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Is there any place for fine jewellery in high fashion?

FASHION OR FINE…YOU BE THE JUDGE!

Everyone seems to be getting in on the act…Chanel, Dior, Gucci and even Louis Vuitton. At 2OPINIONATED we’re asking you the question…

can fashion houses legitimately market themselves as creators of fine jewellery lines?

Shouldn’t fashion jewellery just be your fun jewellery and serious jewellery come from a real jewellery brand? Let’s face it crafting a blazer is very different to crafting a bracelet!

Most of todays luxury brands were originally born from a small family business that made one product line extremely well. The Hermes family were once saddler’s and the Gucci family were known for their handcrafted luggage. The times have changed, no longer family owned entities, most luxury brands are either publicly listed or owned by one of three groups (LVMH, PPR or Richemont) and as a result we’re continually seeing brands being leveraged into new categories to ensure returns for investors.

At 2OPINIONATED we want to know when luxury consumers are going to start to say..”enough is enough“…I won’t buy into that brand extension ? Surely there are limits to how many categories a brand can sell into and still be considered exclusive and desirable?

Coco Chanel herself was once  famous for marketing costume jewellery to consumers who couldn’t afford the real thing, so it seems kind of ironic that a house with such a tradition of “faux” jewellery would suddenly become a fine jeweller.  This clip gives you an indication of how Chanel promotes its fine jewellery line.

Ah…the power of marketing!

Chanel is not the only brand that may appear to be guilty of promoting style over substance. Louis Vuitton also suggests that their fine jewellery is made in an equally rarefied environment as seen in the clip below.

By the way…word on the street (Perez Hilton) is that Louis Vuitton is just about to launch its first Fine Jewellery Flagship store in Paris next month.

Much as we would all like to think that our engagement rings are lovingly made in a glamorous apartment in Paris a quick Google search tends to suggest that in reality jewellery workshops tend to look a little bit more like this.

Graff have just updated their website and it’s interesting to compare how a real fine jeweller markets themselves to consumers. The luxury element is still present but it’s a far more honest representation of the jewellery production process and emphasises the notion of “craftmanship” and the artisan heritage of the jewellery trade. On the site Graff also shares with us information on the quality of the stones, the diamond mining process, how the stones are sourced and their cutting and polishing techniques.

…which is surely is the true value proposition of fine jewellery?

In looking at these print campaigns for Cartier and Tiffany, like the Chanel & Louis Vuitton clips the production value of the material is still high, but there is more of a focus is on diamonds being a valuable commodity and the marriage of your own traditions with the brands sense of tradition.

All in all…the value proposition just appears to be more legitimate and the marketing strategies, although still emotive…just seem a little more honest.

‘I think there’s a fine line (no pun intended), between  leveraging your brands heritage and bastardising your brands future. As a luxury brand you can’t really be all things to all consumers and then still expect stand for something exclusive. Once brands move from being privately held or family companies to become “big business” they often lose their sense of direction and prestige’. – Hannah Brooks

Clearly this topic is bigger than just the fine jewellery market. What really is the future for luxury branding? At 2OPINIONATED we predict that we will start to see a consumer backlash and as a result a new type of luxury brand will emerge. The “new” future of luxury will replay a familiar story as we see the return of artisans brands, that lovingly produce exquisite products, under a single product category.

Who says history never repeats itself!

What do you think…is this new trend taking things too far???

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