India Aspires to Become a Global Jewellery Centre

Indian jewellery has undoubtedly created a niche for itself not only in the local market but it has now begun to fascinate consumers from overseas markets also. America and Europe have remained major markets for India’s jewellery exports, so understanding the trends prevalent in domestic as well as overseas markets like America and Europe have become imperative on Indian designers and exporters.
But can India become the largest jewellery industry? Can India become a global jewellery player?
Keeping these questions and objectives in mind, India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) had recently organized a seminar on ‘Future Trends 2014’ through which the Council initiated to impart knowledge to the participants about the upcoming trends in India along with the US and Europe.
Chairman of the GJEPC Mr. Vipul Shah said, “The Indian gem & ewellery industry has ushered into a new era, making rapid strides in the jewellery arena and rightfully positioning itself as the ‘Design Hub’ on the world map. Our extraordinary designing skills combined with exemplary craftsmanship have delivered masterpieces cherished and adorned by women across the globe. Through this seminar, the Council endeavors to upgrade design sensibilities strategic awareness of our designers and manufacturers to further penetrate into these key markets.”
Ms. Paola De Luca, Founder and Creative Director of Trend Vision + Jewellery had specially flown from Italy to Mumbai to give an in-depth presentation about the upcoming trends in the US and European markets. While presenting her studies on the subject Ms. Paola said, “The term ‘trend’ is quite often connected with fashion and fashion mirrors our contemporary life. So in order to project trends we must study the needs of society.”
Paola presented four Jewellery Trends which are going to dominate during 2014. 1) Long chains with colored and oxidized metals are back with accents of diamonds and semi-precious gemstones. The creative consumer is very young and eager. Color is the key for this group, as are unusual gemstone cuts. 2) The ‘authentic’ shopper is older and sophisticated and looking for product inspired by local flair and local jewellery stores. Custom design is preferred. A repair of their heirloom jewellery is favored above a new design. 3) Nostalgic pieces are popular including cages and nets. Teardrop shapes are also strongly associated with this group. 4) The artsy, bohemian type favors talismans, and amulets, old coins, charms and tassels.
Talking about Jewellery Trends in the US, Ms. Paola said, “The consumers in US are influenced by fashion and so want to change jewellery very often. For this, diamonds are being introduced on sterling silver. Design is getting lighter and as celebrity culture is influential in India, they bring in global brands in India. Global phenomenon is strong in India which is fast becoming a local phenomenon.”
She said, “Think and develop new ways of making jewellery. Romantic and feminine are much in fashion and laser cut are very much appreciated. Black & White and brown are the most romantic colours and peacock feathers look elegant. Some geometric shapes like square are much in demand and so is the sports couture wherein a lot of rubber is used along with metals like sterling silver.”
“People in America want to have local jewellery. It means going back to the roots, local craftsmanship, could be of American, could be of Italian or of Chinese origin. Everything that gives a sense of history, heritage and tradition and reflected in jewellery design is very much requested in modern society. Satin finishes, oxidized metals everything that speaks history. New minimalism that doesn’t mean there’s no jewellery, it means less is more. Color has also been very important in the past couple of seasons. Circus, everything which is fun, poetry, even fairy tales represent one of the leading trends this season,” she added.
Participants from the industry got immense benefit from presentation of many Indian and foreign experts during the two-day seminar held in Mumbai. Sangeeta Dewan, Senior Design Consultant of the Titan Industries said, “There are four factors which are mainly influencing the trends these days. They are- 1) Western Brands 2) International Trade Shows (especially Basel is considered to be a trend setter) 3) Fashion and 4) Cinema.”
“Indian cinemas and celebrities bear greater influence on trends. Jodha Akbar set is the recent example of it. However, Indian manufacturers need to develop more theme based jewellery pieces which can work in both Indian and international markets. A design based on theme gives a story to the jewellery piece crafted,” Sangeeta added.
Jewellery designer and gemologist from FK Fine Jewellery Ms. Farah Khan said, “To observe, absorb and evolve is the trend. Trends are very much around you. You have to keenly observe them, they are in the air, you have to breathe them and on the basis of your observation you have to conceive them and evolve out your own conception of trends. Design is an activity that transcends your idea into reality. You need to change the mindset and taste of people, in order to set a trend. Your imagination is everything; it is the preview of future.”
Jewellery designer Ms. Pallavi Foley also expressed almost the same ideas as Farah did. She said, “Process of design always happens in mind. Designing has come at the core of our jewllery business. Look at within yourself for inspiration and evolve your products keeping in mind people’s aspirations.”
Director-Jewellery of the World Gold Council (WGC) Mr. Vipin Sharma said, “Consumer is the king and he should be kept in the centre of all our activities. It is not enough to have only ideas but you should understand what they mean to consumers. Your collection should have versatility with a contemporary edge. You have to reinvent the gold and align it to the tastes of consumers and design your product based on a theme that is consistent.”
During the seminar, GJEPC also declared to establish a ‘Jewellery Trend Forecasting Cell’ comprising of experts in marketing, designing and trend forecasting. The Cell would provide authoritative advice to all the related stakeholders and is expected to be functional by the end of 2014.Posted by Suresh Chotai