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Articles from MEN'S JEWELLERY (160 Articles)











Bling it on boys!

As the men’s jewellery market heats up, Emily Mobbs asks whether it’s time to re-evaluate the needs of male consumers.

Male jewellery is the sector that just won’t quit. Fuelled by an influx of new brands and driven by outrageous celebrity declarations – fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld reportedly refuses to leave the house without a cluster of rings adorning his fingers and actor Johnny Depp can’t get enough of necklaces and bracelets – the desire among male consumers for their own unique jewellery continues to grow.

More importantly, it’s a notion that isn’t lost on Aussie blokes and their Kiwi counterparts.

“We can definitely see the resurgence of men’s jewellery making its way into wardrobes,” attests Julian Burak, co-founder of Melbourne-based male styling and shopping service A Good Man.

Similarly, Annalisa Armitage of My Image Consultant in Sydney is another personal stylist who has noticed a greater acceptance among her male clients when it comes to wearing jewellery. She says men often ask how they can use such adornment to enhance their look.

The declaration that men are taking more pride in what they wear and are increasingly expressing themselves through dress isn’t exactly news but what’s noteworthy is the effort males will now put into their image – and how jewellery fits into the equation.

One could even argue that getting the sterner sex into precious metals has been one of the domestic industry’s major achievements in recent times – it’s not like the men from Down Under are traditionally known for their love of necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

Buddha to Buddha
Buddha to Buddha
RJ Scanlan & Co
RJ Scanlan & Co
Pastiche
Pastiche

Martin van der Horst, managing director for Buddha to Buddha local supplier Blackorange, believes the media and its strong coverage of male celebrities who wear jewellery has played a large role in the growing confidence of consumers to accessorise both here and abroad.

He also acknowledges a rise in the number of product offerings. “The selection of men’s jewellery has been growing rapidly over the last couple of years. The market is growing, not as fast as our northern hemisphere colleagues but we are slowly getting there.”

Other suppliers specialising in men’s jewellery agree, with Cudworth Enterprises director Darren Roberts noting that one of the major changes in the men’s jewellery market over the past few years has been an increase in the range of brands, materials and designs.

Similarly, Chris Scanlan, marketing manager for RJ Scanlan & Co, which distributes Dora rings and Teno stainless steel jewellery, states that competition is definitely heating up.

“We were one of the first suppliers with a comprehensive men’s range,” Scanlan says. “Since then it’s become far more competitive but our sales are still strong. Demand is increasing because ranges are becoming more diverse, products
are becoming more attractive and budget-friendly, and there is a general acceptance within the trade that men’s jewellery is an important part of any jewellery business.”

Scanlan’s final comment makes sense: if consumers are more serious about men’s jewellery, retailers who wish to tap into this ever-growing sector need to ensure they’re doing everything they can to cater to the boys.

It’s no longer just about what women want. It’s about what men want too.

Meanings matter
Debra Templar, retail consultant and founder of The Templar Group, is adamant that men rate “jewellery that means something”. Templar recently conducted a crowd-sourcing exercise through her “network of men” in order to gauge what male consumers really thought about jewellery. More than 200 men – aged between 21 and 67 and living in regional and metropolitan areas in Australia – responded to her call out.

Templar found while women are still buying items for the men in their lives, an increasing number of males purchase pieces for themselves and feel comfortable entering a jewellery store that caters to them.

She has this advice for retailers: “As jewellery store salespeople, we need to remember that we are selling the dream – the end experience – and not simply a product.

“So whether selling to a man or woman, start to paint the recipient into the picture. Talk about where they would wear the product, whether they’ll be wearing it every day or only on special occasions, the types of clothing or other products it would combine well with and the lifestyle of the wearer, then show the combination.”

Burak agrees emphatically that men are drawn to items that hold significance, which is good news for an industry that is heavily reliant on selling emotionally-driven product.

Cudworth
Cudworth
Paterson Fine Jewellery
Paterson Fine Jewellery
Pastiche
Pastiche

“Men aren’t looking to buy jewellery frivolously; they are after something that has more meaning,” he says. “It’s always nice to have a story behind what we wear, be it in terms of manufacturing, its origins or a personal history. We are beginning
to discuss what we wear with each other and are now finding ways to outdo one another.”

