National Jeweler Network

Style Trends

14 trends for the holiday and how to use them

By Hannah Connorton

July 29, 2014

New York--Movement, openwork, bold colors and gemstone slices will be among the trends in jewelry this holiday season and into 2015, according to an educational seminar held at JA New York Summer Monday morning.

Amanda Gizzi, director of public relations and special events at Jewelers of America, presented “Trend Forecasting: Discovering the Top Trends to Increase Sales,” where she not only outlined the trends predicted to be hot for the remainder of this year and next, but outlined specifically how jewelers can position themselves as a trend destination.

The trends Gizzi outlined are as follows.

--Soulful gold, which includes multi-toned gold (not just yellow) and jewelry that is organic in texture, as well as pieces that have dimension and tribal influences. 

“I think we’re going to hear a lot of the word ‘texture’ over the next year,” Gizzi says. “It’s all about dimension, as well as tribal influences. Heirloom pieces are also important, pieces that feel like they have history.”

--Abstract minimalism, or jewelry with clean lines, unfussy silhouettes, diamond pavé, pearl accents and high-quality materials.

“In fashion we’re seeing crop tops, which let some skin show through in straight lines, and the geometric trend in jewelry is completely following through in this way,” Gizzi says. “A focus on quality is what allows the minimalism to work, with pavé and pearl accents.”

--Movement jewelry and jewelry that transforms, both offering slight movement with clean lines. This includes bracelets that can turn into rings and long necklaces that can be wrapped into bracelets.

“Women want to get the most out of their jewelry, so a piece that can transform has a lot of flexibility for the wearer,” Gizzi says. 

--Serpents, or pieces that are curved with a reptilian or zodiac motif.

“The serpent trend is going to continue, as there are a lot of snake prints and python textures in fashion. This trend can include snake rings, which is the biggest place we’re seeing it, as well as bold, in-your-face snake pieces and snake textures etched into gold,” Gizzi says. “Also, (there’ll be) ear climbers in the shape of snakes, as we’re seeing a lot of ear climbers right now.

--Byzantine inspiration, which includes mosaics in a multitude of textures, diamond and gemstone slices and warm-colored stones, dark-colored diamonds, color variations and subtle floral designs.

“We’re seeing an influx of this global inspiration on the runway. The print and texture is from a Middle-East, Far-East inspiration of beautiful mosaics and warm colors,” Gizzi says, adding that “subtle floral is the new floral.”

--Proportional abstraction through slices, edgier and irregular pieces, modern rough cuts and an avant-garde feel.

“Slices are getting weight and depth and it’s all about the settings, they’re feeling a lot more substantial and it has a lot more of this texture to it,” Gizzi says. “It’s a little more edgy, a lot more irregular, no matchy-matchy, and while nothing looks perfect, it all looks intentional without being intentional.”

She added that it’s “all about when the stones and pieces have a lot of organic feeling to them. The rough cuts and slices will continue to do well.”

--Modern royalty, such as jewelry with ribbon and abstract shapes, pear-shaped drops, diamonds and modern pearls.

“We’re covering high-quality, beautiful pieces, things that are ultra-feminine with a lot of ribbon shapes, as well as pear shapes in engagement rings and earrings, which are very flattering for a woman because it elongates the face,” Gizzi says.

It’s all about the setting for this trend, she adds. “Stones are great but when you see these beautiful setting with a ribbon motif, we’re seeing the movement (trend) carry on within this trend. When trends meet, that’s when you know it’s true.”

--Confetti, or bold color, mix-and-match stones, cabochons, unusual stones and pieces that are “perfectly imperfect.”

“Here is big, bold color again, and lots of different colors popping together, with cabochon stones being very important in this trend with rings and earrings,” Gizzi says, adding that merchandising plays a major role in this trend: “How you show the ‘confetti’ pieces in your showcase and booth should let people use their imagination on how color can be used together. It’s about letting people be drawn into color, as color speaks differently to everyone.”

