10 Feb 2012
New vision for old
- report from Vicenzaoro Winter 2012, Vicenza
|Innovation, with the precious spiders' web from Staurino.|
This was apt since many exhibitors and buyers view 2012 as a transition year. For a start, China is expected to be a major market for the future, as outlined in the conference at the fair, "the China Market: new relationships".
The conference was promoted by the Mainland's gold products and services firm Jingyi Gold which showed a new official trading channel for Italian jewellery.
Economic data also supported the proposition. In the third quarter of 2011, China overtook India and became the top market for gold jewellery, with a global share of about 30%. And Chinese consumers are more and more orientated to style and quality, visitors said.
In 2012 good sales are also expected from South America, with Brazil centre stage, while Russia is expected to open up after joining the WTO later this year.
As to trends, there were two basic themes. For one, fashion jewellery will be made of unusual materials combined with gold, including aluminum, shells and wood. There'll also be combinations of jewellery with precious metals and stones, often presented as large pieces.
|China market for Italian brands.||Brasilia Collection from Talento Italiano.|
New seams of gold
Launched at this year's Vicenza was a new alloy, 1KT Gold, featuring gold content of one carat (or 4.1%) which can be used for micro melting. It's 40% lighter than 18-carat gold, resistant to oxidation, and is both very ductile and bright.
|Nostalgic theme by Rosso Prezioso.
||Death Head pieces from DiLuca.
The show also saw a revival of nostalgic themes, like cameos, the 19th century and the inspiration of nature.
The taste for "vintage" pieces was contrasted by jewellery featuring a contemporary feel, taking inspiration from the rock and punk spirit (still very popular is the death's head motif) or from the digital world.
Classic themes are still alive, such as yachting, with marine patterns and giant gourmette chains, sculptured jewellery taking inspiration from nature and from celebrations, including dragon-shaped jewellery, dedicated to the Chinese New Year.
|Giant chain from Daniel Espinosa.||Year of the Dragon Collection, created by Roberto Coin.|
Still very popular are pink gold and fancy diamonds, especially black and brown stones.
Italian producer Mondial Coral focuses on the Hong Kong and Chinese mainland markets with its Rovian Gioielli Italiani brand, selling raw or carved coral, following the ban on trawling for coral.
Manager Vincenzo Raiola confirmed that "there is a high demand for unique, high-value work or for non-expensive products".
A new carved cameo line is addressed towards young people (priced from Euros65 to Euros350).
The Italian Ottaviani brand, which presented silver and rhodium-plated jewellery and household goods, last year announced profits 39% up compared to 2010, thanks to export markets in Spain, Malta, France, Russia and Hong Kong, the latter being the entry point to the Chinese mainland. Prices ranged from Euros28 to Euros188.
Another Italian firm, Cenzi Vittorio, considers Hong Kong a natural point of entry to the China market. However, this position could change if Mainland authorities lower customs duties, said the firm's representative.
Cenzi's brand, My Vice, featured pieces in yellow gold with enamel decorations, taking inspiration from nature.
"Among emerging markets, China is undoubtedly the strongest one and Hong Kong is important to introduce products in China," said Ken Lo, Director of the SAR's Eternity Manufacturing.
|My Vice pieces.||Lo: Hong Kong launching pad undiminished.|
The firm presented a classic collection made of gold and other materials with precious stones and diamonds. The average wholesale price was from Euros800 to Euros2,000.
|Diamond Tree offerings.|
Diamond Tree, another Hong Kong company, presented its Mainland-produced collections inspired by nature.
The items are for sale in Europe, the US and Latin America. These featured pink gold embellished by precious stones, jade and diamonds under wholesale prices of between Euros1,153 and Euros23,076.
Emerging markets to the rescue
Philip Wong, Officer for Marketing and Sales with Hong Kong's Cheng & Cheung, pointed out that the Euro crisis has hit the European jewellery market very hard. But business was looking up in emerging markets.
