By Bernardette Sto. Domingo
Pearl jewellery manufacturers are actively modernising their designs to appeal to a wider range of clients, particularly the younger, technology-savvy generation of buyers who favours innovation and individuality.
Today’s pearl jewellery manufacturers are responding to buyers’ increasing call for innovative, more contemporary designs through collections that are inspired by current events, technology and self-expression. JNA talked to two of the industry’s most inventive jewellers who shared their insights on the ever-evolving pearl jewellery market.
According to Michael Hakimian, CEO of pearl jewellery expert Yoko London, overcoming challenges in the business requires an optimistic outlook and a penchant for developing fresh concepts.
Earlier this year, the company launched a number of collections aimed at attracting younger audiences and appealing to their proclivity for relevant, exceptional pieces.
One collection, inspired by the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May this year, featured regal pearl tiaras and necklaces with diamond accents.
Another pearl jewellery line comprised “young and trendy” pieces that can be worn with jeans and a t-shirt. The company also unveiled a natural colour pearl collection as well as products featuring its signature style – pearls in gradating colours.
All the collections bear Yoko London’s design DNA – luxurious and one of a kind.
Its product portfolio includes top-quality South Sea, Akoya, Tahitian and freshwater pearls in various sizes.
“Every woman is unique; the way she dresses or conducts herself determines the size of pearl she is going to wear," noted Hakimian.
The pearl specialist also highlighted the emergence of “new and interesting” clients who have a different style of doing business.
“They use the Internet a lot, especially social media and other digital platforms to market their products as opposed to the traditional bricks-and-mortar store,” revealed Hakimian. “The digital business is growing and influencers will continue to affect buyers’ decisions more and more but bricks and mortar will not totally vanish. Some people still value the experience of sitting in a luxury environment and trying on the jewellery piece.”
Modern buyers are constantly on the lookout for design-centric pieces that are enduring and versatile, disclosed Giancarlo Coscia of Italian pearl jeweller Coscia Srl.
One of the company’s best-selling collections drew inspiration from art deco, resulting in a combination of pearls, onyx stones, emeralds and rubies. The designs made waves in Asia, China in particular, as well as in Middle Eastern countries.
Coscia uses mainly Japanese Akoya and Australian South Sea pearls in its collections.
According to Giancarlo, golden South Sea pearls are highly sought after in Asia while buyers from Europe are partial to Tahitian and freshwater pearls.
In terms of sizes, clients seem to favour smaller sizes of around 5mm to 7mm in diameter for earrings and necklaces as these are deemed “trendier and youthful.”
The European market is more accepting of off-round or semi-baroque and baroque pearls while Asian clients prefer round and clean gems.
“We consider all these when conceptualising new collections. All in all however, buyers are more concerned about the designs and whether those resonate with their personality and individuality,” noted the company official. “In response, we are redefining the look of pearl jewellery and interpreting it in a more modern, trendy fashion.”
Giancarlo likewise acknowledged the rise of millennial and Gen Z consumers, which is compelling companies to embrace digitalisation.
“It’s an important aspect of the business nowadays – having an online presence in order to expand our reach to a younger demographic. It’s inevitable,” he noted.