are tough, people get more conservative,” he said. “They get more basic and less esoteric.”

Rocca 1794, Milan

Renato Scloza, commercial manager at Rocca 1794 — the historic jewelry boutique that carries brands such as Damiani, Bulgari, Cartier, Gucci, Hermès, Salvini and Van Cleef & Arpels — predicts classics will be in demand this holiday.

“The return to more classic styles is due to the particular economic period and to the fact that women want certainty and need to feel reassured,” he said. “There will also be women who will want to play with jewelry and who will be oriented more toward quirky stones and colored diamonds.”

Scoza foresees a continuing increase in bracelet sales, as well as more awareness in brands such as Damiani and Salvini for more fashion-forward pieces.

Stanley Korshak, Dallas

“For me, the most ostentatious things are selling — and the cheapest,” said buyer Melissa Geiser. “A $40,000 Sevan ring was one of the first things to sell in October.”

Other hot ticket items include minimalist matte sterling or mother-of-pearl “chip” earrings by Ted Muehling that sell from $120 to $1,000; gold and diamond earrings from Dana Kellin that retail from $400 to $4,000, and big wood, Lucite and silver cuffs by Patricia von Musulin that average at $2,000. On the pricier side are hand-painted rings from Sevan for $7,000, oxidized “gilver” pieces by Yossi Harari at $2,500 and black diamond butterfly jewelry by Michael Tracy at $40,000.

Mikimoto, Tokyo

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of founder Kokichi Mikimoto, the pearl-oriented jeweler introduced a wide range of products for holiday. Among them, a botanical motif from the fine jeweler’s archive. “These days, people buy Christmas presents right before they need them, but in Japan, this shopping season lasts long, to January,” said a spokeswoman. “Recently, it is not rare to see women in their 30s and 40s buying jewelry for themselves.”

Bergdorf Goodman, New York

Jodi Kaplan, vice president and divisional merchandise manager of fine and fashion jewelry at Bergdorf’s called out Sydney Evan’s gold necklace with a diamond Peace Sign charm at $900, Lorraine Schwartz’s Rock Crystal collection starting at $26,800, Joan Hornig for UNICEF’s white gold snowflake earrings with white topaz drop which is exclusive to the retailer and sells for $2,225 and Verdura’s classic yellow gold Curb-Link bracelet at $11,950. “[It’s] a perennial favorite and a timeless, classic gift,” said Kaplan.

View Slideshow