"Despite higher gold prices, we still remain competitive with our collections," said Wong. "Brazil and China are the most interesting growing markets for us."
Cheng & Cheung featured gold with sapphires and other precious and semi-precious stones. Prices ranged from Euros3,076 to Euros115,384.
|Fong spoke of prudent customers.||Unicorn design.|
Jessica Fong, Director of Hong Kong's Unicorn Jewelry Design said: "due to [the Eurozone] crisis, our customers have been more prudent in their purchases".
|Ma looks to both Italy and Hong Kong.|
Unicorn's collection is based on quality design and its use of fancy diamonds and semi-precious stones (with pieces priced at between Euros3,000 and Euros150,000). The main export markets are Brazil, China, Turkey, Spain and Russia.
"The Vicenza fair is the most important market place to meet Russian buyers," said Anny Ma, Branding and Marketing Manager for Hong Kong's Advan Jewelry. "But Hong Kong's fair [the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show held this month] is still the most international one, with visitors from everywhere in the world".
Advan Jewelry collections featured a fashionable contemporary style with gold, diamonds, and precious stones and were priced wholesale at between Euros300 and Euros600.
Able Jewelry, a company established in Hong Kong and with a factory on the Chinese mainland, expects business to grow in the US and Latin America.
Adam Lau, Managing Director, said its collections feature gold and small diamonds in both modern and "vintage" styles. Wholesale prices are from Euros200 to Euros500.
|Able Jewelry design.||Andrew Jewellery collection.|
|Engraved fretwork by Bapalal Keshavlal.|
The reference market for Andrew Jewellery (Hong Kong) is Brazil, "where a lot of money circulates," said Andrew Lau, Owner. Besides easy-to-wear collections (at wholesale prices ranging from Euros4.6 to Euros11.5), the company manufactures tailor-made collections created by Hong Kong and Mainland designers.
Traders agreed that a good export strategy isn't enough for success. The collections' appeal still makes the difference.
So, many companies aim not only for quality but innovation. Bapalal Keshavlal was at Vicenzaoro Winter for the first time. Its Auratam collection, made of yellow gold sheets, featured laser engravings. Wholesale prices were from Euros769 to Euros7,692.
Some 1,395 exhibitors and more than 14,000 visitors attended Vicenzaoro Winter from 14 to 19 January.
from special correspondents Cristina Bellavista and
Clara Dodino, Vicenza
Adam Lau, Managing Director
|Tel: (852) 2333-0009
Fax: (852) 2333-9936
|Advan Jewelry Limited
Anny Ma, Branding and Marketing Manager
|Tel: (852) 2180-9901
Fax: (852) 2180-9902
|Andrew Jewellery Ltd
Andrew Lau, Owner
|Tel: (852) 8165-9546
Fax: (852) 8143-0158
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Romy Mehta, President
|Tel: (91) 22-2369-2192, (91) 22-2369-4211, (91) 22-2369-5248
Fax: (91) 22-2363-1678
|Cheng & Cheung
Philip Wong, Officer for Marketing and Sales
|Tel: (852) 2795-2382
Fax: (852) 2795-3620
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
|Diamond Tree Limited
Wendy Yue, Managing Director
|Tel: (852) 2142-8188
Fax: (852) 2142-8113
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
|Eternity Manufacturing Limited
Ken Lo, Director
|Tel: (852) 2854-4688
Fax: (852) 2854-0157
||Tel: (39) 81-881-9038
Fax: (39) 81-849-2145
||Tel: (39) 445-962-101
Fax: (39) 445-490-129
||Tel: (39) 71-757-9701
Fax: (39) 71-757-9752
|Unicorn Jewelry Design Company Limited
Jessica Fong, Director
|Tel: (852) 2312-0088
Fax: (852) 2312-6677
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Web: http://www.jessicafong.com.hk, http://www.eunicorn.com.hk