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The influence of celebrities on the jewelry industry is profound and far-reaching. Celebrities often serve as trendsetters, showcasing unique and luxurious pieces that capture the public's attention and drive demand.
The influence of celebrities on the jewelry industry is profound and far-reaching. Celebrities often serve as trendsetters, showcasing unique and luxurious pieces that capture the public's attention and drive demand.

Circle of influence: Fact or fiction?

SAMUEL ORD investigates the influence of celebrities on the jewellery industry and attempts to determine whether or not this impacts consumer purchasing patterns.

In the world of fashion, great significance is afforded to the stylings of celebrities and influential figures in popular culture – and the jewellery industry is no exception to this phenomenon.

Amber Hodgman, Medley Jewellery
Amber Hodgman, Medley Jewellery
"Celebrity style definitely has some influence in the purchasing decisions that we see from our customers; however, I think it’s at a much smaller scale than what is marketed."
Amber Hodgman, Medley Jewellery

Each day industry figures, journalists, and dedicated consumers pour over the adornments of the stars of runways, red carpets, and awards shows hoping to discern what will be in vogue in the months to come.

Indeed, as the Villioti Fashion Institute states: “The relationship between celebrities and fashion trends is very intertwined with many well-known personalities either setting the trends with their unique style or making existing designs more mainstream as fans flock to emulate the look.”

“Without a doubt, the red carpet at the annual awards ceremonies – most notably the Oscars and Golden Globes – is a particularly important place for fashion trendsetting. While the runway might be where the year’s haute couture is revealed, the red carpet is where these trends are made more accessible to the general public.”

But do they?

For many, this sentiment of celebrity significance is accepted as a sort of universal truth.

Indeed, few have ever stopped to ask an important question: do any of these popular figures really influence the purchasing decisions of the majority of everyday customers?

L to R: Tiffany & Co x Hailey Beiber, Tiffany & Co x Gal Gadot 2023, Bulgari x Zendaya 2023


An individual who has taken pause to question the importance of celebrity jewellery trends is Amber Hodgman of Medley Jewellery in Brisbane.

“Celebrity style definitely has some influence in the purchasing decisions that we see from our customers; however, I think it’s at a much smaller scale than what is marketed,” she tells Jeweller.

Justin Linney, Linney’s
Justin Linney, Linney’s
"Celebrities still have an impact on the older demographic of jewellery buyers; however, I would argue to a lesser extent."
Justin Linney, Linney’s

Hodgman suggests that trends ‘trickle down’ to consumers from red carpets, runways, and high-end photoshoots which leads to inspiration in terms of style.

It would seem that the degree to which this inspiration ends up impacting the final decision-making behind the final purchase remains up for debate.

Another sceptic is Simone Walsh, a South Australian jeweller who has been creating handmade gold and silver pieces featuring a variety of gemstones for more than 20 years.

“We have actually asked our customers about this in the past and they've told us that celebrities have very little influence in terms of what they like to wear,” she explains.

“We're a fairly niche jewellery brand and we appeal to people who like jewellery that's somewhat different to the mainstream, so perhaps our customers are a bit unusual in that regard.”

Unattainable?

While she remains sceptical about the overall level of influence celebrities wield, Hodgman was able to point to a few specific examples where her business has benefited from the stylings of celebrities.

She suggested that the success of her dome hoops and bold paperclip necklace lines was rooted in the popularity of chunky gold hoop earrings worn by Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner, while Hailey Bieber has been known to wear layered necklaces.

Georgina Degreef, Georgina Dunn Jewellery
Georgina Degreef, Georgina Dunn Jewellery
"My customers are not looking for high-end jewellery from me, they are looking for practical everyday handmade jewellery which is not the kind of thing which is worn on the red carpet."
Georgina Degreef, Georgina Dunn Jewellery

With that in mind, Hodgman said that there are more important reasons to be critical of celebrity influence.

“Celebrities often wear jewellery that is simply unattainable. These expensive pieces may drive status for the upper echelons of society but for a brand like Medley that strives to achieve both style and affordability, we find celebrity trends don’t always resonate with our customers and subsequently don’t drive sales,” she says.