Pastiche is one supplier that has tapped into a desire for wearing jewellery that has sentimental value, according to founder and director Barbara Hastings.

“Pastiche offers a wide range of men’s jewellery ideal for engraving. We find women appreciate that they can add that extra personal touch to their gift,” she says, adding that the Pastiche range draws on an aesthetic that has proved popular among a wide variety of tastes.

“We have always promoted a strong industrial and urban look within our men’s range,” Hastings explains. “Our combination of polished and matte finishes in stainless steel, black and gold IP plate, along with steel wire and mesh, create a sophisticated style with a rustic edge. We believe this is what appeals to a wide range of men and what has contributed to the success of our men’s collection over the years.”

Scanlan believes males are still relatively conservative in their preferences. This means he thinks they’re more likely to seek pieces that feature straight lines and employ materials that are “understated and budget friendly” like stainless steel
or titanium.

“These metals are generally inexpensive and their style and appearance is mostly industrial and masculine,” Scanlan says, adding that retailers carrying Dora rings are not only selling the bands as wedding rings – for which they are promoted – but also as fashion rings to be worn on other occasions.

Roberts concurs that the men’s market is conservative when it comes to design, stating that Cudworth’s pieces remain classic – no bling or coloured gemstones – in order to meet consumer demand. That said, classic can be far from limiting.

“Even though it’s conservative, I still need a range of variety to mix some styles with gold or gun metal as well as keeping it all steel and silver,” Roberts explains, adding, “I tend to have pieces that match or mix with leather or beads. This layering [of bracelets] can be worn from anyone from 20 to 60.”

On the topic of age, van der Horst says, “Younger men will more likely buy a real statement piece and the older gent will look for style, functionality and timelessness.”

Merchandising for more sales
Increasing sales of men’s jewellery requires a discerning retailer who is willing to push a few boundaries when it comes to merchandising, according to van der Horst.

“If you want more men to visit your store you have to make them notice the jewellery,” he says, adding that traditional displays are ineffective on men and that jewellers need to be creative with their visual merchandising.

Van der Horst points to Buddha to Buddha for an example, highlighting the brand’s use of non-jewellery merchandise, including iPhone covers, T-shirts and even Harley Davidson motorcycles and Vespa scooters.

Buddha to Buddha
Buddha to Buddha
RJ Scanlan & Co
RJ Scanlan & Co
Cudworth
Cudworth

“The best places to find new ideas for displaying your products is in a lifestyle store as they have great ways of displaying products and think outside the box,” he says. “One of our Buddha to Buddha stockists regularly visits the local recycle centre for items to use in their window display – you’d be amazed how good it looks.”

Not surprisingly, suppliers believe display strategies should be consistent with the store’s existing jewellery offering and target market.

Paterson Fine Jewellery has been supplying men’s jewellery at the high end of the spectrum since the early 1980s.

“We market towards a more refined gentlemen so we are looking for angles that define luxury and refinement,” managing director David Paterson says.

“Our dark wood-grain box and leathery interior is aimed at mimicking the interior of a luxury car, for example.” On the topic of product, Paterson adds that he has noticed a recent shift from stainless steel products back towards rings and cufflinks made from gold.

But back to merchandising, where Scanlan’s advice is to keep things simple.

“Although imagery of half-naked men might get the attention of the girl, it says nothing about the product. I’d think about keeping some men’s jewellery close to where men mostly loiter [while waiting for their partner], which would be near the cash register or the door,” he advises.

For those that really want to become a destination for men’s jewellery, Armitage believes there’s a market for stores that hone in on the category, placing a male consumer’s needs before all else. She says in order to succeed in this area a retail outlet must have an extensive product offering and a “masculine feel” – think mirrors with leather frames, display cabinets made from wood and glass, iron features, whiskey decanters.

Converting stores into an entirely male-focused destination is probably a stretch for most retailers but it’s clear that the men’s jewellery market can provide a real selling opportunity for discerning jewellers. The right combination of product, selling pitch and visual merchandise is sure to lure stylish men through the doors and who knows? Perhaps Johnny Depp might be one of them next time he’s in town.
 

Men's jewellery trends

 


Paterson Fine Jewellery
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