This summer, French luxury house Balmain will debut their first fine jewelry collection of gender-neutral and socially conscious pieces. The company shared they would use ethically sourced 18-karat gold, “conflict-free minerals”, and traceable gemstones.
Jing Daily reports that Mainland China has taken over Hong Kong’s position as the largest export market for the Swiss watch industry. Hard luxury sales more than halved in the past 5 years, to US$2.5bn, from US$ 5.7bn. After a turbulent few years with typhoons, enduring political unrest and the pandemic restrictions imposed on travel, Chinese shoppers are moving away from shopping in Hong Kong and luxury brands have responded to that trend quickly by expanding their online and offline presence to mainland China, especially to the tax-free hub in Hainan.
Swiss luxury group Richemont announced it had acquired Belgian leather goods label, Delvaux. The group didn’t disclose the terms of the transaction but shared the deal would have “no material financial impact” on the net of the firm’s assets or operating results. According to a Citigroup analyst, the estimated cost of the deal could be as much as 250 million euros ($296 million), adding the move was “consistent with Richemont’s desire to grow in the leather accessories segment.”
A selection of De Beers signature high jewelry designs dazzle in the Disney film “Cruella". The film starring Emma Stone as young Cruella, an aspiring fashion designer, and Emma Thompson as Baroness Von Hellman, the villainous owner of a renowned but tired fashion label, is set against the backdrop of 1970s London. The new take on the Disney classic 101 Dalmatians follows the rebellious early days of one of cinema's most notoriously fashionable villains.
In 2020 close to 8 million luxury watches were listed on eBay, of which 200,000 were sold. As consumers expand their investment opportunities, platforms like eBay are trying to enhance the consumer experience by launching programs like the Authenticity Guarantee program; where each watch priced over US$2,000 is physically checked by an expert. As the company intends to expand its offerings, they have now introduced an escrow service for luxury watches to enhance consumer trust in high-end digital shopping.
LVMH, Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, recorded revenue of 14 billion euros (US$16.7 billion) in the first quarter of 2021, up 32% compared to the same period in 2020. The quarter marks the return to growth after several quarters of decline during 2020, a year that was severely disrupted by the global pandemic.
The pandemic forced luxury goods companies to use social media, video, and virtual showrooms to woo customers in Europe and keep them shopping at a time when tourists, especially from China, have been absent for more than a year. Analysts believe the government-imposed lockdowns have left wealthy Europeans with money to spend, and designer brands are keen to capture some of that cash.
Luxury male accessories are traditionally tie clips, cufflinks and belt buckles, or for those with a more edgy look, gothic rings or rapper-inspired chains. But for China’s growing segment of young, fashion-fluent men, those style conventions are not enough. Although in the West Millennials and Gen Zers associate diamonds with a romantic notion such as a proposal or marriage, Chinese consumers do not. In China the cultural detachment allows more young men to buy diamonds as a fashion statement instead.
Consumers don’t like feeling rushed when making luxury purchases, and brands like Breitling have found a suitable solution. #BreitlingSelect allows subscribers to try up to three Breitling watches in a year from a dedicated portfolio of timepieces. Part of the offer is that the subscribers will then be able to purchase one of the three watches at a special price.
Although the pandemic has continued to dominate headlines, a year after the outbreak in the US and Europe, an Israeli study has underscored the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing infection. This, along with news of the Biden administration accelerating the vaccine rollout in the US, and the UK’s successful vaccination program, has given consumers hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
French luxury group Kering, the parent company of Boucheron and Pomellato, has purchased a 5% stake in Vestiaire Collective, a pre-owned luxury e-commerce platform. With this latest move, the company is betting on the booming resale market to help woo younger and more environmentally conscious shoppers.
The investment is part of a 215m USD financing round announced on Monday which valued Vestiaire Collective at more than 1bn USD, the company said. Existing shareholders include Conde Nast and the French private equity firm Eurazeo.
According to Jing Daily, China is ready for lavish Chinese New Year Celebrations, after last year's festivities were cut short by the outbreak of the Corona virus pandemic, luxury brands are eager to take full advantage of the upbeat sentiment and expectations for strong sales of luxury items are high. The threat of a new wave of the pandemic hitting mainland China however remains.
In an elaborate update on the impact of COVID-19 on the global luxury industry, Bain & Company details how the luxury goods industry, has witnessed its sharpest drop in decades, estimated to reach recovery by 2022-2023.
Changing dynamics, such as little to no travel or tourism, changing spending patterns and beliefs and enduring restrictions are shaping the luxury industry of the future, which Bain believes is resilient enough to transform and redefine its purpose to remain relevant, especially towards new, young consumers.