“The correlation between what celebrities wear and what we sell is minimal. Some trends are not celebrity driven. These purchasing trends are more related to sentimental jewellery such as our engravable range, pieces often bought as gifts for a loved one or oneself as a forever-piece.”

Georgina Degreef, the owner of Georgina Dunn Jewellery, agrees with Hodgman and says that the high-end nature of the jewellery that commonly appears on runways is of little relevance to her customers.

“My customers are not looking for high-end jewellery from me, they are looking for practical everyday handmade jewellery which is not the kind of thing which is worn on the red carpet,” she explains.

“I personally don’t look to celebrities when designing my jewellery so I know that my jewellery isn’t influenced by them. I don’t really think of myself as a jeweller who creates on-trend jewellery, I personally try to create classic modern jewellery.”

 
L to R: Tiffany & Co x Anja Taylor-Joy 2023, Jacob & Co. x Pharrell, Louis Vuitton x Ana de Armas 2023
Subconscious?

Others have suggested that celebrities possess an ‘understated’ or subconscious impact on purchasing decisions.

Irene Deutsch, Fairfax & Roberts
Irene Deutsch, Fairfax & Roberts
"There have been instances where a celebrity or influencer has worn our jewellery and a customer has enquired about the piece after having seen it on social media or through the press."
Irene Deutsch, Fairfax & Roberts

These jewellers believe that the credit that is afforded to figures in popular media may be overstated; however, it still exists all the same.

Sydney-based Enesea was launched in 2019 and founder Nikki Ehrlich says that the desire to general public’s desire to emulate the leading men and women of Hollywood is still profound.

“I do think celebrities are influential on customers, but perhaps more indirectly,” she tells Jeweller.

“On the red carpet celebrities are often seen wearing pieces from upcoming collections which showcase future trends from top designers in the industry.

“Often pieces are then seen on influencers and incorporated into their own personal style which creates demand on social media for that piece or a piece inspired by that look or trend.”

Ehrlich says that this phenomenon has directly impacted her business, which specialises in one-of-a-kind luxury pieces.

“Whenever an influencer posts an Enesea piece we see a spike in sales for that particular item,” she reveals.

Simone Walsh, Simone Walsh Designs
Simone Walsh, Simone Walsh Designs
"We have actually asked our customers about this in the past and they've told us that celebrities have very little influence in terms of what they like to wear."
Simone Walsh, Simone Walsh Designs

“Celebrities and influencers wearing a certain brand or style of jewellery definitely give the business or brand more ‘credibility’ in the eyes of consumers.”

This perspective is shared by Hayley Everett, marketing manager of Everett Brookes Jewellers in Adelaide.

Everett says that the impact of jewellery worn at high-profile events lies ‘beneath the surface’.

“As someone in the jewellery marketing industry, I think a lot of consumers reject the idea that celebrities and public figures influence what we choose to buy,” she says.

“However, whether consciously or not, we’ve been subject to trends and styles that high-profile celebrities determine.”

Everett points to the recent example of the wedding of Sofia Richie to Elliot Grainge and the attention given to her minimalistic approach to her engagement and wedding day jewellery.

She also considered classic examples such as Jackie Kennedy’s Moi Et Toi engagement ring, which Everett says still gets referenced weekly within the jewellery industry.

 
L to R: Tiffany & Co x Beyoncé, Louis Vuitton x Cate Blanchett, Tiffany & Co x Anja Taylor Joy, Bulgari x Lisa, Blackpink

Age is more than just a number
Fiona Platje, Precious Metals Group
Fiona Platje, Precious Metals Group
"Celebrities have always served as trendsetters and style icons with their choices in fashion, accessories and jewellery."
Fiona Platje, Precious Metals Group

Others questioned by Jeweller on this matter were quick to suggest that when it comes to celebrity influence, the age of the consumer is the defining factor. That is they are more likely to have some sway over younger consumers. 

Indeed, for better or worse celebrities have a powerful impact on how teenagers in particular view themselves and how they see the world.

This impact has been amplified in the past decade with the increasing significance of social media platforms.

Perth jeweller James Andrews says that in his dealings with customers, it’s clear that the younger crowds are those most likely to attempt to emulate the style of popular figures.

