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Buyers Are Upbeat At Bijorhca; Worn Metal A Key Trend

PARIS -- Traffic was up and spring trends were plentiful at the January edition of Bijorhca, the jewelry and accessories trade show that ended here last Tuesday.<BR><BR>Organizers of the five-day show estimated that attendance was up about 13 percent...

PARIS — Traffic was up and spring trends were plentiful at the January edition of Bijorhca, the jewelry and accessories trade show that ended here last Tuesday.

Organizers of the five-day show estimated that attendance was up about 13 percent from the year before, and they attributed it partly to the fact that this edition took place in its temporary venue at the Porte de Versailles, rather than its usual location at the Parc des Expositions Paris Nord, near the Charles de Gaulle airport.

Daniele Chapey, Bijorhca’s general director, noted that while buyers were still exercising caution, they were actively ordering and appeared to be more optimistic as a whole than they had been for the last several years.

A spate of trends helped to spur business, and among the strongest were:

  • Worn metal and macrame combinations with a washed-ashore look.
  • Native American-inspired metals and faded fake stones.
  • Ethnic featuring African- and Asian-looking carved and patterned beads and earthy colors.
  • Botanical themes with leaf and plant motifs, as well as real flowers set in clear resin.
Most exhibitors reported satisfactory business, and several pointed out that they had come to the show with as wide varieties of merchandise and price ranges as possible to cater to as many buyers as possible.

“For this show, we widened our price range to go from very expensive to diffusion,” said jewelry designer Alexis Lahellec, who is based here. “About two years ago, we also changed our price structure; our prices now average about 10 percent less.”

Lahellec also offered a big selection of trends, including a best-selling Oriental-themed line as well as a group that had the look of buried treasure.

Edouard Rambaud, an accessories designer based here, expanded his line to include 12 design groups this year, as opposed to the five he showed a year ago.

“This enabled us to get four different price points,” Rambaud said, noting that this definitely helped drive business for his firm. Among his top-booking groups were a Navajo jewelry series in metal and fake turquoise and lapis lazuli, sunglasses and home accessories.

Elsa, the firm here that is the distributor for Christian Lacroix jewelry, showed at Bijorhca for the second time and reported a good business with novelty items such as pieces in heart, moon and sun motifs.

“People buying from us are not so concerned about price,” according to a sales representative for the firm. “They are willing to pay for the name.”

For one of the few U.S. firms at the show, Crislu Corp., business was said to be steady though not booming. Lloyd Crisfield, president of the firm, said that Europe is generally a good market for him and represents 11 percent of his annual volume. But he noted that in some countries, demand for his cubic zirconia jewelry has been flagging because of economic conditions.

“In Italy, we’re getting murdered,” Crisfield said.