With analysts predicting diminishing luxury sales with the election of Donald Trump, there’s a good chance the market for designer bags, shoes and fine jewelry is on the precipice of a major change. Early to the game: Harry Winston, which aims to make itself more affordable to the masses — or at least some of them.
The jeweler, which was founded in 1932 in New York, has built a brand around anything but accessible products. With gems draping the necks of everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Gwyneth Paltrow, the brand is synonymous with the red carpet-set from Hollywood to Cannes. It was acquired by the Swiss-owned Swatch Group in 2013 and has been steadily growing its bandwidth since. Expansion of its retail stores across Europe, Asia and the Middle East, stock piling of precious gems in their inventory and building upon house classic designs such as the Sparkly Cluster collection and expanding its wholesale offerings have all been part of its progress of aiming at $1 billion in sales. Now the company’s aim is accessible luxury.
Based upon the brand’s HW seal in the shape of an emerald-cut shaped octagon, the new, lower-priced line will include bangles, rings, earrings and pendants with retail prices starting at $2,300 for an 18-inch HW “lozenge” pendant necklace with a pavè diamond border and caps out at $20,000 for an 18-karat white gold bangle with pavè diamond border. The sweet spot of the collection averages around $3,000.
The jewelry is the most visibly logoed merchandise Harry Winston has offered to date.
According to company chairman and chief executive officer Nayla Hayek, the brand is looking to create a “more contemporary product offering that would appeal to both new and existing audiences alike.” The brand had introduced its idea of a lower-priced product in the past — although at $35,000 to $50,000 it was hardly accessible to even the most aspirational of luxury consumers. Though Harry Winston has offered simple wedding rings around the $4,000 range, these are not part of a larger collection.
Hayek envisions the new collection “to appeal to a variety of clients,” noting it “can be worn alone or layered with other jewelry, allowing for the complete individuality of the wearer.” She sees it as the perfect occasion gift — graduation, birthday, anniversary, or to commemorate a special milestone — adding “this is truly a collection for everyone.”
Though the HW logo is a slight shift from its reputation for “exceptional high jewelry,” Hayek maintains the company has always had everyday jewelry, from “classic pendants and earrings to even the more designed collection such as Sunflower and Winston Cluster” that appeal to the “diverse needs and tastes of our clients.”
The new collection hit the stores as of November as well as online where the product will be featured heavily on harrywinston.com and the only category that lists “starting at” prices.