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Star seeker

Discovering and promoting new design talent is one of the perks of our jobs on Retail Jeweller. That’s why we’re so pleased to be working with the Jewellery Show to help promote the British design talent. 15 designers joined event director Julie Driscoll, her team and I to thrash at the challenges facing them.

While many designers raised the issue of having to provide products on sale or return, which they felt never incentivised the retailer’s salespeople to sell, others were concerned that retailers were just not giving new
designers a chance in the recession because it was a risk.

They were philosophical about why. “I understand why they migrate to the big brands,” said Katie Rowland. “If I were a retailer of course I’d go for the commercially proven names. But designer jewellery can add a fashion
dimension to your store and you need something different.”

Other issues raved and during the lunch and networking event were the importance of offering British-made jewellery, getting the margins right and handling press enquiries.

British designer makers are highly skilled and highly passionate individuals, and they’re also really switched on. For example, many of them, such as Ana de Costa, have started offering silver and diamond collections
to bring their price points down in the current economic climate.

For the full write-up of the designers’ event, see the September issue of Retail Jeweller.

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