“It's certainly only a specific age group. Popular culture will continue to influence a certain age group; however, we strongly believe these trends are always short-lived,” he tells Jeweller.

“Young people are quick to change to something new again, especially due to over-saturation through all social media.

“With engagement rings for example, we strongly believe natural diamonds will always be the leading choice and so far popular culture – led by figures such as Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez – are reinforcing this by their choices in jewellery.”

"Few have ever stopped to ask an important question: do any of these popular figures really influence the purchasing decisions of the majority of everyday customers?"

Linney’s is the largest diamond jewellery store in Perth, with an expansive collection of engagement rings, pendants, and earrings.

Creative director Justin Linney pays close attention to jewellery trends and surprisingly, he reports the same findings as Andrews.

“Celebrities have a massive impact on consumer trends when it comes to the younger demographic of jewellery buyers. Some key examples are Emily Ratajkowski’s Toi Et Moi and the Blake Lively oval cut engagement ring design,” he suggests.

“Celebrities still have an impact on the older demographic of jewellery buyers; however, I would argue to a lesser extent.

“One example would be the royal engagement of Kate Middleton and her blue sapphire ring which caused a spike in blue sapphire rings. I was actually interviewed for television at the time being asked if I thought it would impact on trends.”

Nikki Elrich, Enesea
Nikki Elrich, Enesea
"Often pieces are then seen on influencers and incorporated into their own personal style which creates demand on social media for that piece or a piece inspired by that look or trend."
Nikki Ehrlich, Enesea

Linney and Andrews both agreed that the impact of social media was defining factor in the susceptibility of younger audiences.

“Digital media is making these popular rings constantly appear on various platforms and in some cases the trends almost become the norm, as was the case with demand for oval cut diamonds following the Blake Lively engagement,” Linney says.

Powerful tool

Not all the jewellers contacted during the research for this story expressed scepticism over the influence of celebrities – in fact, many said these endorsements were vital to their business.

The staff at Sydney-based Fairfax & Roberts takes tremendous pride in the 165-year history of the business.

Managing director Irene Deutsch says that her business has seen the benefits of engaging directly with influential celebrities.

 
Messika x Kendall Jenner
Shweta Khan, Starfire Jewellery
Shweta Khan, Starfire Jewellery
"Celebrities always set the trends for many jewellery styles. All it takes sometimes is for one celebrity to wear a certain gemstone and the popularity goes through the roof."
Shweta Khan, Starfire Jewellery


“There have been instances where a celebrity or influencer has worn our jewellery and a customer has enquired about the piece after having seen it on social media or through the press,” she tells Jeweller.

“Fairfax & Roberts is the exclusive retailer of David Yurman here in Australia and their current campaign featuring Scarlett Johansson and Shawn Mendes most definitely drives increased brand awareness on a global scale.”

It’s a similar story for Natasha Chipman, owner of Natasha Schweitzer with stores in Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne.

“Natasha Schweitzer jewellery is frequently worn by celebrities - most recently Taylor Swift, Katie Holmes, and Miranda Kerr,” she says.

“For our brand, we look at celebrities as more of a branding exercise rather than a direct sales driver.”

She added: “In the past month we have had some of our signature pieces worn by celebrities including Taylor Swift and Katie Holmes, and while those placements did absolutely result in higher sales of those styles, we are really more focused on creating more unique pieces that are identifiable as Natasha Schweitzer and watching our brand become recognisable across the globe.”

Natasha Chipman, Natasha Schweitzer
Natasha Chipman, Natasha Schweitzer
"For our brand, we look at celebrities as more of a branding exercise rather than a direct sales driver."
Natasha Chipman, Natasha Schweitzer

Deutsch says that what matters is collaborative projects with people who align the values of the brand or business.

“It is not only celebrities that drive our sales but our customers. There is a lot of business generated through word of mouth - we have a highly regarded reputation for our workmanship and quality,” she explains.

“With this in mind, our customers will recommend us to friends and also pass the pieces down through the generations. We are proud to create meaningful pieces for the children and grandchildren of our customers - it is a very special and meaningful experience for them and us.”

Based in New Zealand, Fiona Platje is the managing director of Precious Metals Group. She believes that the importance of celebrities in style and fashion is a fact of life.