--Instant messaging, through uniquely personalized pieces, charms and letter jewelry.

“We’re seeing a lot more in the face of messaging, like emoticon earrings and pendants with engraving on them to tell people who you are or what beliefs and causes you stand up for,” Gizzi says. 

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--Metallic applique, which includes openwork, traditional designs, and pieces that are woven or feature a pattern.

“The clean lines go away and it becomes more of this scroll work. We’re also seeing traditional woven patterns with floral and lace in earrings, necklaces and bracelets, across the board,” Gizzi says. “The arm full of bangles is making room for bigger cuffs and bracelets to take up more real estate on the arm.”

While larger pieces can be heavy, the openwork allows it to look and feel lighter, which also is more comfortable. 

--Flights of fancy, or pieces that reflect fantasy or incorporate flowers and butterflies and give off a whimsical, playful tone.

“We’re seeing that with fairies, birds, wings--anything that can fly is definitely flying into jewelry. Anything that’s whimsical and playful and not too serious is how this trend works,” Gizzi says.

--Cosmic gradation, such as pieces that are futuristic, with shimmering pavé, ombre, organic gemstones and astronomy. 

“This trend incorporates a ton of pavé for that shimmering illusion, and ombre takes things from light to dark. There’s a focus on astronomy, too, so we’re seeing celestial themes coming through and organic gemstones playing into this trend,” Gizzi says. “It’s more futuristic than other trends.”

--Gothic renaissance, or darker, punkier pieces with chains, skulls or religious themes.

“Pieces in this trend can be beautiful yet dark at the same time,” Gizzi says. “We’re seeing this a lot on the runway to offset the confetti trend, that draw to the dark side. It’s the new way we’re seeing punk for 2015.”

--Sculptural geometry, illustrated in cubes, 3-D pieces and contemporary designs with architectural details.

“This is all about architectural details,” Gizzi says. “The key is the architectural elements you’re seeing throughout--anything that has the illusion of 3-D, anything that people want to dive into and look more closely at.”

How can retailers utilize this trend information?
Gizzi also laid out the way suppliers and retailers can become a trend destination.

“It’s all about positioning yourself in today’s world because people buy jewelry differently, both consumers and retailers,” she says. “They want trends and timeless to come together.”

1. Watch. “You’re going to want to watch with a different set of eyes,” Gizzi says. “Turn on the red carpet coverage. See what’s happening on the runway and red carpet, because you’re going to start seeing those trends break out. Sit down with a pen and piece of paper and write down what people are wearing, and you’ll see the trends coming out before you.”

2. Read. “I can’t stress this enough; the tools are there for you. You don’t have to do a lot of work to figure out the trends,” Gizzi says. 

“There are experts that do this work--pick up Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, W, because we are about to enter the golden time for fashion and trends: September and fashion week. The fashion issues are coming out, which sets the stage for December. People use these issues to see what they want to buy for the holidays, and for next year.”

3. Invest. “Invest in the tools. Pick up the publications, invest in your staff. Find someone who loves trends and breaking them down, and invest in your future of being a trend destination. It will take you to the next step,” Gizzi says.

4. Connect. “There’s no better place to connect with your audience than with social media. We live in an awesome world of the hashtag, which allows people to find what they’re looking for, and it allows you to be found in ways you haven’t been found before,” Gizzi says. “Use the hashtag, take advantage of Instagram, and if you have a trend talk about it.”

5. Promote. How are you going to promote yourself as a trend destination? “This needs to be consistent across the board,” Gizzi says. “Promote it on your website, in your emails, on your social media accounts, in your store, in your booth. It’s all about consistency and how you promote yourself as a trend destination.”

6. Refresh. “Refresh your inventory!” Gizzi says. “With trends, nothing kills business more than stale inventory. It’s time we continue to turn things over and give people a reason to come in and see what’s new.”