Fashion and jewelry houses are stunned by the latest shopping trend: See-now, Buy-Now. Consumers nowadays desire instant gratification and no longer wish to wait between seeing an outfit on the runway and being able to purchase the look. This trend is likely due to the increase in women who are buying jewelry and designer clothes for themselves. “They buy jewelry like they buy fashion, so are more spontaneous now,” said Nicolas Bos, chief executive of Van Cleef & Arpels.
This change in buying behavior has left designers in a bit of a bind, as according to Anna Hu, a Taiwanese jeweler based in New York, it takes about a year for the complete design process. This new trend has put pressure on Hu, but she is adamant to not compromise on the unique stones and color combinations. “With clients paying me 50 percent on a quicker delivery as well as 50 percent deposit,” she said, “this see-now, buy-now trend is giving me a much healthier cash flow so I’m now on a much better financial platform.” In an effort to adapt, Hu will bring in a business partner to “manage the bigger and faster demand so I can be an artist, as the speed I’m working at now gives me less time to experiment.”
Some are pleased with the new trend as they have noticed market response also arrives faster, said Bos. “Within three months following the launch, we get immediate feedback from clients such as what sells, where, and what their expectations are, which drives future evolutions,” he said. According to Stephen Webster, the London jeweler who opened the first of its kind men’s boutique in Harrods, men are the most loyal and spontaneous clients.
In an effort to keep up with demand, jewelers have to, “lengthen sourcing and production timelines by a few months in order to produce additional pieces to all come out at the same time, rather than spaced out,” said New York-based jeweler Monique Péan. “And I had to employ a larger production team than I had in the past to dedicate more time to make sure we’re on schedule.” Independent jewelers are able to more quickly adapt to the trend than bigger brands as they do not need to reproduce the same piece of jewelry to stock at every one of their stores. Last year Louis Vuitton was able to deliver their collection within three days of their debut. Jewelers believe that in time this trend will accelarate as consumers will start younger and won’t want to wait at all.