Jewellery continues to be a bright spark amidst the Covid gloom that’s pervaded our lives these last two years. While the industry has faced its fair share of woes thanks to lockdowns and travel restrictions, it seems that many of us are turning to jewellery – a satisfyingly forever purchase if ever there was one – while holidays and restaurants have remained frustratingly off-limits.
The need for our jewellery to spark joy is stronger than ever. While the trends cycle turns more slowly in jewellery than in fashion, there is no denying the shift towards our desire for electric colour and playfulness. Sophie Quy, executive vice president at Threads Styling, says “dopamine dressing” extends as much to fine jewellery as it does to our clothes, with customers falling for bold colour combinations from the likes of Anabela Chan, Marie Lichtenberg and Savolinna.
Thanks to the Y2K trend adopted by the likes of Bella Hadid and Dua Lipa, playfulness is at the heart of many of our purchasing decisions, too, with everything from hearts to smiley faces to Brent Neale’s jewelled mushrooms catching our eye. For Mie Ejdrup, cofounder of Finematter, 2022 will be a year that reinforces the desire above all to please one’s self in your jewellery. “It’s as if we’re shelving all the old styling rules and traditions, and moving forward with one core idea: jewellery should be personal and playful,” she says.
Jewellery has always been an emotional purchase, but it seems we are keener than ever on saying who we are, with combinations of zodiac signs, birthstones and initials sprinkled liberally across our necks, ears and fingers. People want a talisman, something to hold onto that makes them feel safe in these uncertain times. Another aspect to that is positive messaging, and Tanika Wisdom, buyer at MatchesFashion, believes “feel-good mantras from the likes of Lauren Rubinski and Rosa de la Cruz” will continue to resonate with customers this year.
For Ana Khouri, it’s less about style trends and more of an overarching shift – by jewellers and jewellery lovers – towards a more sustainable approach to making and buying jewellery, whether that be finding ways to be kinder to the environment, or to the communities that mine precious materials. “Everyone is getting more conscious of the environment and overall the way we live, produce and consume,” she says. “At Ana Khouri, we only work with fair-mined gold and responsibly and ethically sourced gemstones.” Her new collection for The Row even features vintage rosewood recycled from an antique chest at her family home in São Paulo.
Many jewellers are finding that clients are increasingly responsive to efforts to recycle their unworn pieces and choose vintage and antique jewellery over new. Josephine Odet, head of buying and VIP sales at Omneque, says movies and shows like House of Gucci and And Just Like That have led to an uptick in interest in vintage fashion jewellery. In fact, she says, buyers are investing in “affordable rarities”, pieces of design history like Victorian skull rings that are unique but which don’t break the bank.
Kimai, the lab diamond jeweller, has just launched Second Life, a service in which clients can restore an old piece in their jewellery box or have it redesigned to create something new. “After speaking with our customers and community, we realised so many of us have pieces gathering dust in our jewellery boxes, and we wanted to provide a sustainable solution to this. This is how the second life service was born,” says co-founder Jessica Warch.
“I think people are looking to buy better. To make conscious decisions and invest in lasting ‘life-proof’ designs made from high-quality materials,” says Finematter’s Ejdrup. The e-tailer had an instantly positive response to its Renew and Recycle services, which launched last September and which encourage circular thinking and conscious consumption amongst jewellery owners.
Another thing that’s here to stay for the long-term: buying fine jewellery online, even big-ticket items that formerly customers would want to try on before they handed over their credit card. “Since 2019 we have seen our jewellery category go from strength to strength, with triple-digit growth in fine jewellery and double-digit growth in fashion jewellery,” says Wisdom of MatchesFashion. At Threads Styling, it continues to be one of its fastest-growing categories, 40 per cent up on 2020. Quy says that followers of the social media fashion hub lap up their content from jewellers like Ananya, who share their creative influences and a glimpse behind the bejewelled scenes. In the longer term, a recent State of Fashion report by Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company estimates that global online jewellery sales are expected to grow from 13 per cent to 18 to 21 per cent of total jewellery sales between 2019 and 2025, amounting to a not-to-be-sniffed-at $60 to $80 billion.
But what you ask, will you be wearing this year? Keep reading to discover our top picks for the jewellery trends that will give you sparkle in 2022.
The trend for bold, make-you-smile colour will continue to be all the rage in jewellery this year. Embellished chains are having a moment, says Libby Page, senior market editor at Net-a-Porter, with brands such as Gigi Clozeau, Pascale Monvoisin, Brent Neale and Sydney Evan becoming ever more creative by adding pops of colour and experimenting with new materials such as ceramics and studding links with diamonds or other precious stones.
Mixing Things Up
Are you team gold or silver? Minimalism or maximalism? Symmetry or asymmetry? The good news is you can be anything you like in 2022. The rule is, there are no rules. Finematter’s Ejdrup says mixing your metals is on-trend in 2022, whether that’s in layering pieces or in a single two-tone piece as at Charlotte Chesnais, Delfina Delettrez or the ultimate mixed-metal classic, Cartier’s Trinity. Page adds that 2021’s neck mess trend is set to continue with a “more is more” approach through mixing and matching as many styles as possible, including chunky chains and pendants from the likes of Lauren Rubinski and Anita Ko.
The All-Important Statement Piece
Fashion’s ’70s and ’80s influence (see Saint Laurent spring/summer 2022) encourages the rejection of delicate, barely-there jewellery in favour of the unapologetically bold statement piece. For Threads Styling’s VIP customers this translates to big-ticket statement jewellery from independent fine jewellery designers like Suzanne Kalan and Nikos Koulis. “People are dressing up again and want to have fun after the last two years,“ says Quy. For those of us with smaller wallets, there are plenty of ways to make a statement, whether in the form of a colourful earring or eye-catching sculptural ring.
Our love of a playful jewel shows no sign of abating. Citing 2021’s Gen Z plastic fantastic trend, MatchesFashion’s Wisdom says novelty pieces were previously only popular in fashion jewellery but now it’s the case in fine jewellery, too, with elevated novelty pieces from the likes of Alison Lou and Yvonne Leon doing well.
“We’ve seen an increasing interest in personalised pieces – a mix of initials, zodiac signs and birthstones. They are an excellent conversation starter,” says Miranda Rose Williams, VP of designer relationships at Finematter. It’s all about finding the piece that resonates with you, says Quy, whether that be Marie Lichtenberg’s Love You To The Moon And Back locket or stacking your choice of Ananya’s colourful chakra bracelets.
Jewellery consumers are increasingly feeling driven to make wise decisions about their jewellery. The biggest challenge is cutting through the greenwashing. Check out Vogue’s tips on everything from the questions to ask your jeweller, to buying diamonds to finding a sustainable engagement ring. There is no perfect answer but demanding traceability and transparency from brands is key. You can also go vintage or have something you no longer wear recycled and transformed into your never-take-off piece. By 2025, according to the State of Fashion report, an estimated 20 to 30 per cent of global fine jewellery sales will be influenced by sustainability considerations, from environmental impact to ethical sourcing practices.
This article was originally published on Vogue UK.