A few key takeaways:
Bloomberg reports that in a response to France's plans to start taxing US-based tech companies, which were the result of failed EU-US negotations a month ago when the US representative walked out, the US is now planning to impose a 25% tax on luxury (especially handbags) and beauty products imported from France. The total value of the goods listed by the US Trade Representative's website, Bloomberg reports, amounts to roughly 1.3 billion US$.
Daniel Langer, consultant for some of the world's leading luxury brands, in an article in Jing Daily says that despite our intuition - people spend and will spend less on luxury in and after a crisis - the luxury segment is more resilient than others.
In their latest report Bain & C° takes a deeper look into the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the luxury segment. A few key take-aways;
While the rest of the world is tightening measures to control the COVID-19 outbreak, Chinese customers - constituting a whopping third of global luxury industry’s sales and the driving force of global growth in this segment in recent years - are slowly returning to the country’s luxury shopping malls as local quarantine measures are eased.
Hong Kong's retail sales of jewelry and luxury items limped to the end an abysmal 2019, with December 2019 sales falling nearly 37% short of December 2018 earnings, as the region closed the year more than 22% lower than the year prior. The impact of months of social unrest has been widely documented, as it crippled consumer sentiment and kept tourists away from the commercial hub.
The global personal luxury goods market grew by 6% in 2018, reaching €260 billion (more than $290 billion) in 2018, with similar growth forecasted for 2019, reports leading consultancy Bain & Co. in its “Bain Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study, Spring 2019”. The strong growth, equivalent to that in 2017, was driven primarily by the acceleration in domestic spending of mainland Chinese consumers and an increase in European tourism. Bain & Co.
Leading jewelry industry magazine JCK held two jewelry design competitions at this year's Las Vegas show: the annual Luxury Design Awards and JCK Design Center Editor’s Choice Awards (click "Read the full article" to see the designs).
According to a new report from consultancy Bain & Co., after stalling in 2016, revenues from personal luxury goods are set to rise 6 percent in 2017 to 262 billion euros ($308 billion), thanks to thriving demand from Chinese and Millennial shoppers, writes Reuters. Earlier projections were for a growth rate of 2 to 4 percent, but as Bain opens its summary statement, "Luxury is back in fashion.
"Of all of the ways to adorn yourself, what has nature created that has lasting beauty like a rock?" said Antoinette Matlins. "As soon as you cut a flower, it wilts. A sunset is beautiful but you can't capture or wear it. There's is something so special and everlasting about nature's creation of minerals and rocks."
Luxury houses such as Cartier, Piaget and Chanel have launched collections on Net-a-Porter and are doing well, despite critics of the format. Cartier made a relatively risky move by placing Panthère de Cartier, a white gold diamond watch retailing for US$77,000 (HK$600,000) on the online platform Net-a-Porter. Within two weeks of the collection’s launch, the watch was sold. Of course some ‘purists’ believe that luxury products must be felt to create an emotional engagement, which is hard to replicate online.
Debra LaBudde launched Memo, an ecommerce site that specializes in fine jewelry. The name of the brand refers to the consignment practices within the jewelry and diamond industry, wich served as the inspiration for her concept. LaBudde noticed there was an untapped market for fine jewelry, “(I saw) an interesting opportunity in the marketplace that, in my mind, hasn’t been well served, and that ultimately could create a larger market.”
Everlane’s founder, Michael Preysman, who sells classic designs over the internet by promising “radical transparency”, believes he has identified the issues Millennials have regarding provenance and price. He pledges low-cost, high-quality goods made in factories used by designer brands, thus making them more appealing to their consumers. Everlane has a studio in Soho, New York, where shoppers are encouraged to try on the products and then return home and purchase their goods online, an inventive way of combining retail and ecommerce.
Richemont, the second largest luxury goods company in the world, released its consolidated results for the financial year that ended 31 March 2017. Jewelry sales for the group - including Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels - were up 7% to $4.55 billion, a growth considered rare for this section of the group’s portfolio. The report suggests the rise was partially offset by a weak watch division as watch sales dropped by 15% to $4.75 billion.
The French luxury group Kering reported a strong first quarter, with group revenue rising by 31% y-o-y basis to $3.89 billion. Sales from its luxury activities for the same period totaled $2.63 billion, up by a steep 34%. The sales growth in the group’s directly operated store network increased significantly to 36.6%, as a direct result of the remarkable performance in Western Europe and the Asia Pacific area, which reported sales increases of 49.9% and 46.7% respectively.
