Distinguished members form the industry spoke on the Design Direction 2021 at the UNCUT 2020 Knowledge Series at IIJS Virtual. The webinar was moderated by Richa Goyal Sikri, journalist and storyteller. Eminent panelists were Josina Von Dem Bussche-Kessell, Global Sales and Business Director, Faberge, Vishal Kothari, Founder and Creative Head of VAK Jewels & V By VAK, and Sara Sze, Founder and Creative Head, An Order of Bling.
Here are some key takeaways:
• As designers or iconic design houses, it is vital to stay true to your story and be original. Heirloom pieces are not designed for the vaults, but being created with a purpose – either as bespoke pieces or linked to sustainability. Consumers are much more aware about revering Mother Nature today. So, the jewellery linked to social causes or preserving environment will resonate well with consumers.
• This year has seen a rise in bespoke commissions because jewellery is linked to intimacy – a piece that is commissioned is a timeless holder of beauty and a story. It is also linked to preserving values, cherishing milestones, and being thankful for people who are close to us in our lives as we are less distracted by the pace of life.
• Consumers these days are educated and asking questions about provenance of gemstones and diamonds, and investing in quality. Highend jewellery set with rare gems will do well. Serious investment and long-time value will drive purchases.
• Brands like Faberge aim to preserve their century-old legacy and ensure that the design language evolves with the passage of time, but without losing focus on the extraordinary skills of artistry like enamelling, engraving and more.
• Online presence for a designer or a brand is a must to connect with buyers; educate them about the aspects of gemstones and jewellery making; talk about the company history and more. Find innovative ways to engage your consumer. However, the online channel cannot replace the importance of face-to-face interactions.
• A bit of advice to young designers: be true to yourself and opt for a path that is more challenging in order to express your creativity.