HONG KONG — Asia's biggest midyear jewelry fair marked its 20th anniversary by setting records in both number of exhibitors and exhibiting space.
The Hong Kong Jewellery & Watch Fair was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre June 22 to 25 and drew more than 1,160 exhibiting companies from 31 countries and regions, filling exhibiting space of more than 350,000 square feet. More than 17,000 buyers attended the four-day event.
Celine Lau, director of jewelry fairs for event organizer CMP Asia, said she expects the fair to continue to grow. "As the product life cycle is getting shorter, international buyers have to source goods more often than before," she said.
The fair highlights fine finished jewelry as well as loose stones, jadeite and the region's most comprehensive pearl selection. Still, diamonds were the focus this year as Belgium's Prince Philip and his wife, Princess Mathilde, made an appearance at the fair to promote diamonds from Antwerp. (In 2006, Belgium's exports of polished diamonds to Hong Kong reached $1.52 billion, making the territory Belgium's biggest market for diamonds after the U.S.)
Royalty aside, the fair had a few new attractions, including a pavilion for packaging and technology and another dedicated to silver jewelry, where exhibitors including Hong Kong's Superstar Jewellery Co. expressed satisfaction with the new arrangements. "It's really good for our customers — it makes it easy to see everything together," said Superstar representative Yen Ma.
Less pleased were the 530 exhibitors of Asia's Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair, which runs concurrent with the HKJW, but can no longer fit into the same venue. The show takes place in the relatively new, and relatively far away, Asia World-Expo. Although free shuttle buses and express trains ran between the two events, the number of buyers making the commute was disappointing to exhibitors.
"It's not ideal to be out here," said George Nussdorfer, vice president of operations, Greater China, for Swarovski, "The traffic isn't ideal, but it's targeted. Of course, a bigger audience could cause a whirlwind effect — and the products deserve to be seen," he said.
Nussdorfer had a point; Swarovski splashed out to introduce its Crystallized: Swarovski Elements brand to retailers as a marketing tool. "It allows us to reach the end consumer and make an impact, to help the consumer understand what the Swarovksi name means," said Nussdorfer. The booth featured a display of vintage Swarovski-laden fashions, accessories and jewelry by the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier, Isabelle de Millery and numerous Asian design teams.China was the focus country of the Fashion Jewelry Fair, but Chinese manufacturers spent more time reassuring buyers than participating in the promotional fashion parades. The Chinese contingent was acutely aware that recent health scares — from tainted pet food and poisoned pharmaceuticals to lead paint on children's toys — had buyers anxious. Signs advertising the use of safe materials were rife.
"Everything is lead-free and nickel-free," said Gloria Xu of Lamanda Jewelry in Guangzhou when asked about the materials used for the company's trendy youth-oriented jewelry. Xu said that North American buyers were concerned, and were also changing what they were looking for. "Accessories were big in the last couple of years and buyers overstocked. Customers had too much inventory. Now they are going back to simple, classic designs," said Xu.
Simplicity was indeed an important trend to emerge from the two fairs, but others were clear too. Most notably, black is back, especially when paired with gold. Natural materials and earth and sea tones are very popular, too, and asymmetry is in — from overall design to the cut of individual stones, crystals and beads.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)