“Celebrities have always served as trendsetters and style icons with their choices in fashion, accessories and jewellery,” she tells Jeweller.

Robert Cialdini, American Psychologist
Robert Cialdini, American Psychologist
"Often we don’t realize that our attitude toward something has been influenced by the number of times we have been exposed to it in the past."
Robert Cialdini, American Psychologist

Although a lot of the pieces they are wearing are aspirational and often unattainable to the everyday person, a small percentage of our customers - generally the early adopters and trendsetters - are influenced to seek out similar styles to emulate those pieces.”

Platje points to the example of Harry Styles leading the resurgence of pearl jewellery for men as an example of this phenomenon in action.

She also agrees with those who suggest that social media is an important factor to consider.

“Generally, we are seeing more pull coming from local influencers. Often considered ‘everyday people’ their fashion look is often more relatable and attainable,” she explains.

“They shop in familiar places sourcing carefully curated pieces which are often ‘diluted’ versions of those being worn by celebrities making them more affordable and appropriate for everyday wear.
 

STARS IN THEIR EYES

ICONIC ENGAGEMENT RINGS

  
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge
 
Jackie Kennedy
Heirloom & Sapphires
Large sapphire halo rings surged in popularity when Kate Middleton was proposed to with the ring of late Princess Diana of Wales. Around this time was when alternative gemstone rings also increased in popularity, likewise heirloom jewellery.
 Toi-Et-Moi
Toi-et-moi (you and me) is a ring style where two large centre stones cross over to create the look of an 'embrace'. Ariana Grandé, Megan Fox and Emily Ratajowski have all been seen with variations of this trend, partnering diamonds with another alternative gemstone.

 

  
Jennifer Lopez
 
Beyoncé
Colour Diamonds
A colourful large centrestone diamond makes an impact! Bringing attention to pink diamonds with her first engagement ring from Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez made headlines again, with a green diamond engagement ring, spiking a global interest in these rare stones.
 Double-Digit Carats
A-lister size centrestones are always in style. From Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor to Beyoncé and Paris Hilton, double-digit carats will always turn heads and be a mainstay among those with deep pockets and stars in their eyes.
 

 

  
Sofia Richie
 
Blake Lively
Timeless Simplicity
Timeless simplicity – Sofia Richie's traditional engagement ring featuring a simple emerald-cut white diamond centrestone is a welcome ode to practical tradition.
 Shimmering Ovals
Large oval cut diamond sales increased when the likes of Hailey Bieber and Blake Lively were seen sporting the solitaire designs. With a wider surface area, it can look larger than a round cut of the same carat weight.

 

What does the science say?

It is easy to see why jewellery retailers place value on a thorough understanding of consumer purchasing patterns.

Hayley Everett, Everett Brookes
Hayley Everett, Everett Brookes
"As someone in the jewellery marketing industry, I think a lot of consumers reject the idea that celebrities and public figures influence what we choose to buy."
Hayley Everett, Everett Brookes

The connection between a better understanding of a customer’s decision-making process and improved sales is straightforward.

With that said many researchers have concluded that consumer behaviour is determined by three core factors.

  • Psychological factors: Mental perceptions and attitude.
  • Personal factors: Age, culture, profession, and background each play a role in forming interests.
  • Social factors: Income, education, and social class are important influences.

This understanding is strengthened by examining the science behind persuasion, perhaps best documented by Robert Cialdini in his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

Cialdini suggests that persuasion is driven by six factors - reciprocity, commitment, consensus, authority, liking, and scarcity.

 
L to R: Moussaieff x Michelle Yeoh, Harry Styles, Mikimoto x Comme des Garçons, Autore Moda


When attempting to determine the significance of celebrity influence in jewellery sales through this lens, three of the six factors appear to be at play.

Authority: Credible Individuals and experts in their fields are more influential and persuasive than those who are not.

James Andrews, James Andrews Jewellers
James Andrews, James Andrews Jewellers
"Young people are quick to change to something new again, especially due to over-saturation through all social media."
James Andrews, James Andrews Jewellers

Credibility is one of the core building blocks of trust and when celebrities wear adornments from select jewellers, the credibility of these businesses and brands among consumers who value the fashion choices of said celebrities is increased.

