Foundrae

LONDON — Jewelry is grabbing more of the spotlight at Browns, with the store looking to create a more varied price and product mix from a range of new, niche labels from around the world.

Spearheading the changes are Holli Rogers, Browns’ chief executive officer; and Ida Petersson, who joined Browns as non-apparel buying manager from Net-a-porter.

“I didn’t want to go after the big brands so much, because I felt that they already have a lot of presence,” said Petersson. “What I think Browns has always been is a place that nurtures new talent and people who have a point of difference and a point of view.”

Petersson said her aim was to create an offer that represented “all of our customers, by talking to people with different design perspectives, from different parts of the world.”

Foundrae, a New York-based label known for its pendants and colorful cigar rings with spiritual symbols, is among the new labels.

“There is spiritual jewelry out there, but I think Beth [Bugdaycay, the label’s founder] took it one step further and the product just spoke to me,” said Petersson, adding she wanted to represent the collection in its entirety.

She bought cigar rings and pendants that can be customized with a variety of charms featuring symbols for wholeness, dreaming and strength, among others. The label is stocked exclusively at Browns in the U.K.

Bugdaycay, formerly cofounder and ceo of the contemporary label Rebecca Taylor, said Browns was the 
ideal partner given its approach to the category.

Foundrae's signature cigar rings

Foundrae’s signature cigar rings.  Courtesy Photo

“I purposely use symbols that are both self-reflective and self-expressive so that a woman can reflect her own values with our jewelry. I think Browns has always stood for the same idea, which is the strong individual,” she said.

Bugdaycay also liked Browns’ omnichannel approach as customers get more comfortable with buying fine jewelry online.

“It’s different channels doing the same thing and people have different personalities. You want to be able to talk to as many customers as you can and embrace the different communication channels,” added the designer.

Petersson is working with Rogers to unify Browns’ bricks-and-mortar store and e-commerce. She said the company is working toward having the entire jewelry offer presented both online and in-store in order to cater to customers who browse online and then purchase in-store.

“We have a very loyal customer for fine jewelry. Certain women, especially our Middle Eastern clientele, come specifically for fine jewelry,” said Petersson, highlighting a constant need for newness as customers often make frequent visits to buy more pieces from a brand with which they feel a connection.

Among Petersson’s other launches are Gigi Clozeau, known for its delicate, layering pieces; Anton Heunis, who aims to send a message of positivity with multicolored diamond earrings in the shapes of hearts and rainbows, and the Los Angeles-based label Shay.

Shay

A bracelet by Shay.  Courtesy

“There are labels that are big in L.A. or the U.S., but no one knows about them in London. Labels like Shay represent a whole different genre of people, very much the Hailey Baldwin, Kendall Jenner generation,” said Petersson.

She added that customers are coming in and noticing the product from Instagram the minute they put it in the store. “Sometimes things that you don’t think are that big, are actually big in a social media way and that’s very interesting,” she said.

Petersson said her priorities in creating Browns jewelry space are storytelling, customization and creating a visually diverse offer.

“The strategy is not so much in price point across this area. The customer is looking at what something looks like and the story behind it. When you’re paying that much money, you want it to mean something, so the path we are following is more about visually giving something that’s very diverse, both in terms of what it looks like and the personalities and the people behind it,” said Petersson.

Prices range from 51,250 pounds, or $63,746 at current exchange, for statement necklaces by Saqqara that feature rare diamond slices, to anklets by Shay, some with a minuscule gold and diamond star pendant, priced at 955 pounds, or $1,187.

The majority of fine jewelry on offer at Browns ranges between 1,000 pounds, or $1,243, and 5,000 pounds, or $6,219.

Fashion jewelry is another category the retailer is introducing for the first time.

In keeping with the company’s ready-to-wear strategy, fashion jewelry ranges from a selection of pieces from major luxury labels such as Gucci and Miu Miu and new names including Dannijo, known for its statement chokers; Charlotte Chesnais, and Katerina Makriyianni, a Greek label known for its statement earrings created using fringed wool and its competitive price point, starting at 130 pounds, or $168.

According to Petersson, upcoming jewelry launches will continue to focus on the idea of spirituality, a strong visual aesthetic and an element of personalization.

“Customization is really important for our customer. They want one-of-a-kind pieces no one else has,” said Petersson.

Tiny Om, a brand known for anklets that can be customized with pendants featuring different chakras, and Marla Aaron, known for her customizable lockets, will drop in stores and online later this season.

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