Necklaces with detachable pendants that double as brooches, tiaras fit for royalty that can also be worn as bracelets, and earrings which can transform into haircombs are making their way back this season. High Jewelry brands such as Chaumet, Van Cleef & Arples, Cartier, Bulgari and Graff have re-embraced the notion of transformable jewelry. The versatile trend is“perfectly adapted to our times,” says Jean-Marc Mansvelt, CEO of Chaumet.
With 850 million active users monthly, western luxury brands have been quick to embrace China’s “most important platform for luxury brands”, WeChat. Local and international brands have realised the potential of the platform to make them key players in China’s $103 billion jewelry market. Western companies have used it for flash sales as well as marketing and customer interaction. While these flash events have spurred sales, China’s online sales remain limited, says Antoine Pin, managing director of Bulgari in greater China.
Christie’s upcoming auction of Magnificent Jewels will take place on May 17 at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues. Consisting of approximately 250 exceptional jewels, it will include a thematic section comprising 30 exceptional pieces from Italian makers, important gem stones, coloured diamonds and signed jewels.
Retail sales in Hong Kong across all categories resigtered an 0.9% drop in value terms and a 1.4% fall in volume terms year-on-year, according to statistics released last week by the HK government.
Canadian jeweler and diamond industry analyst Mel Moss explores a core dilemma concerning the value proposition of diamonds. It is a dlemma the diamond industry has yet to resolve, leading to confusion and false expectations among consumers: how can a diamond be presented both as a luxury product and a price-based commodity? "Some in the diamond industry are pushing hard to promote generic diamonds as a commodity that can be traded transparently in futures markets, commodity exchanges and as a wealth preservation asset", writes Moss.
Sustainability has entered the mainstream in a signficant way, with young companies often making it a prime selling-point while well-known retailers, consumer products giants, and tech firms cater to consumers who increasingly care about sustainability.
Chinese shoppers are generally estimated to make approximately 30% of the world’s luxury purchases, and according to De Beers "Diamond Insight Report", Mainland Chinese demand for diamond jewelry doubled from a 7% global share in 2008 to 14% in 2015, making it the second largest consumer of diamond jewelry. Bain & Company estimated their share of the global luxury market decreased by one percentage point in 2016, due mainly to China’s economic growth slowdown, thriving deman
On November 14, Richemont announced they would cut 210 jobs, this following the announcement from Chairman Johann Rupert, who abolished the CEO position in the company’s biggest management shakeup since 2009.
Apple has not yet officially launched the iPhone 7 yet, but luxury retailer Brikk is already offering preorders for some incredibly blinged-out new iPhones. Brikk's custom Lux iPhone 7 options include large diamonds, small diamonds, yellow gold, pink gold or platinum in various combinations. Buyers can also choose from 120 different scratch-resistant colors. Prices range from $4,995 to $1.3 million.
Comparing the current mentality of the diamond industry - in particular the midstream manufacturers - to that of mass production in the textile industry, Ehud Arye Laniado argues that the way to restore dwindling profitability is by restoring the luxury aspect of diamonds, and not by slashing labor costs, seeking favorable tax regimes and free trade zones. "How is it possible that an industry that manufactures luxury products is operating as though it provides low cost, price-point driven items?
Upscale jeweler Tiffany & Co. is gathering famous faces in a campaign using the tagline 'Some style is legendary'. Included in the campaign are Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, actress Elle Fanning, model/activist Christy Turlington-Burns and model Natalie Westling. The campaign is being directed by Grace Coddington, the former creative director, and now creative director-at-large, of Vogue magazine.
Diamond rings have received a welcome boost, particularly among millennials, with global coverage of the engagement ring received by Pippa Middleton whose sister is married to the future king of the United Kingdom. Middleton was photographed wearing the ring estimated to have cost around £200,000 ($260,000) with jewelry experts describing the piece as “quite Art Deco in style” and with a central stone that is “upwards of three carats” with excellent color and clarity.
Rio Tinto reports it has sold the Perth Mint’s Kimberley Treasure, the world’s first coin to feature a rare red diamond from its Argyle Diamond Mine in the east Kimberley region of Western Australia. The million dollar coin is made from one kilogram of 99.99% fine gold and set with a radiant cut 0.54 carat Argyle red diamond and sold within 48 hours of its unveiling.
The buyer of the coin is Tiara Gems and Jewellery, a Dubai based company specializing in rare and important fancy color diamonds, unique collectibles and heirloom pieces of jewelry.