Liking: It may seem like a trivial observation at first; however, it’s important all the same – we are more likely to be influenced and persuaded by those we favour.

If an artist, movie star, or musician produces art that a consumer likes, they are subconsciously likely to favour their choices in style too because of these pre-existing positive associations.

Scarcity: The less of something there is, the more people tend to want it.

This holds for experiences as well as for material products such as jewellery.

Many of the jewellers contacted for this story stated that the unattainable nature of the jewellery worn by high-profile figures may suggest that celebrities wield little influence over everyday consumers.

While that may be true – few can afford the latest from Bulgari, Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Cartier – that doesn’t mean these consumers don’t desire this jewellery.

The elusive and expensive nature of this jewellery, combined with the lack of supply, taps deeply into the appeal of scarcity to consumers.

Consensus: Humans are social animals and generally speaking, believe that it’s important to conform to the norms of any given social group.

This means that when it comes to decision-making, we often look around us to see what others are doing before deciding. We see this factor in action with marketing all the time.

“9/10 dentists recommend Colgate” is often said in advertising for toothpaste. “2.2 million Australians choose to bank with us” suggests Bendigo Bank.

When consumers see jewellery worn by those identified as aspirational figures, it leads to increased credibility for these styles, brands, and businesses.

What did we learn?

It’s fair to say that while the jewellery worn by celebrities is usually unattainable for the average consumer,

With that said, it's difficult to argue against the appeal of marketing through popular culture - particularly when it comes to younger consumers.

Perhaps an overlooked consideration in this debate is the way certain jewellery pieces have stood the test of time and remain popular when worn by the ‘right’ person.

Princess Diana’s Swan Lake pearl jewellery was recently put up for auction and establishing a pre-sale estimate was described as difficult.

This was because of the powerful cultural impact of the jewellery compared with similar collections without the same history.

“I still get asked about the Princess Diana ring all the time – that gorgeous sapphire and diamond ring,” reveals Shweta Khan, owner of Starfire Jewellery in Brisbane.

“Celebrities always set the trends for many jewellery styles. All it takes sometimes is for one celebrity to wear a certain gemstone and the popularity goes through the roof.” Whether or not this influence – be it overt or subconscious – can be utilised by retailers remains up for debate.

Long before the invention of GPS technology, sailors once used stars in the night sky to navigate voyages across the ocean.

For now, it seems likely that the jewellery industry will continue to rely on the red-carpet stars around the world to - hopefully- forecast and influence future trends.

 

A LOOK TO LOVE

STYLES TO WATCH

  
Scarlett Johanssen
 
Shawn Mendes
Casual High-Society
Featuring in David Yurman's campaign, Scarlett Johanssen hones a casual high-society style, showcasing Yurman's iconic designs that can go from brunch to evening cocktail. Johanssen's image appeals to the professional women with a classic style who opts for versatility over statement pieces.
 Tropical Boho
David Yurman's campaign featuring Shawn Mendes showcases casual mens' jewellery that can be layered to suit the younger male demographic who may prefer customising their own style.

 

  
Billie Eilish
 
Pharrell
Chain, Chain, Chain
While others opt for delicate light layering of chains, Billie Eilish has gone the opposite direction. Known for layering plenty of mixed metals and chains of all boldness and bling, Eilish's style preferences are mimicked and admired by a large following.
 Creative Visionary
Pharrell is no stranger to bling – as LVMH's creative director, his style is often hailed as being visionary. Amongst the first to popularise pearls for men, Pharrell is a popular reference for men's jewellery.
 

 

  
Ana De Armas
 
Harry Styles
Deadly Cute
Former Bond girl Ana de Armas inspired the jewellery world by first being the ambassador to the Natural Diamond Council, and recently modelling Louis Vuitton's high jewellery range.
 Play & Rebel
Harry Styles' bold gender-bending fashion selections have become an inspiration for couture designers worldwide. Embodying Gen-Z's playful and rebellious streak, his accessory choices vary from coquettish to extravagant.

 


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Samuel Ord

Samuel Ord is a Jeweller journalist covering day-to-day industry news and investigative long-form features. He has over seven years experience as a court reporter and sports journalist.








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