Have you ever wondered why some jewelry generates tremendous buzz while other pieces just sit in the case? What makes best sellers pop? A key element is design. Of course color, materials, quality and workmanship are important. But often what first grabs your customers’ attention is design. What are the features of winning design? How can you pick the winners and avoid the losers?
Clients respond viscerally to design. Winning pieces have a “wow” factor. But to be best sellers they must also have classic, universal appeal. The best of the best combine timeless design with a cutting-edge freshness that quickens the pulse. It should surprise and delight yet have staying power. Artfully combining these opposing qualities is key.
What are principles of good design? Having one dominant feature that commands attention creates focus. Think of the solitaire ring or the halo style ring - a central gem with surrounding accents - such as Princess Diana’s (now Kate’s) sapphire engagement ring. It’s simple, elegant, powerful - royal. By contrast, a piece that has too much detail without a central focus may seem “busy” or disconnected.
“Big and bold” captures immediate attention. Large statement necklaces and earrings, oversize cuff bangles and collars add drama. Balance oversized pieces with simple, classic lines. Clients want pieces that won’t be out of style in two or three seasons. A large, simple cuff or torque choker will always be appropriate and always have impact!
Old World style and fine detail such as filigree add charm and romance. Today’s customers, including Millennials, seek this look, especially in bridal. Combining intricate detail with simple overall lines provides a fresh, modern twist, ensuring that a piece is not too busy or “fussy”.
Certain shapes have universal appeal. Nothing’s more iconic than the circle. From eternity bands and hoop earrings to bangle bracelets, the shape is simple and compelling. It suggests timelessness, eternity, but also is modern. Fresh takes on the circle include the infinity symbol of two interlocking circles, “crossover” rings of overlapping circles, and very popular cushion cut gems - essentially a rounded or softened square. Square shapes, such as emerald cut gems, have an architectural quality that creates import and power. The cushion cut retains this impact while softening it with a circle’s curves. Currently trending are elongated cushion cuts adding a dimension of elegance.
The drop shape, such as briolettes or pear shapes, radiates opulence. Currently enjoying a revival, tassels of delicate pearls and gems suggest luxury and richness. Thin slices of rose cut gems in organic shapes provide a fresh twist to themes inspired by nature. Combine natural elements with refined detail, such as high karat gold and fine outer rims of diamonds, to balance and dazzle.
Repeating patterns and elements add texture and power. Stacked bangles and rings are au courant. Layering “mismatched” necklaces including those with multiple charm pendants is hot! Flow and movement add dynamism and life to a piece. All design elements should interconnect and work together. And functionality and wearability are essential. Jewelry is to be worn!
In real winners there’s a certain spark, a je ne sais quoi that touches and moves people. Universal appeal can’t be reduced to a formula. Monitor what designs your clients respond to. Over time you’ll discover the best of the best. Make it fresh, but keep it classic. You’re sure to be a winner.
Mia Katrin is an award-winning jewelry designer featured in over 80 top stores nationally. She is available for lectures and seminars. To add her Collections or book a lecture: www.jeweljewel.com, 877 539-3569, facebook.com/MiaKatrinforJEWELCOUTURELLC.